How do you doula
Tuesday, Mar 11, 2014 06:00 am
For women, pregnancy is more than just a medical concern – it’s also an emotional one. That’s why you call a doula, said Christa Duquette, who practises as a doula in Olds.
Duquette said a doula is defined as a woman experienced in childbirth who provides emotional support, physical comfort and advocates for a mother’s wishes. The point is to supplement medical professionals by caring for the client’s emotional needs.
“Our job is to help them have the most satisfying birth that they hope for,” Duquette said. “The doula is (bridging) the gap between the medicalized (sic) part of birth and the emotional side of birth.”
"A mother would want a doula at her birth to create a more intimate and satisfying birth experience, so a birth where she felt supported in her wishes," she continued.
Duquette, who has been trained by Doulas of North America International, explained that doulas discuss with their client what kind of birth they seek, whether it’s natural (without drugs), or on the opposite end of the spectrum, a caesarean section. If the mother wants pain relief, doulas will help them get it, Duquette added.
They also make sure mothers know the right questions to ask health-care providers, she said.
From March 22 to 28, Duquette and about a dozen other doulas in Olds will be observing World Doula Week. They will be hosting film screenings and meet and greets to educate the public about their role in the birth process.
Doulas are also divided into two categories: birth and post-partum, Duquette said.
Birth doulas provide assistance to mothers and their partners when the mother is in labour. Post-partum doulas provide advice on issues after the pregnancy, such as breastfeeding.
Anybody who has given birth is qualified to be a doula, Duquette said. But to be a certified one, a prospective doula must go through extensive training, testing and practical experience, she continued.
Duquette started doula training in Calgary two years ago. In her classes, she’s taught how to be attentive to clients’ needs and to speak up for them. She’s also learned techniques to physically comfort a mother, such as pressure point treatment and massage.
“We talk a lot about mothering the mother,” she said.
The following is a list of World Doula Week events in the area:
March 18 - Le Leche League Canada Olds meeting
10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. Olds Scout Hall - Question and Answer
March 21- Mom's Time Out
10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. - Former Word of Life Church
The Essential Ingredient: DOULA - Screening
March 25 and 27- Parent Link, Olds location
9 a.m. – 11 a.m.- Question and Answer
March 28 - Mayton Mom's Group - east of Olds
10 a.m. - Question and Answer.