A doula, otherwise known as birth attendant or birth assistant, believes in “mothering the mother”. She enables a woman and her partner to have the most satisfying birth experience possible. This type of support allows the whole family to relax and enjoy the process. Doulas are trained and experienced in childbirth and are usually mothers themselves. While they have good knowledge and awareness of the birth process, a doula does NOT support the mother in a medical role or take the place of a midwife or other primary physician. A doula helps to keep birth normal and is a valuable addition to the birth team. Should a birth become complicated and require medical assistance, a doula will still remain by your side and help in any way she can. She will not make decisions for those she supports, but she will assist them through the decision making process. A doula provides balanced information so the couple can make their own choices. Many women consider doulas to be an absolute must, especially in a hospital, due to the over-medicalisation of birth in the US.

I also attend to the emotional and physical needs of your partner to the best of my ability. They are under a lot of pressure and may have a hard time balancing their role as your personal support person and the emotion that comes with seeing you struggle and in pain. My goal is not to take the place of your partner during your labor, rather to encourage and guide them into actively participating if that is their wish. Labor can be long and strenuous, and it is also my job to make sure you both are taking care of yourselves (hydrating, eating, resting, etc) so you can make it through this experience together.

As a postpartum doula, I provide information on things such as infant feeding, emotional and physical recovery from birth, mother–baby bonding, infant soothing techniques, and basic newborn care. A postpartum doula helps a new family in those first days and weeks after bringing home a new baby. Research shows that parents and babies have an easier time with this transition period if a good support team is in place. I offer a wide range of services during the postpartum period, but my main goals are, again, to help “mother the mother” and nurture the entire family as you transition into life with a newborn. This would include offering advice to help you and your partner feel more confident in your new roles, latch and breastfeeding support, helping with light housekeeping, simple meal preparations, and errands. You can even schedule a time for me to care for the baby while you enjoy a nap.

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