Mother Breastfeeding Baby
What is a doula?

A doula, like a midwife, is a trained professional who accompanies their clients through pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period (known as the "fourth trimester").

Unlike midwives, however, doulas are not medically trained.

A doula is an expert on the care and comfort of a birthing person and their immediate family. 

A doula is sensitive to the emotional, physical, and sometimes spiritual needs of her clients.

A doula, armed with information, advocates for her clients' rights and preferences within the medicalized birthing space.

A doula understands that birth can be terrifying, powerful, chaotic and sacred.

Whether supporting families before, during or after a birth, a doula is someone who listens to you, cares for you, educates you, fights for you, and is there for you when you need it most! 

What does a postpartum doula do?

A postpartum doula supports you after the birth of your baby and, depending on your needs...

  • cares for the entire family, not just mother (birthing parent) and baby

  • offers evidence-based information on infant care and safety

  • tends to baby while you rest and heal (especially after a c-section)

  • recommends soothing comfort measures for your physical recovery

  • provides overnight support with feeding and care

  • respects your identity, your cultural practices and beliefs

  • acknowledges your fears and concerns without judgment

  • provides knowledgeable support for lactation and nursing, or formula feeding

  • keeps you and your family nourished by preparing meals and snacks

  • runs errands, i.e. for groceries, pharmacy

  • assists with the housekeeping and baby's laundry

  • helps you understand healthy and normal newborn behaviour

  • can recognize the signs of postpartum mental health disorders

  • refers you to specialists and community supports as needed

  • accompanies you and your baby to appointments 

  • supports the emotional transition of siblings, partners, grandparents and pets

 

Postpartum doulas do not...

  • Give unsolicited advice about parenting

  • Diagnose medical conditions or perform clinical tasks

  • Babysit your child(ren) while you go out

  • Replace the love and support of your family and friends