Doulas are non-medical professionals trained to provide continuous physical, emotional and informational support to a woman and her partner before, during and after childbirth. This can apply to a woman planning a physiological birth, home birth, hospital birth or a planned caesarean.
Many cultures ensure that a birthing woman is surrounded by women (Doulas) who are experienced in childbirth for protection, comfort and confidence.
Sometimes just having another woman there to connect with can be incredibly nurturing and increase the confidence of the birthing woman by having that female understanding and connection.
This in no way is meant to replace the role of the partner who is there to love, support and protect the mother as well.
Having a doula present aids both the mother and partner.
Obstetricians, midwives and nurses are responsible for monitoring labour, assessing the medical condition of the mother and baby and treating complications when they arise; but birth is also an emotional, energetic and spiritual experience with a long-term impact on a woman’s personal wellbeing.
Doulas do not provide any type of medical care; however, they do provide evidence-based information and research to help their clients gain a better understanding of medical procedures and encourage the couple to ask all the right questions to ensure they are making the right choices for their birth.
Studies have shown that in the presence of a Doula, partners felt more satisfied with their role and mothers felt their birth was a more positive and empowering experience.
Research also shows that Doulas help to lower caesarean rates and interventions because they are completely focused on the mums’ needs and not the medical environment.
The way a woman feels about her birth and the way she is treated during her labour and birth can and will have an enormous effect on her postpartum experiences, so Doulas ensure that the mother is feeling safe, calm, supported and respected.
While supporting a woman during labour a Doula’s primary role is to encourage her to release and let go, breathe, move and focus.
We will provide you with this research and show you how to present this to prospective clients, particularly the partners so they will see the key benefits of having you as their Doula and sharing in their birthing journey.
The Doula Training Academy was established to educate, inform, encourage, research and to provide an ongoing support network for Doulas across Australia.
At the Doula Training Academy, we embrace the collective knowledge gained from training, tradition and experience and this is passed down from generation to generation – like a legend or folklores. We recognise that it is not just about being present at a woman’s birth – there is so much more to being a doula. Being a doula is about “listening” to a mother, so you hear and acknowledge her hopes, fears and doubts. It is about “open discussion” with her to develop a birth plan that encourages autonomy, alternatives and choices.
It is about building “rapport” with her and her partner so that they trust you. It is about “eliminating your ego” as you can never think you know it all – every day you must strive to learn something new or different, and that will always highlight you as a quality service that provides a woman “satisfaction that exceeds her expectations.”
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