What is a Full-Spectrum Doula?

What is a Full-Spectrum Doula?

Let’s talk about Doulas. What exactly is a Doula, and then take it a step further and talk about what a Full-Spectrum doula is.

Here is what google says the definition of Doula is:
dou·la
/ˈdo͞olə/
noun

noun: doula; plural noun: doulas

  1. a woman, typically without formal obstetric training, who is employed to provide guidance and support to a pregnant woman during labor.
  2.  
    1. a woman employed to provide guidance and support to the mother of a newborn baby.

I actually am not a fan of either of those definitions. So let’s dig a little deeper. A Doula is (normally) a person who is both formally and informally trained in childbirth and/or the immediate postpartum period. Most Doula trainings focus on Birth, Postpartum or breastfeeding. The informal training I speak of is normally just life experience.

Birth Doulas focus on preparing you for your delivery, forming a relationship and trust, along with answer your questions on the birth process without bias. They support birthing people in all settings; planned cesarean section, planned induction, natural hospital birth, birthing center birth and home birth. They spend great amounts of time and energy making resource lists for all of your needs. Invest emotional labor to helping you feel your best about your big day. And get quite the workout during your labor, using comfort measures and helping you have your best birth. Normally after the birth of your baby, they attend one postpartum visit to work through any feelings you may have about your birth and answer any feeding questions you may have.

A postpartum doula usually takes it from there. After a prenatal appointment (or two, depending on the doula) they’ll have a good idea of what you feel like you need from them. Learning how to take care of your new baby, feeding troubleshooting, light house work, light cooking, and sometimes overnight care so you can get some much needed rest. Each postpartum doula varies just a little. As I have a background as a Chef, most of my postpartum time is used cooking and freezing meals for new parents.

But what about all the other stuff? The other things that birthing people go through? Maybe the things that other people don’t want to talk about.

Abortion.
Bereavement.
Fertility.

This is a Full-spectrum doula. Understanding that your journey to parenthood isn’t always cookie cutter. That we live in a complicated world, and meeting you, where ever you are on your journey.

Abortions can be scary, and you may have a lot of questions or complicated feelings about it. This is where a Full-Spectrum Doula can step in and help. Trained on all four procedures, how the clinic experience is, and ready to help you work through any emotions you may have.

Bereavement is something that no parent hopes they’ll have to deal with, but it is a reality of life, and would be a huge disservice to forget about those who don’t get to bring their baby home. Doulas trained in Bereavement can help you through labor (at any point in your pregnancy, between 4 weeks and 42 weeks). They are trained on helping you to preserve moments of joy during loss, and incorporate special wishes for your baby. Providing physical, emotional and informational support in any way possible.

Fertility is another subject that goes largely untalked about. Whether it’s optimizing fertility or a struggle with infertility, a trained Fertility Doula can help. Between navigating this world, giving information on studies, practices and physiological norms and giving recommendations on fertility specialist in the area to continue our care, your Fertility Doula will have your back.

A Full-Spectrum Doula is there for you through all of your needs. To hold your hand and witness both your joys and your sorrows. Because birthing people have sat in silence alone for too long.

If you have any questions about what I do as a Full-Spectrum Doula, please feel free to reach out to me at any time!
Chelsea.Lanai.Kimball@gmail.com

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