What Is A Postpartum Doula And Will I Need One?

Doulas can be extremely helpful to mothers during childbirth, but they can also help you and your family adjust after the birth.

The word “Doula” is being used more and more these days in Ireland and that really is a great thing. 

A Doula is essentially a support for a woman during pregnancy, birth and beyond. Their role is to help and empower women during the challenging and intense realities of childbirth. The support that a Doula offers is steeped in both the physical and the emotional. A Doula will not perform clinical procedures or replace the role of the midwife/doctor.  

The fact that she is separate from the medical elements of the birth affords her the opportunity to really focus on the woman. She can ensure the mum-to-be has enough pillows and drinks. She can hold her hand and help her to breathe effectively through contractions.   

She is essentially an assistant who aims to reduce stress, discomfort and fear during all stages of the birthing process. A Doula is a pregnant mums advocate and will have a very clear picture of her birth preferences and the vision she has for the birthing process.  

For these reasons, a Doula plays a huge role in the experience for all members of the family. Their work can have a hugely positive effect on the wellbeing of the partner and other children in the home because stress is at a minimum and support at an all-time high. A positive birth experience leaves more time to enjoy the baby as a family.  

There are different types of Doulas. Some can offer support before and during the birth process while others can assist the family after the baby has come too. A postpartum doula could really make all the difference to your family. 

Person holding a baby
A Doula is a support for a woman during pregnancy, birth and beyond.

Those first few weeks after a baby arrives are full of the unknown. You are thrown into the thick of it directly after the intensity of giving birth. There is no time to catch your breath and rest before you jump into the new role of mother to this new baby.  A postpartum doula can make this transition infinitely easier by helping you in some of the following ways:  

  • They will offer evidence-based advice and support to you when you are feeling vulnerable and lacking confidence. They will always be a non-judgemental source of support. 
  • Help the new mum establish breastfeeding by educating her and helping with the emotional and physical elements. 
  • Help with nappy changes and soothing the baby between feeds so that that the mum can get some rest. 
  • Help with light housework and meal preparation. 
  • Help the family adjust to the change in dynamic with the arrival of a new baby. 
  • Help with some childcare to allow parents to rest, shower or eat. 

Doulas are highly trained in their profession. It is a vocational role that works differently for every family. If you would like to avail of their services visit www.doulacare.ie 

Tracey Quinn

Proud mum of two who got married on Don't Tell The Bride and had an accidental home-birth (loves a good story). She's passionate about breastfeeding, positive thinking & all things cosy.

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