01 Aug What do you doula?
What do doulas do? Putting the ‘do’ in ‘doula’
So what do doulas do? In my own practice, doula support is pretty much whatever you need it to be! More specifically:
- You guide me through your desires for pregnancy, birth and postpartum. Together, we find options that ensure your birth unfolds in the most positive way possible.
- Ask any questions you want answered; I’ll guide you to where you can find unbiased, current information and resources.
- Call me when you need to talk! I’ll help you debrief, refocus, reframe, reflect and reflect. I can help you understand and describe what you think you’ll require to bring your baby into your arms.
- I’ll sit with you, move with you and trust you and your baby. I can partner you or help facilitate your partner’s involvement too!
- I bring the knowledge and trust that pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding work! That you and your baby know exactly what to do to for a gentle transition.
- Provision of physical tools. This includes massage, acupressure, aromatherapy, positioning and relaxation techniques for comfort and ease of labour.
- Promotion of communication between you and your birth team, however it looks. I don’t speak ‘for’ you, but facilitate discussion so you feel safe and held expressing your desires.
- I provide continuous, non-judgemental support. I’ll never coerce you into certain decisions! Rather, I provide information and support so that you can make your own, informed decisions.
- Working for you I bring non-medical support and encouragement. Acknowledging your journey is not mine, I recognise that my involvement can facilitate smoother transitions.
What tools can doulas offer you?
What tools doulas provide depends on the doula. However, With continuity of support throughout pregnancy, birth and postpartum, I can provide the following tools and techniques:
- Education and preparation – I can provide you with resources to read, activities to do and referrals to care providers as necessary.
- Birth planning – I can sit with you to create a customised birth plan, ensuring that you have the opportunity to make fully informed, educated decisions ahead of time.
- Debriefing – I can help you debrief past birth experiences, and current ones as necessary.
- Massage – I can provide hands on techniques to reduce discomfort and pain, throughout your journey.
- Optimal foetal positioning – I can help you with techniques to balance your body, so that your uterus and thus baby are in the most optimal positions for pregnancy and birth.
- Positioning – During labour I can guide you into different positions to help improve comfort and facilitate labour.
- Reassure and encourage – I reassure and encourage you throughout your journey, encouraging you to tune in with and listen to your body, and reassuring you that you have the innate knowledge to grow, birth and nurture your baby.
Gosh, this is a lot! Are you regretting asking what doulas do? I hope not!
- Talking – I can talk through blockages with you to keep you in tune with your emotions and facilitate a calm and peaceful headspace while you navigate birthing and mothering baby.
- Maintain your environment – I can maintain a positive, peaceful environment for you during labour and birth, holding space for you and your partner, so that you can concentrate on birthing your baby, together.
- Aromatherapy – I can provide aromatherapy tailored to your needs throughout pregnancy, birth and postpartum. I’m not a qualified aromatherapist, but I can provide and use oils.
- Negotiation – I can help you negotiate with care providers throughout pregnancy, labour and postpartum. I won’t speak ‘for you’, but encourage you to advocate for yourself.
- Photography/videography – I can photograph or video your birth and those precious first moments as you desire. I’m not a professional birth photographer/videographer, but I can capture these memories. If you REALLY want birth photos, having a dedicated birth photographer is the most reliable thing to do – I can refer you to incredible ones!
- Breastfeeding support – I can guide you through optimal latching, positioning and problem solving for breastfeeding. I’ve provided breastfeeding support to hundreds of women, totaling over 300 hours, and breastfed my own children.
Even more tools!
- Baby wearing assistance – I can support you with baby-wearing, helping you try different carriers and use baby-wearing in your everyday life. Baby wearing is a fantastic tool for settling babies, and a useful technique to know and use.
- Light home duties – I can cook and clean, run errands, care for older children, bounce your baby or do whatever you need doing so you can have a more calm, supported space, and perhaps even grab some sleep!
- Infant massage – I can guide you on how to massage your baby to provide a calm, relaxed baby.
- Bonding support – I can provide you with the support you need so that you can have the time and space to bond with your baby, and help facilitate this environment (e.g. re-birthing ceremonies) as required.
- Settling and sleep support – I can provide ideas and tools to settle baby and can reassure you of normal newborn behaviours.
- Group meets – I can connect you with your local community and mothers groups, so you can feel supported and held long-term.
- Social connections – I can connect you with groups on social media, so that you can feel connected, supported and held throughout your journey by other women and their families, even if you can’t or don’t want to leave the house.
- Meals – I can organise meal trains with your friends and family, so that you can remain nourished while you nurture your baby.
- Referral – If I feel that my own knowledge, experience and techniques aren’t what you need, I can refer you to supportive practitioners, including providers local to the Blue Mountains, Nepean, Hawkesbury and Lithgow areas.