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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Episode 77 (Epilogue): Doula Care

Tonight we discussed the Ins, Outs, Whys, and Hows of doula care!  Cheryl and Ryan, both doulas themselves, discussed the importance of doula care for expectant and new mothers, and explained a doula as this: a doula is a woman (or less often a man) who supports another woman through the labor and delivery of her baby or during the immediate and extended postpartum period. A doula can help provide the support necessary to have a safe, healthy and satisfying birth experience, and a healthy and happy recovery in the postpartum weeks.  Doulas a NOT midwives, and are entirely focused on the physical and emotional support of the woman- not providing medical assistance. Cheryl and Ryan also explained the differences between birth doulas and postpartum doulas, and detailed some of the specialized attention and help that each of these professionals can give.

Our guest tonight was Christian Axness, owner of Everyday Baby in Sarasota, shared her own birth story, and the ways in which doula care ultimately helped her to achieve an empowering birth. Christian pointed out that one of the ways in which doulas are particularly necessary is that they alleviated some of the pressure put on loved ones, particularly partners, during labor. While the role of childbirth coach often falls on Dad’s shoulders, he too could be having a difficult time dealing with labor and not feeling like he is adequately supporting his partner. Doulas allow partners to still provide emotional support, but also provide knowledge and knowhow that Dads may not have.

Finally, Cheryl and Ryan shared some tips for looking for a doula. Suggestions include hiring a doula earlier rather than later, interviewing multiple doulas, and assessing specific needs in order to make sure the doula you hire is best suited to help you.  Cheryl and Ryan also shared their respective advice for questions to ask birth doulas and postpartum doulas. Ryan stressed the importance of simply asking for individuals who felt that they could not afford a doula, noting many doulas ability to work with individuals who need assistance.

We closed the show with a special announcement from previous guest Nyssa Retter. We celebrate Nyssas’ two year anniversary breastfeeding her youngest, and the extra work she has done to make this possible.

For information about doula and child support professionals in our area, please visit

Tonight’s Right: Tonight we remind you that: Every woman has the right to receive all or most of her maternity care from a single caregiver or a small group of caregivers, with whom she can establish a relationship. Every woman has the right to leave her maternity caregiver and select another if she becomes dissatisfied with her care.*
*(Only second sentence is a legal right.)

To learn more about your rights, please visit

Birth in the News:

As a warning, our next two news stories deal with sexual assault, rape culture, and victim blaming, and could be triggering.

We are not going to post any link to news coverage which presents victim blaming, but do want to state that we actively stand against any statements against the survivor in the Steubenville case, and are truly outraged about media discussion which make excuses for these convicted and violent criminals.

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