Qui est la doula ? Soutien inconditionnel à la mère et coach en allaitement - Élhée

Who is the doula? Unconditional support for the mother and breastfeeding coach

SUMMARY :

What could be more beautiful than giving birth to a child? What could be more introspective, overwhelming and also destabilizing? To support women and couples through these powerful moments of life, the doula provides unfailing perinatal support. During pregnancy, during childbirth and throughout the postpartum period, she offers her presence, her knowledge and her strength to the (future) parents who use her services.

The doula, a caring helper devoted to the new mother

Becoming a mother is an adventure within an adventure. To experience it as peacefully as possible, the doula supports the future mother in her choices and questions surrounding the birth of her child .

If, in ancient Greek, doula means “servant”, today we more readily speak of a companion. Sometimes present from the preconception period and trained to support new parents until postpartum, this non-medical companion has the main role of providing moral and physical, unconditional and caring support .

The support of a doula is above all tailor-made follow-up tailored to the needs and requests of the mother-to-be.

A maternity professional, at your side, every day

Concretely, the doula answers all your questions , those you don't dare to ask and those that no one else can answer. At each new stage, especially if it is your first child, and faced with fears, doubts, projections, emotions and sensations of pregnancy, the doula is there. At your request, she can also ensure that you are properly monitored and that you meet with the appropriate professionals: osteopath, pediatrician, etc.

From a material point of view and always according to your wishes , the doula helps you in particular to write your birth plan, to draw up your birth list, to organize your medical appointments, to prepare your suitcase for the maternity ward or to manage back to home.

If you feel the need, the doula is there at your side at all times. Faced with a new motherhood that can sometimes be frightening, the doula is a guide , a confidante, a shoulder to lean on.

Emotional support, empathetic ear and practical help at all levels, the doula does not question your choices or your intuitions as a mother, she accompanies them.

How long does follow-up with a doula last?

In this matter, there are no rules . It all depends on the needs. This is less the case in France, but across the Atlantic, doulas support certain couples from the IVF or PMA procedure . Others specialize in end of life.

If you wish, your doula's follow-up can, for example, begin in your third month of pregnancy, continue for the remaining six months until delivery and continue throughout your maternity leave and even beyond. It's entirely up to you to decide , based on how you feel.

What are the differences between a doula and a midwife?

Unlike the midwife, the doula is not part of the medical profession . It provides strictly non-medical support which is linked to, or takes place in parallel with, that of doctors.

Midwives and doulas are two great experts in maternity matters. However, the midwife provides medical monitoring to women and newborns. The doula, for her part, provides physical and moral support, but without the possibility of performing a procedure or issuing a medical prescription.

In addition, the doula is chosen, hired and paid by the parents , per session or on a fixed price basis. According to the Doulas de France association, doula prices range from €40 to €70 per session and from €200 to €400 for support in the delivery room.

A belief is that the doula primarily follows women who have chosen a physiological (natural) birth to give birth to their child. It's wrong. The doula accompanies all pregnancies and all births, whether medical or not, in the maternity ward or at home, in addition to the follow-up established by the midwife.

From pregnancy to postpartum: all the roles of a doula

a woman and a baby, the doula takes care of mothers and newborns

Because the birth of a child represents a sum of emotions and feelings similar to an immense whirlwind, the role of the doula is multiple. Alternately coach, advice or support, she adapts to the needs of the woman she supports.

  • Emotional support: during pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum, the doula is there to listen to you, reassure you and encourage you. Its support helps reduce maternal stress and anxiety, particularly as the birth approaches.
  • Childbirth advice: from explaining the different phases of childbirth, to the options available to relieve pain, to breathing techniques, thanks to her doula, the mother-to-be feels more confident during childbirth. approach to work.
  • Coach during childbirth: in the delivery room (if possible), your doula is present with the medical staff and your partner. Encouragement, advice or massage, she provides constant physical and emotional support.
  • Breastfeeding Tips: If you want to breastfeed your baby , talk to your doula. Breastfeeding and good breastfeeding positions, pain or return to work, these exchanges promote a positive breastfeeding relationship from birth.
  • Postpartum support: After childbirth, the doula can provide practical and emotional support to the new mother. Baby care, advice on sleep, diet or infant health, discussions about the emotions linked to motherhood or even meal preparation, it's according to your needs.
  • Comprehensive support for the mother: physical, emotional and psychological needs, the presence of your doula contributes to a faster recovery and a smoother transition to your new role as a parent.

A breastfeeding doula coach

Breastfeeding is a natural process, but not innate. Because breastfeeding can be learned, some doulas offer breastfeeding support sessions . Take the opportunity to ask all your questions and express your fears, but also to share your difficulties if they exist. Number of daily feedings, breastfeeding pain, baby's weight gain or breastfeeding pump ... Don't hesitate, your doula is there to answer you.

As most of these maternal caregivers offer à la carte sessions, you will be able to contact your doula at the time of weaning, to make the transition from breast to bottle more easily .

a bottle for bottle feeding, for mixed breastfeeding and for breastfeeding

At Élhée, we have developed a breastfeeding bottle specially designed to recall the shape of the breast and equipped with an extra-soft physiological teat , perfectly adapted to babies' palates. For weaning or to practice mixed breastfeeding, it is the best relay to breastfeeding .

A postpartum doula to soothe the body and mind

The postpartum period can be difficult . While fatigue competes with pain for primacy in your discomfort, you may be struggling to establish new family benchmarks and find your feet. Here again, the doula can act as a soothing balm.

  • Physical care: massages, relaxation techniques, application of poultices, Rebozo treatment or sophrology, the postpartum period should be the period of all attention around the new mother. By helping to relieve stress, pain and to tame her new mother's body, the doula provides the women who consult her with the possibility of a faster and lasting recovery.
  • Emotional support: throughout the pregnancy, during your delivery and throughout the weeks of your postpartum, the doula is there to listen to you and support you emotionally, reassuring you and validating your emotions, which are so intense and difficult be they.
  • Newborn care: how to change a diaper easily, give a bath without stress, clean the umbilical cord, soothe and feed baby by breast or bottle ... By guiding you towards autonomy, the doula helps you gain confidence and to show kindness to yourself.
  • Logistical help: depending on your choices, the postpartum doula can help you prepare meals or manage small tidying up, and thus allow you to rest better and concentrate on your child.

Finally, during the postpartum period as throughout the duration of her support, the doula listens attentively to your feelings as a new mother . A way for you to exchange and feel more supported and better cared for.

The doula, the mother, her baby and the golden month

during the golden month, the mother recuperates with her child

The “golden month” is a traditional period of care and attention given to the mother for 30 to 40 days after childbirth . Very widespread in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America, this dedicated period perfectly echoes the different roles of the doula.

During this unique period, the mother recovers physically and emotionally from childbirth. Around her, the women in her close circle and her doula accompany her towards a physical and spiritual rebirth to be compared with matrescence .

Rest and body care are part of her daily routine to relieve the aches, pains and discomfort of postpartum. A suitable, balanced and nourishing diet is also prepared to promote healing and tissue regeneration. Finally, family and loved ones participate in household chores and caring for older children.

The main objective of the golden month is to offer the mother a unique recovery and support time after childbirth . The presence of a doula then helps him to relax, to become aware of the changes made and to let himself go with confidence. The doula also has an extensive network to provide a therapeutic response to all ailments, when necessary.

And the role of fathers in all this?

To all dads and partners who feel sidelined from their wife's pregnancy by the medical profession, the doula offers a solution. She explains to them the follow-up process and the steps to come for their wife and their future baby. She also teaches them how to be present on the day of delivery, how to provide relieving back massages, how to apply support postures, etc.

In terms of the parent-child relationship, the doula is also the one who teaches skin to skin, newborn massage or recognizing babies' cries.

Once again, each pregnancy, each family and therefore each follow-up is different. What will make your relationship with your doula will be linked to your needs, your requests and your expectations in terms of pregnancy, birth and parenthood.

How to find a doula near you?

To find your doula, the first thing to do is to consult the “Doulas de France” directory . It lists the doulas who are members of the Doulas de France association, signatories of the Doulas charter and who have validated the training course developed in 2006 by the association.

A Facebook group “Find your doula” also exists. It allows future parents to post a classified ad to find a carer near them. Finally, word of mouth is a fully proven technique.

Finally, take the time to meet with several doulas. Your relationship will largely be based on feeling and trust, so it is essential to feel good with her and she with you . As a pre and postnatal consultant, the doula is not a guide, she does not tell you what to do. She agrees with your choices, which she respects, to chart the path of your parenthood together, in complete freedom.

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