What is a doula?
A doula is a companion who provides non-judgemental support to families as they transition through the experiences of conception, pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period.
A doula does not provide clinical care and is instead trained to provide customized informational, emotional, and physical support to help individuals meet their pregnancy, birthing and postpartum goals. Some birth doulas start relationships with families long before birth during the prenatal period, while others meet birthing persons immediately before, during or after birth. The use of a doulas is low-risk, highly effective and also known to improve birth outcomes from pain management to medical interventions.
BIRTH DOULA: Doula who provides continuous support during labor, birth and immediate postpartum period.
POSTPARTUM DOULA: Doula who provides pre-scheduled, intermittent in-person support during the first several weeks of infancy.
PRENATAL: The period of time before childbirth.
POSTPARTUM: The period of time after childbirth.
MIDWIFE: A trained professional who oversees the reproductive medical care of individuals, especially during pregnancy and birth.
OB-GYN: A medical doctor and surgeon who oversees the reproductive medical care of individuals, especially during pregnancy and birth and who specializes in the treatment of higher-risk pregnancy and cesarean surgery.
LACTATION CONSULTANT: A trained professional who assists individuals with human lactation, breast/chest-feeding, and pumping.
PERINATAL MOOD AND ANXIETY DISORDERS (PMAD) - Psychological and emotional shifts that result from experiences during childbirth and postpartum. These are more serious than the usual transition-related bumps, and many times benefit from professional help and support.