The Tallahassee Doula Co-Op exists:
To raise awareness about doulas in the Tallahassee and surrounding areas in the hopes that more women would hire doulas and have effective labor and birth support. In turn, we hope that this helps women have a more positive birth experience.
- To create a birth community that inspires growth as doulas, provides support to other doulas, and helps newer doulas succeed in their businesses.
- To provide backup support to the members of the co-op so that no woman is without a doula in case of the unexpected circumstance and/or planned time away.
- To offer and market events such as “doula speed dating” to help co-op doulas find and retain clients.
- To facilitate trainings for birth workers in order to meet the continuing education requirements of their organizations and to uphold standards for skill and education of doulas in our community.
- We aspire to change our birth culture so that women feel respected, heard, nurtured and loved throughout their birthing experience.
The word doula is a Greek word meaning servant. For your purposes, a doula is a woman who provides physical, emotional and spiritual support throughout the childbirth experience. A doula will meet with the growing family several times prior to the birth to get to know one another and to discover what the family’s ideal birth looks like. She offers phone and email support during the due month.
Once labor begins, a doula offers massage, counter pressure, breathing techniques, encouragement, position suggestions, reminders to eat and drink, help navigating the medical field, and many other tips and tricks to help achieve a healthy and empowering birth. A doula does not replace the father or partner, but enhances their support by showing how they could be most helpful, for example, teaching a particular massage technique.
A doula will stay 1-2 hours after the birth to help with early postpartum transition and then meet with the new family within the first week. Some doulas also offer postpartum support to help with baby care, breastfeeding support, and light cooking and cleaning.
In essence, a doula mothers the mother. A doula is professionally trained and may offer additional services such as breastfeeding support, postpartum doula services, childbirth classes, bellycasting, photography, to name a few.
Hiring a doula is an investment and below are some of the dividends.
- 28% less likely to have a cesarean section
- 31% less likely to use synthetic oxytocin to speed labor
- 9% less likely to use any pain medication
- 34% less likely to rate their childbirth experience negatively.
Those are powerful numbers. Women are designed to give birth with other women, offering un-biased, unconditional, loving and smart support. It just makes sense!