Doulas are trained professionals who can provide physical, emotional, and informational support and guidance to a mother before, during, and after birth.
Doulas can support you throughout your pregnancy. Their services can include:– Educating the expectant mother on what to anticipate during delivery,
- Focusing on emotional support and encouragement,
- Providing information and assistance with physical comfort during childbirth, such as breathing techniques and touch therapy,
- Helping to facilitate communication between the expectant mother and the medical care team, and
- Aiding the expectant mother to prepare for feeding and caring for baby.
Although there isn’t a universally agreed upon doula certification authority, several organizations are well-regarded and offer training, certificates, and directories of doulas. Two of these organizations are DONA International and the National Black Doula Association.
DONA International lists a few things to look out for when choosing a doula, including training, certification status, experience, availability, services offered, compatibility, and fees.
One great way to find a doula is to simply ask around. Doulas are becoming more and more popular, so it’s likely that somebody in your social network has a doula recommendation.
Check to see if the doula you selected would offer a free consultation to help you learn if they’re a good fit for you and your family. You can discuss what sort of support you need and how you envision your birth going, learn how much the doula charges, hear about their experience, and feel out whether the two of you are socially and culturally compatible.
When it comes to meeting doulas and making a choice, there are several things you’ll want to consider.
- Is the doula certified? Which organization provided the certification?
- How much does the service cost?
- Does the doula work with other doulas as part of a practice, or on their own? Is there a backup in case the doula is unavailable when you go into labor?
- Does the doulas philosophy around birth mesh well with yours?
- Do you feel safe and comfortable with the doula? Do you feel secure asking questions?
Walmart’s doula benefits
Walmart is expanding benefits under the medical plan to include coverage for doulas – up to $1,000 per pregnancy – for our associates in the state of Georgia.
If you’re based in Illinois, Indiana, Georgia or Louisiana, and are interested in working with a doula, reach out to Life with Baby to learn more at One.Walmart.com/LifewithBaby.