Happy Doula Day! Today, March 22 marks the first day of “World Doula Week”. This day was originally chosen in 2011 because it was the Spring Equinox, a day celebrated in many cultures as the return of fertility.
The purpose of World Doula Week is to show support for Doulas in their roles. To empower them to continue putting birthing and new families needs first and therefore ‘improving the physiological, social, emotional and psychological health of women, newborns and families in birth and in the postpartum period.’ (WDW March 15, 2021)
Doulas are hired privately by expecting parents to help support them emotionally and physically before, during and after birth. They provide information and resources on anything birth and new baby related. Birth doulas support the expecting parents during pregnancy, labour and delivery by providing evidence based information, physical comfort ideas and encouraging them to prepare both physically and mentally before birth for a more positive experience. This could include less intervention during labour and birth or going in knowing what intervention they may prefer, less labour time and most importantly a more empowered and positive outlook of their experience. Birth doulas go to the birthing clients as soon as they are needed during labour and stay to support both parents continuously throughout and into the immediate postpartum time.
Postpartum doulas ensure that a new mom gets the physical, emotional and mental support that she needs once she is home with the baby. This includes making sure that the mom is well rested, fed nourishing and healing foods, mentally at ease and cared for as she deserves. Essentially, the mom is nurtured in her recovery and supported in her journey as a new parent. As much as postpartum doulas absolutely love holding and being with new babies, their primary concern is the new mom and her physical and mental well being. Making sure she feels loved, safe, supported and so importantly, not alone. Filling the gap in health care and relieving other family members/helpers who may also be learning their new role or trying to juggle life as they go.
As doulas, we know the struggles, the triumphs, the feeling of loss or insecurity, sleepless nights, worry and absolute love. We know how difficult it may be for a person to ask for help as well as the expectations that a new mom can put on herself in pregnancy and parenthood. We know that sometimes all it takes is an unbiased listening ear and a good nights sleep or just those two extra hands to help ease the load.
There are many of us in the Sea to Sky area. Look us up. Love your local Doula. It will definitely be passed forward!
Birth and Postpartum Doula