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Doula

 

Indigenous Doula Birth-keeper

What is a Doula

A doula is a trained, non-medical professional who provides continuous physical, emotional, and informational support to the birthing mother and family before, during, and shortly after childbirth to help her achieve the healthiest and most satisfying experience possible. 

Roles and Responsibilities

Before Labor

  • Education: Doulas provide information about pregnancy, labor, and childbirth options, helping parents make informed decisions about their birthing preferences.

  • Preparation: They help parents prepare for childbirth by discussing their preferences and concerns, offering resources, and teaching techniques such as breathing exercises, relaxation methods, and pain management strategies.

  • Emotional Support: Doulas offer emotional support, helping to alleviate anxiety and build confidence in expectant parents.

During Labor

  • Continuous Presence during labor: Unlike medical staff, a doula stays with the mother throughout labor and delivery, providing constant support.

  • Physical Comfort: Doulas assist with physical comfort measures such as massage, positioning, hydrotherapy, and applying heat or cold packs.

  • Emotional Support: They offer encouragement, reassurance, and a calming presence during labor.

  • Advocacy: Doulas help communicate the mother’s wishes to the medical team, ensuring her birth plan is respected and helping navigate any necessary changes.

Post Labor

  • Immediate Postpartum Care: After birth, doulas assist with the initial bonding process between mother and baby, help with breastfeeding, and ensure the mother is comfortable and supported.

  • Postpartum Visit: Provide follow-up visit to support the mother in her recovery, assist with newborn care, and address any concerns or questions.

Benefits of Having a Doula:

  • Improved Birth Outcomes: 

Studies have shown that the presence of a doula can lead to shorter labors, fewer medical interventions (such as cesarean sections or the use of pain medications), and higher satisfaction with the birth experience.

  • Emotional and Physical Support:

Continuous support during labor can reduce stress and anxiety, contributing to a smoother birthing process.

  • Enhanced Communication:

Doulas help ensure that the mother’s preferences and needs are communicated to the medical team, facilitating a more personalized and respectful birth experience.

  • Postpartum Recovery:

Postpartum doulas provide essential support during the critical early weeks after birth, helping mothers recover and adjust to their new roles with confidence.

What is the role of an Indigenous Doula?

While both Indigenous doulas and general doulas provide crucial support to mothers during childbirth, Indigenous doulas offer a specialized approach that is deeply rooted in the cultural, spiritual, and traditional practices of Indigenous communities. This culturally specific support helps Indigenous mothers feel connected to their heritage and ensures that their unique needs and preferences are respected and honored during the childbirth process.

Indigenous doulas help maintain a connection to ancestral practices and community traditions, fostering a sense of continuity and identity. They provide support that extends beyond the physical aspects of childbirth, addressing the spiritual and emotional needs of the mother and family. Indigenous doulas educate families about their cultural heritage and empower them to make informed decisions that align with their traditions and values. And often they advocate for the rights and needs of Indigenous mothers within the healthcare system, helping to navigate systemic barriers and ensuring culturally appropriate care.

Please Note:  This service is not available through Northview Health and Wellness Clinic.  Please contact Chris directly at  604 928 7688 or at chris@chrisjeffreywellness.com

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