Nina Strommen, CD(DONA)
“Birth is an opportunity to transcend. To rise above what we are accustomed to, reach deeper inside ourselves than we are familiar with, and to see not only what we are truly made of, but the strength we can access in and through birth.”
– Marcie Macari
"If a doula were a drug, it would be unethical not to use it."
- John H. Kennell, MD
What is a doula?
The word Doula is of Greek origin, and the traditional meaning is woman servant. It is now used to refer to a trained and experienced professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to a birthing persons before, during and just after birth; or who provides emotional and practical support during the postpartum period. A doula focuses both on the birthing person's comfort, as well as that of their partner.
Giving birth is one of the most profoundly transformational events in a person’s life, and that of the loved ones around them. Continuous emotional and physical support in this precious process by a trained doula does not just benefit the person birthing, but also provides much-needed care for their support person, allowing for a more satisfying birth experience.
A Birth Doula:
- Is trained to understand the physiology of birth as well as the emotional needs of a person in labor
- Assists in preparing for and carrying out plans for birth
- Stays continuously with the birthing family throughout the labor process
- Provides emotional support, physical comfort measures, and an objective viewpoint
- Facilitates communication between the laboring person, their partner and clinical care providers, as well as helping them get the information they needs to make informed decisions
- Allows the birthing person's partner to participate at their comfort level
- Recognizes the birth of their child as a key experience they will remember all their life
- Perceives her role as nurturing and protecting the memory of each birth experience
A Postpartum Doula:
- Offers companionship and nonjudgmental support during the postpartum period, or “the fourth trimester”
- Helps parents learn how to care for their newborn
- Supports the family during the adjustment period by providing meal preparation and light household tidying
- Offers evidence-based information on infant feeding, emotional and physical recovery from birth, infant soothing and coping skills for new parents and makes appropriate referrals when necessary
- Provides community resources for care providers, breastfeeding, baby supplies, parenting, etc.