Wednesday, March 19, 2014

5 Things a Doula Can Do For You

Behind the calm exterior of a doula is a person who is constantly thinking, strategizing and endeavoring to create an environment to support a pregnant, birthing or postpartum family.

Newborn with father

If you live in a metropolitan area, you probably have heard of doulas and know what they do. You may even be acquainted with a doula or two. It is a profession that has grown in the last two decades. Doulas provide supportive, non-clinical care that leads to improved birth outcomes and patient satisfaction. They have a different role from midwives, who are responsible for the health of women and infants.

Doulas are usually exceptionally caring people who have special knowledge and skills to assist families in pregnancy, childbirth and afterwards. A doula’s most valuable skill is listening and being present for the client’s needs. Behind that calm doula exterior is a person who is constantly thinking, strategizing and endeavoring to create an environment to support a pregnant, birthing or postpartum family.

Here are five things doulas can do for you:

  1. Doulas anticipate, smoothen and normalize transitions. Beginning a family or adding a new member is both a joy and a challenge.
  2. Doulas have a large array of comfort measures to offer. There are many evidence-based, non-pharmacological, common-sense ways to cope with discomfort.
  3. Doulas help you stick with your plan. The goal is that you feel respected, cared for and listened to during the process. Even if your plans and wishes change.
  4. Doulas are like glue: They fill in wherever it’s necessary. Doulas can help you take charge when you need them to or blend into the background when it’s all going the direction in which you hoped.
  5. Doulas understand complex environments. Hospitals and medical centers, where most people give birth, are complicated places. Doulas work to create collaboration and focus on your wishes and plans. At home after the baby, doulas help visitors and family members find helpful roles as your family adjusts.

— By Annie Kennedy, director of the Simkin Center for Allied Birth Vocations at Bastyr University, with programs in the Seattle area. 

FALL 2015
Have questions about a program?
Request information »

More Health Tips

Don't get burned by a container that isn't microwave-safe.

Conserve resources and save money by cooking with less water.

Planning your picnic in advance can gives you more time to enjoy your family and the great outdoors.

Eating more fermented foods like lassi, kimchi and miso is a delicious way to boost your immune system and introduce good bacteria and important vitamins into your diet.

Be a part of the heirloom revolution! Heirlooms taste better, are adapted to local growing conditions, and can improve the security of our food system.

The more we can elongate our muscle fibers, the more we can ensure maximum functionality when it comes to movement through our daily lives.

Subscribe to Newsletters

CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
1 + 11 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.