top of page

Finding the Perfect Doula: Which Type is Right for You?

Updated: Jul 8





Great Morning to you all!


If this is your first time checking out this website, welcome to our community and welcome to your journey of motherhood! To our existing community, welcome back and join in on the discussion!


With the alarmingly rising maternal morbidity and mortality rates in women, especially in black women and other women of color, check out my previous blog, doulas and midwives are finally getting the recognition they deserve; however, it is unfortunate that at the many lives of women that it takes a public health issue to finally bring birth workers into the forefront when we have existed and worked with mothers since, forever.


This segment educates new mothers or existing mothers looking for further support in motherhood. Mothers often want to be prepared for the birth of their newborn child. Are you beginning to map out your birthing team? Are you aware of what a birthing team is? What is a doula? Do I need a doula? Are there different types of doulas? Hopefully, this blog will answer your questions, so let's get into it.


What is a birthing team?

A birth team consists of individuals chosen to support an expectant parent during labor, delivery, and sometimes the postpartum period (Deb et al., 2024). Who you select for this team greatly influences your birthing experience. A strong support team before, during, and after childbirth can significantly contribute to a positive and satisfying birth experience (Deb et al., 2024).


A birthing team can consist of the following:

  • OB/GYN

  • Midwife

  • Doula

  • LND Nurse

  • Birth Assistant


What is a Doula?

A doula is a trained professional who offers continuous physical, emotional, and informational support before, during, and shortly after childbirth to help clients accomplish the healthiest and most satisfying experience possible (DONA International, 2023). Doulas are certified but NOT clinically licensed providers. They cannot diagnose or treat.


Here is a list from the Good Doula of things that a doula does not do:


1. Doulas do not check your baby's heartbeat during pregnancy or take any vitals on mom or baby


2. Doulas do not do exams to check for cervical dilation or labor progression


3. Doulas do not provide prenatal medical care or exams of any kind


4. Doulas do not give medical advice or diagnose any medical conditions


5. Doulas do not deliver the baby


6. Doulas do not take the partner's place (unless there is no involved partner)


7. Doulas do not make medical decisions for the mom or the baby


8. Doulas do not impose their own beliefs or ideals on their client


9. Doulas do not only attend home births. They also attend births at birth centers and hospitals.


10. Doulas do not guarantee outcomes. For example, in the case of a VBAC, because many things are out of our control

(Llc, 2021)


Are there different types of doulas?

Yes, there is, and you may choose any doula based on your needs and wants. Want to know what is best for you? Here are some details about different kinds of doulas and the services they can provide:


Birth Doulas

Birth doulas are the most well-known doulas. They provide continuous physical, emotional, and informational support to a mother before, during, and shortly after childbirth. Birth doulas help with pain management techniques, such as breathing exercises and positions, and advocate for the birthing mother's wishes in the delivery room. Their presence can significantly impact the birthing experience, offering reassurance and expertise (Baldovinos, 2023).


Postpartum Doulas

Postpartum doulas specialize in the care and support of the mother and family after the baby is born. They assist with breastfeeding, help establish routines, and provide practical support around the house, like light cleaning and meal preparation. Postpartum doulas are essential for helping families transition smoothly into their new roles and ensuring the mother's physical and emotional recovery (American Pregnancy Association, 2023).


Bereavement Doulas

Doulas who specialize in bereavement work support families through their grieving process. They offer emotional and practical support, helping families navigate their grief and find resources for healing. Their compassionate presence can be incredibly comforting during such a difficult time (Olson, 2022).


Menstrual Doulas

Menstrual Doulas are a newer but growing field. They focus on supporting individuals through their menstrual cycles. They provide education on menstrual health, help manage period pain, and offer resources to address menstrual-related issues like period poverty. This holistic support can empower individuals to better understand and care for their reproductive health.


Full Spectrum Doula

A full-spectrum doula is a non-medical care worker who provides support through the entire pregnancy journey, from preconception to birth and includes assistance during experiences like abortion, miscarriage, and adoption. They offer emotional, physical, and informational support throughout these stages (Badt, 2023).


How to Choose the Right Doula for You

Choosing the right doula depends on your specific needs and circumstances. Consider the following:

  • Your Stage of Pregnancy: Are you seeking support during pregnancy, birth, or postpartum?

  • Your Specific Needs: Do you need practical help, emotional support, or both?

  • Family Considerations: Do you have other children who might benefit from a sibling doula?

  • Exceptional Circumstances: Are you experiencing a high-risk pregnancy or dealing with loss?

  • Menstruation Needs: Looking for a holistic approach to fibroids, endometriosis, or other menstrual conditions? Need support and education with the transition into menopause?


Do you have more questions or concerns? Join our community and contact our certified Menstrual Doula, Nicky Dawkins.



References


American Pregnancy Association. (2023, November 30). Having a Doula – What are the Benefits? https://americanpregnancy.org/healthy-pregnancy/labor-and-birth/having-a-doula/


Badt. (2023, May 11). Your FAQs about Full-Spectrum Doula Training answered — Birthing Advocacy Doula Trainings. Birthing Advocacy Doula Trainings. https://www.badoulatrainings.org/blog/your-faqs-about-full-spectrum-doula-training-answered


Baldovinos, S. (2023, March 17). Discover your perfect doula: 8 types of doulas to consider | Motherhood Center. Motherhood Center. https://www.motherhoodcenter.com/8-types-of-doulas/


Deb, Deb, & Deb. (2024, June 20). What Is A Birth Team & How To Choose The Right Team Members. Prenatal Yoga Center - prenatalyogacenter.com. https://prenatalyogacenter.com/birth-team/


DONA International. (2023, June 23). What is a Doula - DONA International. https://www.dona.org/what-is-a-doula-2/


Llc, G. D. (2021, April 26). 10 things Doulas do and 10 things Doulas don’t do. The Good Doula LLC. https://www.thegooddoulallc.com/post/a-doula-s-scope-of-practice-10-things-doulas-do-and-10-things-doulas-don-t-do


Olson, J. (2022, April 20). All kinds of doulas. Plumtree Baby. https://www.plumtreebaby.com/blogs/news/13906113-all-kinds-of-doulas

5 views0 comments

Comments


bottom of page