What is a Doula?
DOULA (pronounced doola) is an ancient Greek word meaning “woman servant or caregiver”. It now refers to an experienced woman who offers emotional and practical support to a woman (or couple) before, during and after childbirth. A Doula “mothers the mother” – enabling a woman to have the most satisfying and empowered time that she can during pregnancy, birth and the early days as a new mum. Studies have shown that having a Doula present at a birth, shortens first-time labour by an average of 2 hours, decreases the chance of caesarean section by 50%, decreases the need for pain medication, helps the father or chosen partner with confidence and increases success in breastfeeding. (Findings from Mothering the Mother, Klaus, Kennell & Klaus, 1993)
A BIRTH DOULA
- Is an experienced birthworker who provides emotional and physical support throughout labour, delivery and the immediate postpartum period
- Provides informational support for an empowering birth experience
- Helps mothers and partners to discover their own innate strengths
- Is a source of motivation and reassurance during labour
- Helps create and protect intimacy within the birth space
- Helps with the comfort and progression of labour
- Can be extremely helpful during labour and delivery for families who may be experiencing pregnancy loss
Read more about Birth Doulas in this article written by one of our local Doulas;http://www.upfuljournal.com/role-passion-birth-Doula/
A POSTPARTUM DOULA
- Offers a mother unbiased nutritional guidance, breastfeeding education, and evidence-based informational support pertaining to newborn care
- Encourages breastfeeding success
- Increases a mother’s self confidence
- Reduces the incidence of postpartum mood disorders
- Positively impacts mother-child bonding and attachment
- Increases and nurtures a mother’s coping skills
- Smoothes the transition into parenthood and can provide sibling support for those who have more than one child
THE DOULA ALLIANCE OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO
The Doula Alliance of Trinidad and Tobago (DATT) was formed in 2006 to promote, develop and support Doulas and the Doula profession. DATT promotes adherence to a Code of Ethics and Code of Practice and provides high quality support to clients as an effective means of improving maternal and child health.
The Alliance is a comprehensive training and certifying body for Birth & Postpartum Doulas. The Doula Alliance of Trinidad & Tobago serves to teach, support and certify professionals who aim to inspire positive and sustainable social change with regard to pregnancy, birth and newborn care locally and beyond. Currently there are over 50 trained Doulas who have so far supported thousands of mothers and families. This includes Doulas who are available at Mt Hope Women’s Hospital. Doulas are actively working to improve the birth and postpartum experiences of the women of Trinidad and Tobago.
CHOOSING A DOULA
When choosing a Doula, it is important to remember that the Doula will be sharing in one of the most profound and intimate times of your life. It is essential that you feel completely comfortable, safe and empowered with your Doula. Please feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call (868) 707-5279 to find a Doula who is the best fit for you.
To read testimonials from parents who had a doula at their birth session, please follow this link: http://mamatoto.net/birth-centre/Doula-testimonials/