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Many cultures have a tradition

after a baby is born of caring for the

mother and the newborn.

When Do I Hire a Post-Partum Doula?


Ideally it is good to interview your post-partum doula before the arrival of the baby.  In month 7 or 8 of your pregnancy, I will come to your house for a home visit, give you the information about the kind of service I offer and answer any questions you may have.  If you and I feel that we would work well together I will then put together a contract that meets your needs.


What Questions Should I Ask a Doula Before I Hire Her?


The DONA website has a helpful list of questions you could ask your prospective post-partum doula.

 

How Much Does a Doula Cost?

 

Rates for doulas vary between $20-$35. My rates are $25/hour. I also have a variety of packages to

meet your family's needs. I adhere to the International Doula Association principle that every mother

deserves a doula. If you feel you cannot afford my services,

please contact me so that we can see if we can find a way to meet your needs.

 

When Does a Doula Work?^Top


I generally work daytime hours with a minimum 4 hour shift. Some evening hours are also possible.

If you are looking for overnight coverage, please contact me so that I can refer you to one

of my experienced colleagues.

 

What Kind of Education Do Doulas Have?


I have 10 years experience working in community health both in Canada and abroad. The doula training is offered through Douglas College and the International Doula Association (DONA). I have also worked as a breast feeding peer counsellor in the Netherlands and have completed the Douglas College Breastfeeding for Health Care Professionals Course and am certified in infant CPR. As a member of the BC Doula Services Association, and DONA, I am committed to continuing education and regularly attend continuing education both for doulas and breastfeeding professionals.


Do Doulas Teach a Particular Type of Parenting Approach?


No. DONA International doulas are educated to support a mothers’ parenting approach.

Doulas are good listeners and encourage mothers to develop their own philosophies.


What Does a Doula Do?


What a post-partum doula does changes from day to day, as the needs of the family change.

Post-partum doulas do whatever a mother needs to best enjoy and care for her new baby. A large

part of their role is education. They share information about baby care with parents, as well as teach siblings and partners to “mother the mother.” They assist with breastfeeding education. Post-partum doulas also make sure the mother is fed, well hydrated and comfortable.


Why do I Need a Post-Partum Doula? ^Top


Many cultures have a tradition after a baby is born of caring for the mother and the newborn. This transitional period usually lasts around 40 days.  During this time special food is prepared for the mother and she is not expected to do anything except rest. Family members are there to provide emotional and social support and to care for the rest of the family. In a time when families do not always live close by and when work schedules do not allow for long holidays, Western culture has mostly lost this tradition. After giving birth a mother needs to recover from childbirth and adjust to her role as mother. This can be an exciting and magical time. It can also be a time of emotional fragility. Having an empathetic,

non-judgmental, and skilled doula, who can teach you about your baby and give you the time and space to bond with your newborn, can be a wonderful way to ease the transition to parenthood.  Families who don't have near-by family and who seek extra support, benefit enormously from having a doula.


Is Hiring a Doula Really Worth It?


Having a mother who is relaxed, confident, and enjoying her post-partum period is priceless. Both in terms of the emotional development of the baby, as well as the general well being for

everyone in the family.


How Does a Doula Nurture Parents into Their New Roles?


Self-confidence has a tremendous impact on a person’s ability to approach any task, and parenting

is no different. DONA International doulas are taught to always consider parent feelings and always build confidence whenever possible. Doulas accomplish this through praise, acceptance and a

non-judgmental approach. In addition, the doula will teach parents strategies and skills that will

improve their ability to bond with their babies. A calm baby who is growing well will help parents

to feel more confident in their skills.


How Long Does a Doula Work with a Family? ^Top


In general post-partum doulas work from the time the baby and mother come home until

approximately 6 weeks. This can depend on the family situation . Multiples or challenging

situations will sometimes take longer.


What is the Difference Between a Baby Nurse and a Doula?


A baby nurse cares only for the baby.  A post-partum doula cares for the whole family unit

and supports the transition to a new family in a practical as well as emotional manner.


What Can a Doula Do for the Father or Partner?


Research has proven that mothers and babies have an easier transition with support. However, fathers experience great life transitions of their own at this time and may not be able to be the primary provider of the transitional support their families need. Fathers are redefining their roles; they may also be adjusting to sleep deprivation, financial pressures and other stressors as well. The doula's support is for the father as much as the mother or children. A sympathetic ear, source of encouragement, gentle educator, and friend is something from which we could all benefit throughout our lives. The post-partum doula provides all of these during this defining life experience. Doulas can also help the father to learn the art of mothering the mother, increasing chances for success in areas such as breastfeeding and reduction of post-partum depression. Rather than being told to help out, partners and other family members benefit from concrete instruction and role-modeling on how to support a woman during the weeks after birth.For more info see Dads and Doulas from the DONA website.


Do Doulas Help Mothers Deal with Post-Partum Depression? ^Top


Unlike therapists or psychiatrists, doulas do not treat post-partum depression. However, they will help by creating a safe place for the mother emotionally. The doula will provide a cushioning effect by accepting the mother within each stage that she passes through. They relieve some of the pressure on the new mother by helping her move into her new responsibilities gradually. By mothering the mother, doulas make sure that the mother feels nurtured and cared for, as well as making sure she is eating well and getting enough sleep. In addition, DONA International certified post-partum doulas are trained to help clients prepare themselves for parenthood, maximizing support and rest. These doulas will help their clients to screen themselves for PPMDs and will make referrals to appropriate clinicians or support groups as needed.


How Do Post-Partum Doulas Work with a Mother's Partner?


A doula respects the partner’s role and input, and teaches concrete skills that will help the partner nurture the baby and mother. The doula will share evidence-based information with the partner that shows how his or her role in the early weeks will have a dramatic and positive effect on the family.

 

 

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Melina Auerbach 2010 | Doula Services in Vancouver, Burnaby and North Vancouver

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