The Importance of Doula Care
Hello there! My name is Madeline Guilloux, I’m 18 and I’m excitedly pursuing my certification to become a doula! As early as I can remember, my dream was to be a mother and to have a bustling house of children. Everything concerning babies and children intrigued me. As I grew older, the idea of birth became more and more fascinating to me. I attended my nephew’s birth at 16 and fell in love with the idea of being a part of such a beautiful and natural process. My heart was set on becoming a midwife but I decided to begin by attaining my doula certification as a first step towards my dream.
This brings me to what I’d like to speak about today: the art of doula care.
The term doula is very foreign to the average person you meet on the street. When voicing plans of career and education containing the word doula, I am often met with blank stares, but the role of a doula is not to be overlooked!
Join me as we delve into the fascinating world of the doula!
Doula: noun, A woman who assists women during labor and after childbirth.
Origin: Greek, meaning “female servant”.
To put it simply, doulas are here to support you and your partner in labor, make your birth a comfortable and peaceful experience and to altogether serve you and assist you in any way you need. They will use techniques such as massage, oil blends, breathing and words of encouragement to relax you and prepare you to successfully bring you baby into the world.
In a home setting, doulas will be at your beck and call, reassuring you, playing soothing music, adjusting lighting, helping you to move and doing everything in their power to assist you. In a hospital setting, doulas can also advocate for your rights, helping you to opt out of any procedures or medications that you had decided to opt out of. They will be the unmoving labor assistant, there for you through the entire process, even when nurses must step out.
Prior to your delivery, doulas can also help you to formulate your birth plan. They will meet with you, ask you to share your thoughts about birth, show you your options and inform you of choices you will have to make if planning a hospital birth so you can go into this experience feeling prepared and confident. Throughout your pregnancy, they will be there to counsel you and help you to make good decisions regarding your health and nutrition.
In the words of Phyllis Klaus, a provider of psychotherapy, hypnotherapy and counseling, “The laboring woman needs total support in order to let go completely to allow her system to respond to the power of the birthing process.” A doula is capable of perfectly filling this role of “total support”.
– Special Women, The Role of the Professional Labor Assistant, Pauline Perez and Cheryl Snedeker p.11
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