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 2016
Have questions about a program?
Request information »

More Health Tips

Here are some tips on how to embrace the “barbie” while minimizing detrimental effects on our environment and health.

Take your enjoyment of the outdoors while camping to the next level by making delicious, sustainable food that's both good for you and the planet.

Don't let the pressure of planning a big vacation prevent you from taking a break. Here are four resources to help you take a "vacation" that won't break the bank or your stress level.

Talk about food for thought! These delicious foods can help fuel your body and your mind.

The farm-to-table trend is more than a buzzword. Here are the numbers to support the benefits of buying from your local farmers market or CSA.

The chemicals found in many conventional cleaners can range from mildly irritating to carcinogenic or downright damaging to your body and the environment. Do yourself and the planet a favor by making your own using safe, natural products.

Subscribe to Newsletters

CAPTCHA
This is a human test to prevent automated spam submissions. Enter the four-letter 'word' in the image.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.