One of the most common questions I hear, often even during a consultation interview, is “what IS a birth doula, anyway?”
I hear frequently from families who have decided to look into hiring a doula because friends or family members encouraged them in that direction. But they aren’t quite sure what a doula is or does, how a doula is different from a midwife, or whether a doula is really right for their situation.
So, what is a birth doula? Read on to learn more about the role, scope, and training that make birth doulas what they are (and what they are not).
Doula-assisted childbirth is growing in popularity year over year . Still, you may encounter surprise or dismissal from family or friends who have never heard of a doula or didn’t use one themselves. But having a birth doula is in fact a tradition that extends through many times and cultures.
Want to learn more? This brief survey of what we know about the history of doula childbirth is a crash course in understanding the history and signifiance of this important part of the birth experience.
Just as every person is different, every doula brings a slightly different approach into the birthing space. Finding the birth doula who is the right match for you isn’t always easy.
Most doulas offer a free consultation meeting where you can interview one another, have a little Q&A session, and mutually decide whether there is a good fit. Essentially, the doula consultation is your opportunity to hold a job interview for your potential doula. But how can you interview someone to do a job you aren't very familiar with yourself?
Here is a list of some of the most helpful questions to ask a potential doula at your interview.
One of the things I hear most often when I am talking to people about what I do is “Wow! I could never do that; I wouldn’t even know how to have a natural birth! It seems so painful and difficult and scary.”
Did you notice those last three words? Helping women face and understand their fears about birth is a huge part of a doula's job. I hear from many women that they are afraid it will be too painful, that it will be too hard, or that they simply can’t do it. They are scared. And you know what? That’s ok. Scared is normal. But it doesn’t need to stop you from giving birth naturally, if that is what you want to do.
Here are a few simple things you can do to improve your chances of having a successful natural birth, even if you're afraid that you can't do it.