Doula - All you need to know about their supporting role and how to find them in Barcelona
Updated: Jul 8, 2021
Doula, a word you might have heard and don´t know exactly what it means or relates to or you might be very familiar with since it's becoming more and more common to hear.
In this article, we will answer relevant questions such as what is a doula and the support they provide, insights of how to find a good doula and the options available in Barcelona.
What is a doula
A doula is someone who provides emotional, physical comfort and support to mothers before, during, and after labor and childbirth. A very special period when women are going through a broad number of emotions, might feel vulnerable and where having proper support can make a difference.
They don't only focus on the times around the birth of the baby, they also provide support in the process of infertility and perinatal loss or any other topic related to Motherhood.
Their main mission is to comfort the mother and the family members, helping them feel safe and confident, informed and aware of their options complementing the role of healthcare professionals.
They´re not medical professionals and their role is different from midwives and obgyns which have a medical background. All roles should be complementary to each other and work as a team.
When are doulas most needed?
Doulas provide their support mostly before, during and after labor and childbirth. Depending on the doula, she might be focusing on one area or covering all.
Let's see the details:
Preparation of birth and Birth - Doulas can help you find the right giving birth preparation courses or provide some specific courses themselves depending on their professional training background.
Doulas may support you during labor and birth in addition to the partner, family member or friend. They normally have formal training in labor support that will come very handy. (Due to COVID-19 situation, the regulation was updated and only one companion was allowed during labor).
Their role during labor is mainly support to the mothers providing
Physical comfort helping with massage, breathing or relaxation techniques
Emotional support using comforting words, encouragement or confirmation that all is going well. They are there to listen to whatever you need to share.
Providing information about giving birth different phases, where you are and and what's coming as well as providing non-medical pain relief options
Being the main communication point of contact when you talk to other healthcare professionals. Might come handy when you don't speak the language or feel overwhelmed.
Support to other members of the family. They can help with logistics if there are other siblings or partners who need some support because they feel anxious or nervous.
Some studies have shown the positive impact of having a doula during birth and how mothers perceived giving birth experience.
I wish I could have had their support during the delivery. The midwife who attended me was very tough and made me feel very weak in a moment where I most needed a comforting and supportive feeling. Some small events can influence the way you feel and definitely change your perception of giving birth when having the right support becomes key.
Postpartum - First days and weeks after delivery, might become stressful. Doulas provide emotional, educational and practical support at home. They help families with topics so important as feeding the baby, either breastfeeding or formula, baby care (baths, umbilical cord care and other topics), emotional support for the whole family, siblings care or logistics at home that become challenging once a new baby arrives at home.
Their main mission is to allow families to adjust to the new reality with less stress and more confidence, knowing that they're in good hands and that any doubt or question about the baby's care will be taken care of.
There is some evidence that having a doula during the first weeks increases breastfeeding options and decreases postpartum depression.
Questions to take into account when looking for a doula
Ok… so we have learnt what a doula is and their areas of expertise. In this section, we will provide some guidance of potential questions you might want to ask in order to find a good match for your family.
After all and as in many other aspects in life, it all comes down to the connection you have with the particular person. Having said that, there are certain questions you might want to ask in order to have a feeling of how it will go and if you’re on the same vibe.
Here are some that you can take as a reference:
training, skills, and experience
how many births she has attended
her philosophy when it comes to labor and childbirth
the type of support she provides during labor and childbirth as well as during postpartum
what various other services she may provide
Some recommendation of doulas in Barcelona
If you live in Barcelona, here are some options that we recommend.
Doula Barcelona (Vicky) - she´s has broad experience with international families, speaks English and French fluently and provides a great number of supporting services.
Erika doula BCN - a multilingual independent doula that takes care of mothers and families during pregnancy, birth and postpartum with great care and love, respecting families choices. She works with Barcelona Midwife, a loving midwife very well known in the international community.
Liana doula Barcelona - she provides great support in preparation for the birth with hypnobirthing workshops, during birth and postnatal care. Her mission is to help women experience labour and birth as an empowering moment, embracing the normal physiological process.
Anna Escudé - very caring doula that provides great and so much needed support during perinatal loss. A very tough process where having someone by your side can help you navigate through your feelings.
These are some of the options we recommend, we’ll be happy to share more insights on the topic.
Do you need help finding a doula?
Contact us! We offer a 20 min discovery call to understand what you're looking for and how we can help you!
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