What does a Doula do?
Many people ask ‘so what does a Doula do?’ The short answer is that she helps guide and support a pregnant woman and her partner through pregnancy, birthing and postpartum. The more detailed and empowering answer is that your Doula is like having an extra pair of hands who thinks about and does things that you probably didn’t even realise you needed but will definitely appreciate.
During your pregnancy a Doula can help you prepare both emotionally and physically for the birthing experience, empowering you to have the experience you want and giving you the confidence to trust your body knows what to do. Doulas can be involved in home, birthing centre or hospital births and will know your birth plan. They can facilitate collaborative discussion around the choices and decisions you have to make and provide a sounding board for your ideas. She will guide with evidence based information empowering parents to take responsibility for their decisions and if an intervention is required your Doula will support you, helping to calm and reassure you when you need it most. Some Doulas are also experienced in HypnoBirthing, which is the use of hypnosis to help calm and empower the mother to trust in their ability to birth a baby.
When in labour, no matter the time of day or night, a Doula can be with you at home or hospital to support you through labour, she can give a massage with calming oils or an amazing lower back push to help you during surges. No matter where you are a Doula will ensure you are comfortable with pillows for support and blankets for warmth where and when you need them or a towel to kneel on while you squat in the bath. If you are hot she will provide ice chips, wipe your face with a refreshing cool cloth and tie your hair back to help keep your hair off your face. She will understand when you need quiet and when is the best time to talk to you, her experience will guide her to know when to suggest position changes and when your birthing companion needs a rest they can take a break knowing that you are still supported.
The role of a Doula doesn’t just stop with the birth. She can visit you at home and provide the support you need in the days and weeks after birthing. Some Doulas provide support with newborn care and breastfeeding whilst others may provide more practical care such as doing the dishes, cleaning and cooking nourishing and healing meals for you, much like a mum, sister or friend would do. She will also provide that listening ear for any concerns. Women who have used a Doula find it to be a very nurturing and empowering experience. Finding a Doula is easy as there are many highly skilled and experienced Doulas here in Brisbane and around Australia.