Doula: Emotional and practical support during pregnancy and after birth
The word doula (pronounced dula) comes from ancient Greek and referred to women, handmaids or slaves, who in ancient Greece took care of their “lady”‘s welfare by looking after her welfare, and assisting her during pregnancy and childbirth, where they did not have a medical role, but an emotional and spiritual one.
The American anthropologist Dana Raphael was the first to use this term, to refer to women, mostly already mothers, who supported the new mothers in their maternity experience and in the first care of the newborn.
Medical researchers Marshall Klaus, a neonatologist, Phillis Klaus, a psychotherapist, and John Kennell, a pediatrician, conducted randomized clinical trials demonstrating the short- and long-term health benefits of the continuous, silent, nondisruptive presence of a doula during labor, childbirth, and puerperium.
A supportive, non-healthy female figure, a “good mother” who comforts and supports.
In pregnancy: a doula can be present as an equal listening figure, able to support physical and emotional changes, and to help in the search for the information needed by the woman and the couple to guide their choices.
It thus offers personalized paths to encourage listening to oneself and emotions, relaxation, and also a sort of emotional first aid, to overcome any small crisis or fear with a laugh.
During childbirth: the doula can be an anchor or an emotional support; it can support the woman and the couple in team with the obstetric staff taking care of physiological needs: food, rest (also of the partner), “nesting” arrangement, management of other children.
After childbirth: the doula can be a continuous presence, daily if required, to support the new parents, offering practical help in reorganization of the home, and again acting as a mirror without judgment in parental choices. It helps to create moments of elaboration of the history of childbirth, relaxation and rest, it is also useful as “emotional first aid” in the – often physiological – moments of confusion in the life of a family that is born.
With Kalila Community you can:
- meet our doulas through individual appointments of mutual acquaintance
- participate in group meetings with other pregnant women and their children, on different topics
For info on dates you can consult our website, or the events on the Facebook page or contact us directly: firstname.lastname@example.org
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