So when people ask me what I do and I respond ‘I’m a Doula’ they often repeat back to me what they think I have said, some of which can be quite comical:
Oh, you’re a jeweller? 💍
A schooler? Riiiight, what do you teach? 👩🏫
Oh you’re a… hang on… a what?? 🤔🤷🏼♀️
My standard reply to this is: A Doula - I support women and their families through pregnancy, birth and after birth too.
But I wanted to take a minute to describe it fully.☺️
So, what does a Doula do?
In my blog What does a Postnatal Doula Do? I refer to Doula’s as play dough (I love this analogy), something that can be moulded into whatever it is that you need. The definition of Doula really is open to interpretation, Wikipedia explains ‘Doula’ as meaning ‘Servant Woman’, and that Doula’s can be found in areas other than supporting childbirth, such as ‘Death Doula’s’ and ‘Prison Doula’s’.
Personally I am an antenatal, birth and postnatal Doula, you can read more about me and why I chose to become a Doula here.
Doula’s provide informational, emotional and practical support.
Birth doulas provide continuous support, for women and couples, through pregnancy, labour and birth and the immediate postnatal time. Postnatal doulas provide flexible practical and emotional support postnatally for new mothers and families in their own homes. - Doula UK
As any Doula will agree, it is very important that you find the right Doula for you. You will need to be able to feel at ease with one another, you will need to feel able to ask her to so for you whatever it is that you need her to do, and possibly even more importantly you need to be comfortable to tell and ask her what NOT to do!
What Doula’s will NOT do
Doulas are NOT healthcare professionals, they will not give you advice or take a clinical role in any way. They are there for support parents when find their own way.