This week, each of my prenatal classes surrounded the theme ‘Doulas!’ The goal was to increase awareness of the role of the doula in birth, and also for me to get a feel for how often my students are using/considering including a doula in their birth team.
Since becoming a prenatal yoga instructor, I have met and worked with MANY doulas, and as I get to know them, they and their work continue to inspire me. I am also blessed to have a neighbour who is currently getting her doula practice off the ground, she is just a wealth of knowledge!
In preparation for this series of classes, I emailed a prenatal yoga teacher colleague who also has a full-time doula business. It is Taylor of Tayomi Births. She was incredibly helpful in providing suggestions as to how I approach this task of raising awareness around doulas and their work.
She gave me a number of testimonies from her practice which all speak for themselves (some can be found on her website and Facebook page), a few of which I was blessed to share in class.
As far as resources that are incredibly useful surrounding learning about doulas and what they do, check out The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin (now in it’s 4th edition). Simkin is known as the grandmother of doulas, and her book helped me understand the role of the doula vs. midwife/doctor amoungst other things.
As I asked each of the students in my classes the question: “Will you be having a doula at your birth?”, I got some fairly interesting responses – all from which I continue to learn. I would say probably 10% of my students have actually hired a doula for their upcoming birth, and 20% have considered having a doula on their birthing team. I am glad and hopeful to have increased awareness and clarified some questions about the doula role amidst those I teach.
Please leave me any questions you may have about this topic.
Happy birth prep!