Doulas

 

Hiring a doula to provide labour support (and often prenatal preparation and help after the birth as well) is an option many families choose. There are many doulas and doula practices in the Edmonton area.

Doula is a Greek word which has come to mean:

 “A woman experienced in childbirth who provides continuous physical, emotional, and informational support to the mother before, during and just after childbirth.”

 A doula:

 Recognizes birth as a key life experience that the birthing person will remember all their life

  • Stays by the side of the labouring person throughout labour and delivery
  • Understands the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of the person in labour
  • Assists families in preparing for and carrying out their plans for birth
  • Provides emotional support, physical guidance and comfort techniques, an objective viewpoint, and information to aid in decision making
  • Facilitates communication between the labouring person, their partner, and the other care providers
  • Complements the care provided by partners, other family members, and friends

Many organizations offer doula training and certification, including DONA (Doulas of North America)CAPPA (Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association)Birth Works (TM), and Birthing From Within (TM). Most trainings include a weekend course with follow-up homework and hands-on experience for those who want to become certified.

Anyone can act as labour support, as many friends and relatives have done, however the training prepares doulas to offer quality emotional, physical, and educational support to families during childbirth and postpartum. Certification is a further step that some doulas follow if they are planning to continue working as a professional doula. In some areas, there are hospital volunteer-doula programs, but so far doulas are not regulated by governments anywhere in North America.

Following are links to the websites of some local doulas.  ASAC does not endorse any particular doula, and strongly recommends that you interview a doula before engaging their services. If you need help or suggestions preparing for an interview, please contact ASAC at info@asac.ab.ca or the Doula Association of Edmonton (DAE).

Listings for Doula’s may be found in our Community Resources and Business Listings.  

 

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