Recently I began a new career path in Doula work. Doula work has been around for a long period of time although not many people know what a doula really is.
It is a Greek word that means “Woman’s Servent”. A doula is a woman that is specially trained in pregnancy care, child birth and post partum care of a mother and infant. When I think of the word Doula I think of many words such as support, love, nonjudgmental, and loyal; I could go on all day with words to describe a doula and there are several other words that I’m sure others would use as well.
When it comes to having a Doula there are ample benefits for both mother and infant, it has been reported that woman who have a Doula have a 60% decrease in receiving an epidural, a 50% decrease in cesarean birth, a 40% decrease in the use of pictocin, and a 30% decrease in the use of narcotics and/or forceps. A doula has also been proven to decrease the mother perception of labor pain, and increase satisfaction in labor. Of course there are many other benefits such as less stress on the partner/family/friend who attends the birth by allowing them to take breaks and providing information, or being able to provide a constant support through the entire labor process. A Doula does not leave the side of a mother no matter what, she will usually stay until the mother gets into her room and the baby latches (if the mother chooses to breastfeed).
All Doulas work differently in their styles but a Doula’s main focus is the mother. There are many techniques a Doula may use during labor such as essential oils or a rebozo wrap to help with labor pains. They can also be there to provide information in regards to things such as breastfeeding, babywearing, and she may also provide more parenting tips for parent/s.
A Doula is not a medical professional and can not perform any medical tasks that include delivering a baby or giving medical advice. But a Doula can provide you with all the information needed to come up with a birth plan that fits you and she will be there to show you how to be an advocate for yourself
There are many woman like myself that have had a doula and will tell you that they don’t regret the experience, some would not go through labor without one. If you are interested in learning more about a Doula you are able to by searching on the web, asking family/friends or even searching through facebook groups. The cost of Doula services can go anywhere up to $2,000 but you may find Doula professionals that charge based on income. I highly recommend anyone to look into finding a Doula for your pregnancy/birth/post partum period. I can gaurantee that you will not be disappointed by the experience at all.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. I am a 31 year old mother of 3: Crystalltynn-14, Carla -13 and Anthony who is 19 months old. I breastfed all my children for various durations but did not have the proper support or knowledge with my older daughters, so I was very determined to achieve my breastfeeding goals with my son. I learned that advocating for breastfeeding rights was not benefitting for me and my peers, but for my daughters and their generation, I hope that one day breastfeeding is more normalized and no woman will second guess the power of their bodies or be ashamed.