World Doula Week

By Meida v. Baal, doula and maternity nurse

March 22-28, 2018 is World Doula Week. This is a perfect time to discuss what a doula does.

So what does a doula do?

On almost every doula site you can read the types of services offered that promotes emotional, informational, physical comfort, and advocacy. It is not until after the birth when couples get a clear sense of what doulas do. Why is that? Firstly, women labor many hours and in those hours a doula does so many tasks. We all work differently, but we are all similar in the way that we want to provide a comfortable environment for women to birth. Throughout my time with couples in the delivery room, I am constantly interchanging my role and tasks according to the situation. I teach, cheer, listen, advise, advocate, and support. A doula is always multi-tasking.

Secondly, a doula can do whatever you want her to do. Do you want a doula for childbirth preparation, for placenta encapsulation, for birth photography or for the birth only? There are many doulas in the Netherlands, and many of us specialize in particular services. Therefore, it is important to find a doula you are comfortable with and one that will offer the service you are looking for.

Most importantly, every woman labors and births differently. It is difficult to specifically say what a doula will do for that specific woman. There is not one magic coping mechanism to use during labor. If there was, ladies all over the world would be able to deliver with ease. Whether it is in the delivery room or at home after the birth, I work closely with couples to help find their coping mechanism so they can adjust better to changes. Light massage or acupressure might help one woman, while words of encouragement will help another.

If you are interested to know more about what doulas do, contact one today.