It took me a while to realise one of the most powerful benefits of having a doula. In fact, when I hired my doula during my pregnancy with our second child, I thought their main role was providing labour support. It probably wasn’t until a good few months past my own doula training that it hit me:
One of the best things a doula gifts you with is resources to help you on your journey, and the confidence to use them.
What an idea! But in reality, we are not solitary beings who are designed to go through pregnancy, birth or parenting alone. We are, in fact, designed to have a whole host of people around us to help with things like how to prepare for birth, how to breastfeed, how to clean those baby bits when the poo has gone absolutely everywhere. We’re supposed to have people in our tribe who have experience in these things, and they’re supposed to pass that onto us and give us the confidence that not only are we able to do this, but when we stumble they’ll be there to help us back up.
The internet has an answer for everything. But how to work through it all? What is reliable information, and what is purely opinion?
That’s where the doula comes in. Many of us are incredibly passionate about what we do, and that means much of our time is spent researching and learning. Along the way, we manage to compile amazing lists of reliable resources, and all of this is available to our clients.
There’s a really good reason for using a doula to help you find a resource. In fact, there are at least three really good reasons. You see, when you ask a doula for the best source of information or support for an issue, they’re going to make sure whatever or whoever they recommend is:
Some might have free resources and information, such as my go-to websites Evidence Based Birth for birth related topics and KellyMom for breastfeeding.
Others are paid for, and are absolutely worth their weight in gold.
If a breastfeeding issue arises which is outside my scope as a Breastfeeding Educator, I’m going to give you the contact for Anna, an IBCLC local to me who runs Breastfeeding Kerry, or Clare of Cork Breastfeeding, also an IBCLC. I’m confident recommending them, not only because I have already had clients or friends who have received amazing support from them, but also because I have met them and trust that they go above and beyond in the support they provide.
Sometimes there might be discomfort or concerns that come up after the birth that I think a Women’s Health Physio might help with, or your doctor might suggest you see one. In that case, Fiona from Kerry Phsyiotherapy is the lady to see. My own personal experience with her was enough to convince me that she is at the front of her field, evidence based and up to date in pelvic floor issues, and having checked with past clients, every one of them praised her services.
I’ve had people reaching out to me for resources on loss and bereavement, pregnancy nutritionists, birth trauma support, baby wearing advice, placental encapsulation information & cloth nappy wearing, to name but a few. Ireland itself has a rich pool of information to draw on, and where possible I try my best to help people find services close to them so that they can feel confident about following up if they need it.
And sometimes, but rarely, I’ve been in the right place at the right time with a client to be able to provide the resource that they didn’t even know they needed yet.
Those moments are probably one of the best feelings as a doula.
As always, if you feel you would benefit from doula support or childbirth workshops, I am available to talk.
Certified Birth & Postpartum Doula
Certified Childbirth Educator
As a doula and childbirth educator, my interests can vary between anything that ranges from conception right up to growing with your children.