What is a Doula?

Baby Sleeping Peacefully on a Bed in Hands

Have you heard of a doula (doo-luh)? If not, you’re missing out on some great assistance during labor, birth, and postpartum! You may be surprised at all the tasks they can help with. Let me answer some of the most common questions I hear about.

What is a doula? A doula is a trained professional that supports the mother, baby, and even partner. Labor and birth doulas focus on providing assistance before, during, and immediately after birth. Giving birth can be an intimidating endeavor for some, but it doesn’t have to be! Having a professional doula support you through it has shown to result in more positive birth experiences. There are also postpartum doulas, who focus on providing assistance after the baby arrives. Taking care of a baby is a full-time job, one that leaves little time for cooking, cleaning, or self care!

So they’re like a midwife? While a doula can help in many ways, one thing they do not do is complete medical tasks. They are not a midwife. Doulas can provide educational support to help you contemplate your choices, but in the end the decision is between you and your medical provider.

Aren’t doulas only for “natural” births? Absolutely unbiased support is hard to come by. There is no need to worry about being judged for your birth plan and parenting choices when you hire a professional doula. Unfortunately, you will most likely encounter plenty of that elsewhere. Your doula knows you have enough to worry about! That is why your professional doula will encourage you as you choose to do what’s best for you.

I hoped this helped you understand a little more about what a doula is and just how beneficial hiring a professional doula can be. If you would like to learn more about support during labor and birth or during postpartum, contact My Meadville Doula today to schedule an interview. Sometimes you just need a little extra help, and there’s nothing wrong with that!

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