What is a Doula? Doulas provide families with emotional support, information resources and practical help
A doula is trained in the needs of the family. They provide clients with continuous support during pregnancy, labour, birth, and the postpartum period. Separate to midwife or Public Health Nurse, a Doula is your advocate.
Can anyone simply call themselves a Doula?
No, in the same way you need qualifications to become an architect, a chef, an electrician, a pharmacist, so too do you need training to become a Doula.
You cannot simply start selling meals out of your house without qualifications, insurance, food hygiene training, a food safety and traceability system.
Same applies to Doulas. A professional Doula undergoes training, signs a code of ethics, has appropriate insurance, is Garda vetted, and tax compliant.
It is important to have realistic expectations and information regarding what is 'normal' during pregnancy, birth and postpartum.
A Doula provides independent, evidence based, best practice resources.
Postpartum practical help includes:
· minding baby for parents to sleep/rest or shower/bath or eat or go for walk (whatever parents needs to do),
· minding baby for parents to have time with older siblings,
· minding older siblings for parents to have time with baby,
· nappy changes,
· bath baby,
· feed baby expressed milk or formula,
· wash and sterilise breast pump and/or bottles,
· prepare meals for family,
· batch cook,
· accompany mom to medical appointments,
· laundry (load washing machine/ dryer, fold, iron),
· change bed sheets,
· organise baby clothes for storage,
· organise toys for older siblings,
· assist in any practical way that benefits the family.
A Doula helps with Postpartum queries:
· bonding with baby,
· soothing techniques,
· expressing and storing milk,
· sterilising bottles,
· giving baby a bottle,
· feeding positions,
· baby wearing,
· baby massage,
· safe cosleeping,
· baby sleep,
· washing baby,
· nappy changes,
· baby congestion,
· baby constipation,
· baby starting solids,
· sibling adjustment,
· your partners recovery,
· fears or concerns you would like to discuss?
Check out www.doulahelp.ie to find a Doula and to be certain you are receiving the best support from a Doula that has met these professional requirements