Updated: Apr 10
Over the past couple of years you may have heard about doulas, however doulas aren’t new and there are several types
Over the past couple of years you may have heard the word 'Doula' thrown around when it comes to the topic of birth. Despite what some may think, doulas aren’t new and there are several types of services that doulas can provide. The two main services that a birthing person may utilize is a birth doula and a postpartum doula. But what exactly do they do?
"Experiences have clearly shown that an approach which ‘de-medicalizes’ birth, restores dignity and humanity to the process of childbirth, and returns control to the mother is also the safest approach.” -- Michel Odent, MD
A birth doula is someone you would work with prior to your delivery. Birth Doulas provide prenatal visits to get to know you and your partner. During these visits you will discuss your birth plan and your wants and desires during labor. In addition to discussing your plans your doula will provide you with information about the birthing process and the hospital experience that will allow you to make the best informed decision for yourself and your delivery.
A postpartum doula is someone you would work with after you have delivered your baby and are at home recovering. Postpartum doulas provide support to the birthing person and their family by taking care of the baby while the birthing person sleeps. This service can be provided during the daytime and overnight. They can help with breastfeeding, light tidying up and even meal prep for the birthing person and family.
Now how do you go about finding a doula?
You can look for doula in your local parent group on social media, you can google what is available in your area. If pricing for a doula feels out of your reach there are doulas in training that offer sliding scale fees as well as organizations that provide volunteer doula services. If you’re in Chicago, you can check out www.chicagovolunteerdoulas.org.