Becoming a doula can be a life changing journey. For many people it starts with a desire to serve women and their babies. We learn how doulas provide support , and attributes that embody a quality doula are traits we seek to have and develop along the journey. To delve even more into that journey, you can download our handout describing the doula’s role in the hospital. It’s even better when we can share our journey with others. In the spirit making that journey together, I present what it means to be a doula for one of our students. Maybe you will find a bit of yourself in her.
UNIT 1 ASSIGNMENT 2: Labor Support by Kristin Howard
As a doula we are there to act as a support person to our clients by being present throughout the entire Labour and birthing process physically, emotionally and mentally. Also to encourage a calm and positive environment whether at home, in a hospital or birthing center and to encourage the spouse and family/friends to help aide in that. We are there to provide evidence based information around labour and delivery while not administering any medical advise and to help the mother focus on things to help minimize both emotional and physical stress during the process.
How I see my role as a birth doula is to also help the mother cope through positive words, movement around the birthing area if necessary and aloud and also through massaging and essential oils if wanted and full term. To teach the others of the birthing team different massaging techniques from the shoulders down to the perineum, encourage them to stay calm and collected during the labour and delivery and to listen to the mothers wants and needs as I myself would. As a doula my client would have my full attention through her birthing process and I would ensure that she would be my number one priority. We as Doulas need to be up to date and knowing of evidenced based practices and what goes on in both vaginal and cesarean births to ensure our clients know what to expect and to make informed decisions about both theirs and their baby’s care. For example, delayed cord clamping, erythromycin eye drops and skin to skin both in the birthing room and operating rooms and to ensure that they let their medical staff know what they would like when it comes to these actions.
If you like the idea of joining other New Beginnings students in their journey of finding out what it means to be a doula, check out our course preview. We also have prepared a kit to help you along the way in your personal journey to become a professional doula.