birth student midwife midwifery homebirth childbirth cpm symposium feminism life of a student midwife love new adventures new beginnings power of women becoming a mother birthwise midwifery school cesarean doula empowerment maternity care midwife midwives new life pregnancy public health starting over student midwife to midwife Placenta crafting VBAC acceptance birth center communication death empowering birth excitement fear growing growth health policy internationally trained midwives canada labour induction med-wives midwifery regulations midwives as primary healthcare providers moving forward personal growth prenatal yoga resolutions struggles and challenges the end is nigh transitions CPM DOR HR 1054 MAMA campaign MANA MMBP PROM Placenta Libertation Front Rowan Bailey SlutWalk Suturing activism anais nin ann sexton arizona arizona midwifery augmentation and epidurals awe babymoon inn baptism by fire being on call birth centre birth positions birthwise breastfeeding c/s canada canadian midwifery cancer catching babies changes christmas eats on feets elements family foucault future midwives alliance gender identity graduation grieving having to plan for the future health promotion herbs hospital birth hypnobirthing insomnia joy joys of birth language language of birth learning licensed midwives losing my shit midwifery education midwives as a political decision mother's day mother-baby connection movie night moving to canada multi-jurisdictional midwifery bridging program natural midwife new years resolutions overcoming depression packages in the mail phoenix placenta postpartum postpartum depression power powerful births prelabour/premature rupture of membranes racism rape regina reproductive rights roots saskatchewan midwifery self love self realization sensorship sounds of birth standard-of-care statistics stillbirth student midwife hell tending fires third stage traditional midwifery transition ultrasound uterus waiting for babies washington state midwifery water birth white privilege women's health yoga

Saturday, January 17, 2009

What is a Doula?

"Doula" is a Greek word meaning "servant" or "helper". A doula takes on the role that in more traditional societies is filled by experienced women related to the childbearing woman (mother, aunt, sister). In many of these cultures women remain with their families and are supported throughout their pregnancy and for an extended period of time afterwards. She relies upon her elders for their knowledge as well as their physical and emotional support.

In modern cities we have lost this connection; not that we don't have a loving caring support system provided by our families, but jobs and different life choices have spread us apart.  Many partners move away from their families leaving themselves without direct access to the knowledge gained from these elder females. This role then falls solely on the mothers partner, who unrightfully is expected to know how to care for her in an unfamiliar situation. No one could ever take the place of the partner in the loving support they provide, but the addition of a doula to their team can make the experience less stressful and hopefully more positive. 

A doula is trained on many aspects of pregnancy and childbirth and is knowledgeable on how to initiate breast feeding in those early postpartum hours. Her goal is to help the couple by providing them with the tools they need before they enter the birthing room and the support they may require during this amazing experience. A doula, however, does not have a medical background and though may be able to provide answers to general questions, she is not there to help make medical decisions or give advice. She is there to work with you and your caregiver to give YOU the most positive experience possible.

A doula is there in the wee hours to give you that boost of energy when your partner may be fading. She is there to help welcome your newborn. It is your happiness that we live for. And though many of us wish for the least amount of medical interventions we will support you in whatever decisions you choose.  In the end, we want all birth experiences to feel valid and full-filling and to minimize any feelings of loss that one may experience because the event didn't go as planned. A doula wants to prepare you for the unexpected and to let you know that it's OK.  

No comments:

Post a Comment