What is a doula (DOO-LAH) and why do I need one? This is often one of the first question I am asked as a birth doula. My husband asked the same question, followed by “Wasn’t I helpful enough?”
A doula by definition: a woman experienced in childbirth who provides advice, information, emotional support, and physical comfort to a mother before, during, and just after childbirth. (Courtesy of Merriam-Webster) Many doulas receive training beyond their own birth experiences and certify as a birth doula and use initials such as CD(Certified Doula) DONA or CLD(Certified Labor Doula) CAPPA and these are just two of the many organizations that have been created in the past 20+ years.
As a trained doula, I bring experience, tools, education and lots of time with laboring women to understand the “normalcy” of birth. For most family members and dads, their experience around birth has been cultivated by the media and television, which sensationalizes birth, for better or for worse. As a doula who has witnessed birth countless times, and seen how women cope through labor, I am not taken aback by the strength of labor and the nuances of childbirth…especially when she may be in hour 18 of labor!
As a doula, my goal is to unite the family through the birth process. I will leave and go home. They must stay together and care for the baby together, so everything I do throughout labor is to help the woman find her own strength and coping skills and feel the support of her family member(s). I will give them useful tools to use and ways to help, but the end goal is to reinforce that they are a team together in birthing their baby. I am privileged to be on the sidelines rooting her on.
Once we had a doula, my husband said, “We will always have a doula!” …and we did! She was worth it every time!
Wishing you a beautiful birthing! A Tulsa Doula