As some of you may know, its world doula week! But a lot of you might not know what a doula even does. A doula is a pregnancy, labor, delivery and postpartum companion who provides the laboring person and their partner physical and emotional support.
During pregnancy a doula can:
1. Help you prepare for different birth outcomes 2. Teach you breathing and relaxation techniques 3. Help you with your birth plan 4. Use light touch during labor to help you relax 5. Help you adjust into positions that can help bring you comfort during labor 6. HOLD SPACE 7. Help advocate your preferences to your labor and delivery staff 8. Help support your partner while they support you 9. Help with breastfeeding education 10. Find you valuable resources for various different pregnancy, labor and delivery and postpartum needs (I.e. resources for lactation consultants, chiropractors, various techniques, etc.) 11. Help you stay rested, hydrated and fed
Beyond that, doulas are people who naturally show a great amount of compassion and love towards other humans and having doula support can help you towards your goals of a positive birth experience. A doula doesn’t only support the laboring person, but also their partner so their partner is able to focus more on you, the birth process and your new baby.
As a birth photographer, I have had the pleasure of working with and meeting various doulas in the Salt Lake County, Utah County, Davis County and Weber County areas and I can say without a doubt that they’ve all been the most compassionate humans who are concerned with the safety and happiness of their clients.
I have learned a great deal about birth and the pregnancy/birth/postpartum process from these amazing ladies and I think it’s so important to hire a doula during your birth. They can provide a type of continuous support that is invaluable during the birth process.