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  • Writer's pictureChardá Bell, IBCLC, CBE, CD

What is A Doula?

a protector of your energy, space and soul...

A doula is a non-clinical support person who may work within a medical space but does not provide medical support of any kind. A doula is a protector, they protect your space, energy and choices for your family and to ensure you have a more positive birthing and/or reproductive experience.

A doula provides comfort measures to help cope with the discomforts of laboring, mental and emotional support as well as educational support to empower you to make sound decisions based on evidence based information. I love the fact that as a doula, I don’t box myself into birth as most people associate the word doula with birth but for me, it’s birth, death and life all in one. I can and have been there for all of these events as a doula and therefore consider myself a full spectrum doula.

You do not need a certification but I decided to do it in order to make my clients and community know I have done the work to prove I know this stuff! I recently re-certified through Jennie Joseph Common Sense Childbirth Institute, which is a different organization than my previous one. I chose not to go through DONA due to high cost and negative peer feedback on the training.

As a doula, I ask what you need and I provide it the best I can, if you don’t know what you need, oftentimes as a doula I do know and will make suggestions to encourage progress and positivity. I will also be with you on your journey for as long as you will have me. Hospital for 24 hours? I’m there all 24, yes I might need to take a couple breaks but so will your partner and that’s why doulas are so important! Birth can be a very lengthy process for most and there is no way to know how your labor will go.

Home birth, I’m there with you even more than a hospital birth, because access is easier. C-section, yep, I can be there for that too...if you don’t have a partner present to go in the surgical suite with you and also immediately after in your recovery room.

Unfortunately, I’ve been there for losses as well and even IVF and other fertility/reproductive planning and appointments. As a doula, I support you through life changes and make those changes make sense and be easier for you to adapt and adjust. I’m there as a milk doula, sibling doula, or new parent doula. There are a lots of ways to doula, we must begin to think of doula as a verb.

Not only that, but it’s a way of life, it’s a God given skill and talent that can be done anywhere for anyone. I say the world needs more doulas in general because life is hard, and we all need each other to get through it together. What better way to serve this earth and our community than provide support to those who need it and when they need it most. Power to all the doulas those who are certified of just doulas at heart, we are all a piece of the puzzle.

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