We all have different lives and unique needs. Doulas aim to provide open, non-judgemental support for you and your family. Knowing that there is someone you can trust, who is available and present can reduce stress and can help the family to relax, be with the whole birth experience and enjoy it more fully. Doulas can also support a family postnatally as they adjust to having a new family member.
A doula can be many things; a space holder, nurturer, negotiator, constant presence, massager, information giver, encourager, faith keeper, movement facilitator, water bringer or whatever else you might need. She may offer suggestions and resources for further information but does not give advice, undertake any clinical tasks or make any medical decisions. She is chosen by the mother/parents and acts to support their birth experience and assist in their transition to parenthood. Doulas can be hired prenatally, for the birth or postnatally.
Is a doula right for me?
When looking for a doula, it's not usually their expertise or how many courses they have done or the "package" that they are offering that is important. Primarily it's about connection, trust and relationship. It's about who you feel comfortable to invite to be present with you at a very sacred and intimate time. A time when you transiton from the woman you are to the mother you will be when you birth your baby. Feeling safe and secure is an important contributing factor to a smooth birth and so you want someone with whom you feel positive and secure, someone who helps to raise your oxytocin levels :)
Questions to contemplate...
- How do I feel in the presence of this person?
- Is this someone I can imagine hanging out with for a couple of days? Do we "click"?
- Do I feel strong and empowered with the support of this doula?
- Do I trust this doula? They will be sharing some intimate moments with you.
- What is particularly important for me in a doula? Which doulas meet those needs?
- What does my gut instinct say about working with this doula or which one is the right one for me?
- If you have a partner how do they feel about each doula you meet? Do they feel supported and included?
I wish you all the best for your birth journey and beyond, if you have any questions or comments feel free to get in touch.