What is a Doula? What are you?

What is a Doula? I get this question a lot! Although there’s no easy way to answer this as we are a lot of different things, each Doula is different and each client has different requests of us.


So, my usual answer is something along the lines of, we’re a non-medical support during prenatal, birth, and postpartum period. We are your cheerleader. BUT we are also so much more!


Like I said each Doula is different. Labour and Birth Doulas offer support during birth, help you through the unexpected. Doulas offer physical and emotional support. Not only are they there to support you but also your support people as well! We offer unbiased, evidence based education and resources for a variety of topics.


Doulas aren’t just for people who want a drug free birth with a midwife. No, Doulas support (where it is legal) in the home, at a birthing centre and in the hospital. They support those who want no drugs, all the drugs and those who will wait it out. We are here for those who have a supportive partner, a clueless partner or no support people at all! We support those who feed their baby in any way they can! Doulas support those who deserve respect, support, encouragement… which is EVERYONE.


Postpartum Doulas are there in the hours, days, weeks and months following the birth of the baby. We are there for breastfeeding support, and feeding support in general! We help with newborn care. We facilitate bonding time for the mom with her newborn, and one on one time with the mom and her older children. Some Postpartum Doulas do light household tasks, meal and snack preparation. They help with community referrals. They cover rest and naps for the mom, some postpartum doulas even do night shifts. They help the mom to remember her self-care as well. Basically whatever the family needs the postpartum doula is!


Again, each doula is different. Set up a meeting with your Doula to find out exactly what they offer.


So what exactly am I?


I am so glad you asked! I am currently certifying as a Labour & Birth, Postpartum Doula AND a Childbirth Educator! Not only will I support you prenatally, during labour and in the hours that follow, but I will also support you in the days, weeks and months that follow. I am here to support you in your decisions, give you evidence based research on things you are curious about. Facilitate discussion between you and your healthcare provider. I am not there to replace anyone in this experience but to be an addition to your support team.


Still have questions? Stay tuned for my next blog post or contact me for more information!


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Jessica Vanderlaan Certifying Doula 

Tel: 1-506-435-1116

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