What is a Birth Doula? Bradley Doula? Natural Doula?

For many expecting mothers, the shear thought of going through labor for the first time (or again) induces an ominous fear of the unknown. What if it hurts? What if I can’t do it? What if I’m not strong enough? And for many expecting mothers, that’s it—the questions don’t get answered. Fortunately for you the word(s), Doula, birth coach, birth companion, and Birth Doula were thrown your way.

So what is a Birth Doula? Or Bradley Doula? Or Natural Doula?

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A Birth Doula is (aside from being the best person ever) an inspirer; your Doula will give you the support you need during labor to push through the pain, keep you motivated, and unlock a strength you didn’t know existed in you. All of this awesomeness is part of a Doulas job, but the true objective is to help you meet your little one as soon as possible in a healthy, and safe way.

A Birth Doula is a professional who has been trained and is certified to support you during a hospital birth, birth center birth, home birth, and water birth.

The best Doulas are typically ones that also have formal training in childbirth education such as The Bradley Method. Bradley Method Doulas are advantageous because they are with you during your three months of childbirth education, which gives you and your partner an opportunity to bond, and collaborate for the birth you want.

Let’s learn about the history of Doulas

The word Doula was first used in the 1960s to describe a woman who would tend and assist to a laboring mother’s needs during childbirth. The word comes from an old Greek word, Doule, which means female servant and was modernized and used in a study by Dana Raphael. In modern times; a Doula takes pride in serving her laboring mother.

However, Doulas have been around in many cultures for many years. Sometimes they go by the name Doula, other times they are a wise grandmother, a village expert, or a best friend. Whatever the case, they’re main focus is to serve the laboring mother. If you can imagine a mother consoling her daughter during labor, then it’s just as easy to imagine Doulas being around since the beginning of time.

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You may be asking yourself; “What does Doula support look like?”, “What does a Doula do during labor/childbirth and maybe even after?”

Your Doula can support in various specific, and general ways. The following are examples. Sometimes your Doula will offer physical support in the form of holding you up while you’re laboring in different positions, or massaging your back in an attempt to turn a posterior baby. Sometimes your Doula will offer emotional support in the form of birth affirmations, or calming and directing your husband/partner down during a trying moment. Sometimes your Doula will offer educational support such as being your Bradley Method Educator, or helping you question/challenge a medical intervention through facts and logic. Your Doula will also be an advocate for you—it’s your birth, and your Doula will make sure it goes your way! Your Doula will also help you settle down and settle in when the baby is born, by helping you breastfeed, clean, gather items, prep your meal, or take some snapshots of mom, dad, and baby.

This all sounds great, but now you’re probably wondering “what is dad going to do?”, “how does my partner fit into this?”

Simple, Your Doula isn’t going to take your husband’s or partner’s place. Instead, your Doula will support your partner and husband to be a better coach for you during labor. A great and experienced Doula knows what her role is and everyone else’s role too. Your Doula will never overstep a boundary.

Doulas can be used in all types of birth, whether it’s a natural birth, water birth, conventional birth, un-medicated birth, vbac birth, medicated birth, hospital birth, roadside birth, placenta birth, etc.. Your Doula is prepared to help you in any and all situations.

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The word Doula evokes a proud and honorable feeling for moms and for the Doula herself. Your experience working with a Doula will leave a lasting happy impression.

If you’re interested in learning more about Doulas  and our Doula services we offer, please contact us at christygochez@babylovencp.com or DM us on Instagram via @babylovencp. We’re always excited to answer any questions you have.