Most times I tell someone that I’m a doula I’m met with a confused “is that foreign?” look.
Well yes, it is a foregin word. The word doula is a Greek word meaning ‘slave woman’. I wouldn’t say that we’re slaves but a doula is a human in service to an expectant mother.
You don’t have to be a woman to be a doula. Just as long as you’re human enough, you care enough and it’d be great if you weren’t squeemish.
To me, a doula is a human who assists the expectant mother before, after and during pregnancy, birth and labor. Caring for the mother, attending to her physical needs as well as emotional.
A doula is there to calm her, hold her, remind her how how amazing and strong she is, massage her worries away, accompany her on her journey and most importantly, listen to her.
Listen, listen, listen.
Allow her to let it all out. Release it all and move forward.
Now it’s important to note, doulas are not medically trained. I repeat “DOULAS ARE NOT MEDICALLY TRAINED!”
An average doula can not birth you baby and attend to either of you medically.
That is the difference between a midwife and a doula. A doula is trained in attending to mama and baby physically, emotionally and spirituality not medically.
That’s why so many mothers opt for both the medical and emotional support and have both midwife and doula attend their births.
Alot of Doulas will attend midwife/Doctor appointments, go through the Mama’s dream birth plan and create one, teach natural pain relief techniques, attend and support the mother throughout labor and check up on mama and baby after birth. Some doulas will even plan a baby shower or blessingway.
A doula is a best friend, confident and assistant during such a special time for an expectant mother and her family. Someone who has the answers to any questions you may have and can calm you down when you can’t do it yourself.