The purpose of World Doula Week (WDW) is to empower doulas all over the world to improve the physiological, social, emotional, and psychological health of women, newborns and families in birth and in the postpartum period. The World Doula Week events will take place all over the world during the same week, stating the benefits of the presence of doulas in birth and in the postpartum period:-
- Reduces the incidence of c-sections
- May shorten the length of labor
- Reduces epidural and analgesic requests
- Increases breastfeeding initiation and continuation
- Increases mother’s satisfaction of birth experience
- Can reduce the incidence of postpartum mood disorders
- Increases new parents’ confidence in the care of their newborn
Birth doulas support women and families who are planning all kind of birth, from planned caesarean birth or early epidural to home water birth.
During Labour a doula provides emotional, practical and informational support to their client(s), adapting to what is needed. The doula is able to offer help and suggestions on comfort measures such as breathing, relaxation, movement and positioning. If applicable, the doula can also encourage the partner to participate in the birth to a level at which they feel comfortable. The doula’s most important role is to provide nurturing, continuous support and reassurance.
Postnatal doulas typically start working with with a family in the first few months after birth, but some doulas do work with families with older babies too. Sometimes postnatal doulas are booked antenatally, sometimes only when a family find they are struggling or feel the need for more support. The length of time a postnatal doula spends with a family varies enormously from the initial 6-8 weeks, to years!