February 14, 2007,
M.B. asks from Savannah, GA on January 31, 2007
Becomming a Doula
I have been helping a friend of mine set up a Doula training workshop for Savannah and she called yesterday to say that no one seems to know what a doula is in this area and is very discouraged. So I thought I would ask all of you as I am from CA and everyone out there knows what a doula is and most everyone knows a doula! (a doula by the way is a trained birthing attendant for the mom/moms labor team- trained usually in many areas including massage, labor technique, rebozo work etc). So is this just a new and upcomming thing in this area or is it more widely known then what she has been running into? Thanks!...M.
So What Happened?™
Per the first persons reply I would like to say that a Doula is not normally affiliated with any DR, Midwife or medical clinc. They are not (unless previously trained) nurses or in any way linked to the medical field as a practishioner in any way. May doulas do offer childbirth education however. The role of a doula varies from doula to doula but the general sphere of practice is to prepare the mom/birthing team for childbirth, to assist them through childbirth, and to assist in the immediate post partum with basic mom and baby care including breastfeeding! They assist the mom/birth team through all different types of childbirth- hospital, home, c-section, as part of THEIR birth team and not as hospital staff.
I hope that helps!
M.N. answers from Atlanta on February 02, 2007
I'n a native New Englander who recently moved to the south.....I find that they are MUCH slower here learning about ways --other than their traditional ones -- to address issues. Sadly I think that locals are a LONG way from wanting to understand (never mind benefit from) the work of a doula!! Good luck!
A.C. answers from Atlanta on February 01, 2007
You are right, most people in this area and in Georgia do not know what a Doula is or does. I think it is beacause there are NO birthing centers in Georgia except for 1 in Savannah and there are lots of birthing centers in California and Florida letting woman experience more natural childbirths. I wanted a water birth and there is only 1 hospital in Metro Atlanta that even offers a water birth (North Fulton Regional Hospital). I had a Doula (Tracy Bond) by my side my entire 48 hour labor along with my husband and my mother, and beleive me the extra help and support that my Doula offered was wonderful. We could have not made it as long as we did without her. Unfortunately I ended up having to have an emergency C-section, but again the support my Doula (Tracy) offered was priceless. She stayed by my side the entire time and I will be forever thankful for that. You may want to contact the owner from the Doula service I used A Labor of Love www.alaboroflove.org and she may be able to give your friend some helpful advice.
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A.F. answers from Atlanta on January 31, 2007
Until I was pregnant, I had never heard of a doula. I am from the DC area, though, not GA. I also did a lot of research on pregancy, options, etc., and came across doulas.
Maybe your friend could try to educate the local public on what a doula is. She could create a flyer to hang in doctor offices, hospitals, etc., as well as do an ad for local health newsletters. Maybe she could advertise herself as a "pregnancy coach/assistant" and then explain that this is actually a doula, and what all a doula does.
I'm sure her skills are much needed for many to-be moms in Savannah and hope that her new business takes off soon!
B.M. answers from Savannah on February 01, 2007
Well, I know what a doula is and wish I would have known there were some available. We moved here in July when I was 7 months pregnant and had no resources. I ended up having a horrible birth experience as I wanted to have a natural birth and was devastated when it ended in a C-section. I do believe it is because of the area that many do not know what a doula is, so we need to start educating!! I am also interested in getting involved as a breast-feeding advocate if you have any ideas on that let me know.
D.C. answers from Atlanta on January 31, 2007
Hey M.. I'm from NY, and I onlly recently found out what a doula is. Except I was slightly mis-informed. I thought it was a mid-wife assistant, especially for home births.
Any way, I wanted to say that I am suprised that not more people knew what a doula was. There is a lot of mid-wifery around here, and a more natural attitude towards child birthing, etc.
Oh well, HI! I guess I just wnated to comment.
Thanks for the time.
A.B. answers from Atlanta on February 01, 2007
Welcome to the south M.! The south is a bit slower at embracing new things which can be both good and bad. I grew up out west (my mom was born and raised in California) and hated it when we moved to the south... now I can't imagine living anywhere else or raising my son anywhere else. Sure, the public education stinks and southerners have yet to understand the importance of recycling or conservation but there are some pluses, I promises.
I would venture to guess that most people in Georgia or the south don't know what a Doula is and unfortunately, unless hospitals and insurance start paying for one, it isn't likely to catch on around here for a while. Mid-wives are hardly the norm. I can definitly see where your friend is running into a lack of knowledge down in Savannah. I think you'd have a better chance of a successful workshop in the Atlanta area where you have a larger population of people- many of whom are transplants but even then, I still think you're going to run into a lot of people who have no idea what you're talking about.
A.C. answers from Atlanta on February 01, 2007
I know what a Doula is. However, I don't know one in this area. I casually asked about all my birthing options when I was pregnant with my 1st and 2nd child and even my OBGYN didn't know of one in the area.
I think people know the term, but aren't quite sure exactly what they do and are therefore reluctant. I think if you and your friend keep at it - keep letting people know, let the Drs in your area know, maybe advertise somehow (birthing classes) that it will eventually catch on. I know I would have loved to have a doula! But, that wasn't an option at the time.
M. answers from Atlanta on February 01, 2007
Hi, I used a doula last year for the birth of my second child. I thought most women knew what a doula was. I came from Florida and there were a lot of doula's there and a lot of the women I spoke with while pregnant were going to use one or at least considering using one. Even though my 2nd birth was easy, it was still comforting having a doula there just in case. My first birth was terrible, 23 hour labor, over 3 hours of pushing, huge episiotomy and even though my husband was very supportive I feel it would've gone better if I'd had a doula. Is your friend working in a rural area where women may not have access to this information? I find the older doctors don't particularly like doula's but the newer ones do. I hope she can get the word out if that's the case because doula's provide a wonderful service. There have been studies that show the rates of ceserean decrease with women who have a doula. I recommend anyone I know that is pregnant use a doula.
J.F. answers from Savannah on January 31, 2007
I've heard of doula's my lovely neighbor:) We should get together sometime!