14 answers

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.

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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!

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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!

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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.

1 mom found this helpful

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!

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.

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.

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.

Good luck!

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.

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.

I've heard of doula's my lovely neighbor:) We should get together sometime!


Never haerd of it. Have 2 kids born in GA and one due this March.

M. I hate to admit it but not many people in our area knows what a doula is. I have four sons and not one doctor mentioned a doula as added support for me. Perhaps your friend can make flyers for herself, first explaining what a doula is and then offering her services. I think clinics, doctor's offices, baby stores, news paper ads and just about anywhere an expecting mother might frequent. She might even try reaching the public through the local news. Savannah's WTOC has a segment called Eye On Business, it's worth a try. Hope this helps!

Like someone else said- welcome to the South! I know from my own pregnancy that most people (even in the medical profession) do not know what a Doula is. In fact, legally we do not even have regular midwives. we have certified nurse midwives that work with and under a doctors care. These CNMs are different in that they are not allowed to assist in home births and report to a doctor. This can be both a good thing and a bad thing- depending on your pregnancy. I have yet to find an insurance company that covers doulas down here. I was actually wanting one myself, but I couldn't afford it. Luckily I had a great CNM. I have to agree that your chosen profession may not catch on for a while. I wish you luck however.

Surprisingly around here there are not many doulas. I looked for one before I had my daughter and only found one. She lives between here (Athens) and Atlanta. She is a wonderful doula. Her name is Dianne. She doesn't work for anybody. She is on her own. She has a wonderful personality and is easy going. She was priceless during my labor and delivery. If anyone wants information about her I have it. I highly recommend her!

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!

There are several Doula's here in the Columbus area who are working diligently to get the word out about Doula's. I hope your friend will not get too discouraged and reach out to other doula's in the state through operationspecialdelivery.com
or cappa.net or some other organization in her area.

Good luck to you and your friend. Here is a brand new press release due to be printed later this month on an exciting talk (free and open to the public) being sponsored by the Birth and Breastfeeding Network.

Local Women Gather to promote

Birth and Breastfeeding information

Columbus , Ft Benning, Phenix City -

"The Birth and Breastfeeding Network of Columbus, Ft. Benning and Phenix City " is a volunteer group providing information and resources in the community to support expecting and new mothers in their quest for satisfying birth experiences and successful breastfeeding relationships.

On Thursday, March 29, 2007 the group will host doula, Teresa Howard, founder of Labor of Love Doula & Childbirth Services, Inc. for an informative and interactive symposium on the benefits of having a doula-attended birth. The purpose of the presentation is to help women make an informed choice about childbirth attendants.

Points of discussion will include:

What is a doula?
The benefits of having a doula attend your birth
*How a doula compliments your birth team??
Statistical data describing shorter labors with fewer complications when attended by a doula.

Kate Leming, founder of The Birth and Breastfeeding Network comments, "Having attended over 300 births, Teresa Howard brings with her a tremendous amount of experience to share with the families of the Chattahoochee Valley. The Network is delighted to provide yet another opportunity for women to learn new ways to achieve a satisfying birth."

The event is Thursday, March 29th from 6:00-7:00 p.m. and will be held at the Columbus Public Library Synovus Room on Macon Road. The evening is open to the public and will include refreshments and door prizes as well as a question and answer period at the end of the talk. Special recognition will be given to the fathers and health care providers in attendance.

For more information about the Birth and Breastfeeding Network, log on to http://columbusbirthnetwork.googlepages.com/.

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