“I began my journey of becoming a postpartum Doulo(a) in 2020 when I was having my second child. This
passion was ignited because of the many questions I had as a father and someone supporting a birthing person going through postpartum,” shares Jared a Postpartum Doulo(a).
When working with families, Jared’s philosophy is to be versatile and meet them where they are as their needs vary. In fact, some of his previous clients only reached out after they felt overwhelmed, while others seek overnight care. The postpartum period is delicate and Jared helps his families reorganize their lives for the new addition to their family.
Doula(o)s provide a mixture of emotional support, active listening, education, and evidence-based guidance to the families they support. A study in 2013 highlighted that “Doula-assisted mothers were 4x less likely to have a low birth weight baby, 2x less likely to experience a birth complication involving themselves or their baby,
and significantly more likely to initiate breastfeeding.” While another highlighted that those who received Doula(o) care were 58% less likely to experience postpartum depression and anxiety. The work Doula(o)s provide has shown to improve birth outcomes, especially for women of color who have access to these services.
In 2021 Bryonna Ward worked with a Doula after becoming pregnant with her son.
“Having a doula was extremely beneficial to me during my pregnancy. My doula provided a wealth of knowledge about pregnancy, the female anatomy, and the process my body would go through during pregnancy, labor, and birth. She shared a lot of information I had no prior knowledge of and was extremely helpful in answering all the random questions I had. Which can be many during pregnancy,” jokes Bryonna.
“I was intentional about texting or calling her to ask questions instead of scaring myself on google.” Bryonna’s doula was also a great resource for instilling confidence to make wise and educated medical decisions for herself and her son.
Bryonna highlights, “A lot of medical professionals pressured me to make quick decisions or made me feel that I only had one option; therefore, the most valued lesson learned from my doula is doctors and nurses work for YOU and YOU ultimately make the decisions best for you, not them.”
If you are interested in working with a Doula(o) Bryonna recommends researching, interviewing many providers if needed, and working with someone who aligns with your beliefs and desires around your pregnancy and birth. In addition, she believes it is never too late to get a doula as she knows others people who started working with Doulas in their 3rd trimester. Most of all Bryonna recommends, “trusting your gut and making the best decision for YOU!”
World Doula week is March 22nd-28th and we are celebrating the selfless work doula(o)s do to support birthing people and their families. Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn to see additional stories from Alliance members Kimberly Polanco, SW & Doula, and JaNina Wright, Doula Alliance, and Xochitl Carlos-Mendez Alliance Programs Manager/Doula client.
Read the Reckon news article, How Doulas can help pregnant people of color with depression and anxiety which highlights the important work Doula(o)s are doing and mentions the PMHA-POC.