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My Doula Support - What Does a Doula Do?

Updated: Mar 16

A very common question I get asked is 'What is a doula?' I give my one sentence answer, 'A doula provides physical and emotional and informational support during pregnancy, labour, and the postpartum period.' And people digest that, then ask, 'What does that mean?' This blog is going to answer that question. And blogs that follow will unpack my subtopics with a little more depth.


So let's dive right into the many different ways a doula can offer support, encouragement, and reassurance in the period of the 'becoming' of the family.


 

Doulas Have a Crucial Role to Play!


Doula care has been growing in popularity over the last few decades. Pioneered by Penny Simkin and others, the value of having skilled. compassionate support by your side through labour and beyond has become increasingly obvious. Research shows the value of doula care for the family in labour. With doula care, your chances of medical interventions and your need for pain medication go down! And really,. personal support is nothing new. Traditionally, the new family was surrounded by love and support throughout the pregnancy, birth, and postpartum period. It's only in more modern times that we have thought we could replace love with science. We've come full circle, and it's time to cover new families with love, while valuing all that science can teach us. That's my goal at Birthing With Love. To support and care for and encourage you in the birthing year. You are strong, you are loved, and I'll support you to build skill and confidence in your new role - while honouring how important science is!


The Many Ways That Doulas Can Support You!


Doulas support clients prenatally, during labour and birth, and postpartum as well. Education, skill development, support for you and support for your partner, teaching you how to labour together, helping labour feel better, helping you with feeding and baby care - it all adds up to confidence and comfort. You've got this!


My support before you have your baby is really key to helping you feel ready and supported. My prenatal education is comprehensive, and I encourage an open space, a conversation, as I teach. It doesn't stop at information, either. We invite our bodies and emotions along as we learn about birth. Because giving birth involves our bodies, minds, and emotions. Knowing all the things is not enough. It doesn't help you when you enter labour. Now your question is likely to be, how do I do this? How do I feel better? How do I feel calm and confident? The information is a foundation, and the physical and emotional tools are how you move forward in labour. I also really love to support my birth and postpartum clients prenatally, answering their questions and helping them to feel empowered as they navigate their unique pregnancy.


My birth clients can expect my kind, gentle style to shine. I enter your labour with a great deal of respect for your ability to labour as you were meant to. I believe your partner's love for you is key to the best support for you. I provide gentle advice and encouragement, bringing the two of you together in effective ways. Labour support could look many different ways. When labour is in a good groove, I enter it calmly, adding a touch or a word, adjusting as I see what helps you. When the labour is more intense, my support is intensely calm and loving, giving you something strong to hold onto. When my clients have epidurals, or back pain in labour, I use my knowledge of positioning to help your labour progress efficiently. When it's time to push, I help you to use your energy efficiently, resting well between contractions. A cool cloth is lovely! When my clients have a Cesarean birth, I am able to provide information and suggestions for ways to make that birth your own. In recovery, or after your vaginal birth, I am able to help with skin to skin, information, and, of course, excellent help with the first breastfeeding.


Especially with your first baby, there's usually a feeling of 'I'm expected to bring this tiny human home and care for them?' A postpartum doula smooths this early parenting journey! I really love to help you to gain skills to put in your toolbox. You'll rapidly become the expert on your baby. Really! Feeding tends to be the intense focus of the early days. It is one of my favourite things to help you with early breastfeeding - because support in the first few days often makes your feeding path get easy fast. Easy feeding soon translates into better sleep for all, and a thriving baby. I enjoy helping you to get extra sleep, and helping out with light housekeeping and meal prep. When I leave, my goal is that you've learned baby care skills, had rest and self care time, and can enjoy

whatever housekeeping support you've requested from me. Ahhhhh!


All the different ways that I help new families can be summed up in supporting the 'becoming' of the family. I love to help you with that, decreasing stress and giving you time to stop and smell your baby's head. It's a beautiful time!



Have a Doula by Your Side!


When you have a doula, you have a reliable resource for great evidence based information. You have someone to help you to process all the steps in your journey. You have someone to teach you how to cope with labour, and then be there to support you and your partner physically and emotionally. You have someone to help you learn to feed and care for your baby and yourselves postpartum. You have a encouraging guide, and a friend to help make this intense journey easier! With your doulas help, you'll develop skills quickly and enter parenthood confident and ready.


I'm here for you! I have a prenatal e-course, zoom or in person prenatal education, and I offer birth support as well as expert help caring for and feeding your new baby. Check out my many resources on www.birthingwithlove.ca. Enjoy the journey!



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