What is a doula?
So, a Doula? The name means ‘servant’ in Greek but that’s the boring definition or perhaps you have heard its a non medical helper or support person for birth. Well that’s pretty true but STILL way too bland and doesn’t show how amazing and brilliant we are at helping you through one of the *biggest* events in your life!
How about I tell you what I do and how I will actually make you FEEL :
– I will help you to feel calm
– Make you feel safe, seen and heard
– I Support your partner by giving them breaks during the labour, encouraging them to talk on your behalf if necessary, boosting his/her confidence. I keep them involved in discussions and help to address any worries or fears on their end. Giving them the confidence and encouragement they need to help you birth in your power.
– I will aid your comfort with natural pain relief methods and comfort measures for your labour and postpartum period (hello postnatal cramps – ouch!)
– Should you choose an epidural, I will support you to mobilise on the bed, get comfortable and keep the atmosphere warm and cosy to promote an optimal environment for birth to continue to F-L-O-W
– I am a listening ear to rant, a shoulder to cry on, a hand to squeeze. Someone without unwanted opinions to push onto you or judge you on YOUR choices
– As you have hired me, I am not just simply doing you a favour. I am here to fully support your needs holistically, taking a 360 view of your wellbeing: physical, emotional, spiritual and social – the support comes in a form of whatever way suits you best
– I help you sort through the fog of information and opinions so you gain clarity on what really counts when making decisions about your pregnancy, birth and baby
No longer is the role of a Doula just for birth but it can span into all life events such as fertility and conception, abortion, pregnancy loss and stillbirth, immediate postpartum care, parenthood and even death-. In periods of transition and change we remain the anchor of support and strength to give you the tools and support to get through these experiences and make them as smooth as possible.
Postanatal Doula Support
During the postnatal period I may do the following:
– Caring for baby while you go out, take a nap, go to the gym or go out for a spa day
– Helping you around the house with some simple tasks such as tidying baby items, laundry and cleaning bottles. One time I even put the bins out because mum was experiencing bad back pain- something so simple can make a big difference!
– Paying close attention to your well being through nutrition, rest and encouraging access to daily fresh air
– Sharing useful information and tips for your healing, bonding and baby care
– Showing you how to carry your baby in a sling so you can move around hands free whilst keeping your baby warm and close
– Boosting your confidence with words of encouragement
– Treating you to a fun outing or activity to break up the boredom of being at home all day with a baby (babies are cute and smell SO good; but I’m not gonna lie- it can be boring sometimes!)
I provide a professional service but that doesn’t mean our time spent together can’t have fun and spontaneous moments amongst the quiet, relaxing, everyday moments.
So; I hope this summary has given you a closer look into the role and has tempted you to look into having one!
It could be all of this, some of this and more but its all matched to your individual wants and changing needs as you walk through the journey from pregnancy to parenthood.
Lorrell Illeena is a birth doula who works in and around London http://www.lorrellthedoula.co.uk
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