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WHAT'S A DOULA

What is a Doula?

birth and postpartum doulas help support new families through the life-changing experience of having a baby! Whether it’s a family’s first baby or their tenth, a doula can help make the birth and postpartum experience better. 

A doula is a trained companion who supports another individual through a significant health-related experience, such as childbirth, miscarriage, induced abortion, or stillbirth. A doula may also provide support to the client's partner, family, and friends. The doula's goal, and role, is to help the client feel safe and comfortable, complementing the role of the healthcare professionals who provide the client's medical care.

What is a SisterWeb Doula?

SisterWeb community-based doulas use a unique, innovative program model that provides extended, intensive support to families throughout pregnancy, during labor and birth, and in the early months of parenting in communities that face high risks of negative birth and infant developmental outcomes. SisterWeb “Community Doulas” are of and from the communities we serve (Black, Latinx and Pacific Islander) and hold a vested interest in the well being of our clients.

 

Our doulas offer culturally concordant peer-to-peer support that focuses on the perinatal year and the early months of parenting, a sensitive period in which families have a unique openness to change, learning and growth. This represents a new approach to perinatal support: one that makes use of the power of relationships and the power of birth. The presence and involvement of the community-based doula at birth, and the flexibility in the scope of the role, distinguishes “community doulas” from all other home visiting models and from fee-based and volunteer doula models.

 

Community doulas not only impact our city by providing birth support but also by growing the trust and involvement that encourages people to come together and collectively address their health, wellness, and family resiliency.

 Being On-Call 

What does the community at large need to know about Doulas being on call?

  • Empathy and compassion for the doula on-call lifestyle 

  • Being on call can be/is a challenging and an essential component of being a Doula 

  • Doulas are an essential part of health care.

  • We may have to reschedule or sometimes cancel, but we aren't trying to be flaky.

  • Being on call means being flexible. You'll have to be ready to drop everything at a moment’s notice.

What are some of the realities for of being on call as a Doula?

  • You need reliable childcare or feeling that clients are taking primary attention versus family/kids 

  • You need reliable transportation methods

  • You will have to get up in the middle of the night or losing sleep while waiting on a client in labor 

  • You will have unpredictable scheduling, being on call for the holidays or having to leave a special event or gathering abruptly to be with a client in labor

  • You may feel anxious about being called to a birth

  • You will have clients not following instructions on when to contact their Doula 

  • You will have clients not calling the Doula for the birth or not having good reception at the hospital and therefore not sharing updates with the Doula

  • Being a Doula is a physical job, like running or weight lifting.

  • We have to maintain our physical strength because we're expected to be ready at any time.