The Modern Day Doula

The Modern Day Doula | Baby Chick

The Modern Day Doula

Now that you know what a doula is, I’m curious to know what pops into your mind when you hear the word “doula”? What does that doula look like? What does that doula stand for? Let me guess. You’re more than likely thinking of someone like Ina May Gaskin with long braided pigtails only helping women give birth out at the Farm. Am I right? Why do I assume this? It’s from experience. I’ve had several people, when they first come into my office, walk in with wide eyes and look almost as if they are surprised when they first meet me and my team of doulas. I’ve even had several people comment how “normal” we are. Is the stereotype for doulas really that abnormal? For some reason people think we will be burning incense when they walk in and be banging on a drum or something.

birth doulas

There’s nothing wrong with these things, obviously, but I want others to know that today’s doulas, the modern doulas, aren’t just hippies. We are educated, empathetic, caring, loving and hardworking women. We are nerds, girly girls, hippies, lesbians, straight women, mothers, not mothers, you name it. We are every woman.

Our role has also evolved over the years. Doulas help all types of women at all types of births and beyond. The modern doula believes that every woman deserves continuous support, a reliable voice, and a positive experience during birth and the transition with a newborn. So to clear up some of the stereotypes, I have come up with some points to shed light on the modern day doula:

1. We Support Every Birth and Every Parent

You may think that doulas are only for those that choose to have a midwife as their care provider. This is absolutely NOT true. Yes, we do support women with midwives, but birth doulas also work with women that have an OB and plan on giving birth at a hospital. As for me, 98% of my clients are those very women. And to be honest, in my opinion, these are the women that NEED the most support and an advocate by their side. So know that doulas don’t just support home births. We support hospital births, birth center births, medicated and unmedicated births. We ultimately want you to have the positive experience, whatever that looks like, that you want. The modern day doula provides their support to any woman who wants it.

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The modern day postpartum doula also doesn’t help just one type of parent or parenting style. We work with each family individually to help them decide their own parenting philosophies and empower them through their transition into parenthood. We are an objective source of information and support who can help both the mother and partner adjust to life with their new baby.

Overall, no matter how your birth unfolds, we support you. No matter how your postpartum period goes, we support you. No matter how you choose to parent, WE. SUPPORT. YOU.

2. We Receive Training and Continue Our Education

The modern day doula has received training and continues to educate herself to be the best doula that she can be. People may think that doulas have no formal training, which is not the case. There are different certification programs available for doulas to go to. The modern day doula has more than her own experience when working with expecting and new families. She attends these trainings, reads all the books, and works toward certification so that she can bring a wide breadth of knowledge to each birth and postpartum experience that she comes to.

It took me about 2 years to receive my birth doula and postpartum doula certifications through DONA International so it isn’t just a weekend course to complete. The modern day doula is a professional and she invests in her knowledge, education, and training.

certifications

3. We Have All Types of Specialties and Experience

Not only does the modern day doula receive standard doula training through her certification organization, she continues her education to be able to help more families and has a plethora of experience, trainings, and skill-sets. She could become a bereavement doula helping families through the loss of a child, or an adoption doula supporting others through the process of adoption. She could become a placenta Encapsulator or a massage therapist. There are so many different specialties and trainings available for doulas. For example, I’ll share with you some of my training that I have received: Not only do I have a college degree and received my certification as a birth doula and postpartum doula through DONA, I also received my license in massage therapy specializing in prenatal/postnatal/and infant massage, I became a certified Hypnobabies Hypno-Doula, I’m also a certified prenatal fitness educator, and I am a childbirth educator, newborn care educator, and an infant massage instructor. It’s wonderful that there is such a wide variety of specialties because those trainings allow us to better support all types of clients.

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4.  This is a Business, Not a Hobby

The modern day doula believes in the value that she provides her clients and treats her time and her services as a business, not a hobby. There are still some doulas that treat their work as a hobby because they may have a full-time job or are busy raising a family. Since they still want to make an impact in the birthing world and support women, they do what they can which is wonderful. However, there are full-time doulas, like myself, that make this their career. Educating, empowering, and caring for women is their business and their livelihood. Again, doula care has evolved with all of the education and trainings that are available. It has become a true business for us to be able to making a living for ourselves by doing the things that we love most, which is educating and empowering families during this incredible time.

postpartum doula

5. Doulas Are Every Type of Woman of Every Age

There are all types of doulas out there which I think is a great thing because that allows you to find the right doula for YOU. I’m the type of girl that loves a great pair of high heels and lip gloss so I’m not your stereotypical doula, and I know that my personality and style may not be the right fit for every mother. That’s okay! You want to choose someone that makes you feel comfortable, that will put you at ease, and that will completely support you during your birthing and parenting decisions. That is a modern day doula. Whatever your birthing and parenting decisions are, your doula should be there to provide you with the information that you need to make the best decisions for you and your family. 

I am also here to tell you that doulas are every age and every ethnicity. There are doulas that are very young adults (18 years old), there are doulas that are grandmothers and great-grandmothers (in their 60’s and 70’s), and there are doulas every age in between. There is no stereotypical doula anymore. The modern day doula is every age, every race, every religion, and more.

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doulas

Overall, the role of a doula has changed throughout the decades yet it has stayed the same. I hope that I have opened people’s eyes about their perception on what a doula is today because doulas are not just there to support women that want natural births or home births. Doulas are women supporting women no matter what choices they make. We are there to lend a helping hand, a strong voice, a compassionate ear, a watchful eye, and a full heart. We are the modern day doula.

About the Author /

Nina is The Baby Chick® & CEO of Baby Chick®. She is a baby planner, birth doula, postpartum doula, childbirth educator, newborn care specialist, and a mother. With over eight years of experience, she has supported hundreds of families during their pregnancies, births, and postpartum journeys.

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Instagram post 18074272528164523 @debiandbebi wrote these words when she was a new mom and struggled with #postpartumdepression. She hopes to remind everyone that it is okay to struggle with being a new mom and that does not mean you don't love your baby. ❤️⁠
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Instagram post 17863413055589017 When they wake up in the morning and give you that big grin . . . 😍 There is nothing sweeter.⁠
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Instagram post 17862171103601373 All of these things make me happy. What would you add to your self care toolbox?⁠
I'm seriously needing some of these things tonight to start a new week. Hoping you mamas get some self care time too! 💕⁠
📷: @hallmark⁠
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #selfcare #selfcaretoolbox #mumlife #mommylife #metime #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣
Instagram post 17974795027288980 Was he dreaming he was riding a bike last night escaping from wild animals?! OUCH! 🤕🚲⁠
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Instagram post 18081610903134401 Praying that your toddler let's you get to sleep this weekend. 🙏💤⁠
📷: unknown⁠
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #mommychick
Instagram post 17866776847554303 Above all else, let us teach them to be kind. 💗⁠
(quote: @mommywinetime)⁠
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Instagram post 17853200368708392 SURPRISE! A little shocked, a little tired, and a LOT BLESSED. Congrats, @sarah_lit! ❤️⁠
📷: @sarah_lit⁠
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#babyannouncement #pregnancyannouncement #pregnancy #pregnant #momtobe #pregnancylife #mamatobe #babybump #pregnancyjourney #bumpie #preggo #maternity #motherhood #momlife #expecting #mumlife #mommytobe #pregnantlife #babyontheway #inspirepregnancy #mommychick #babychick #babyonboard #mumtobe
Instagram post 17864808397574241 Pregnant and hungry all the time? Here are some great ideas to keep in the fridge when the hunger pains kick in! 🤰👍⁠
📷: @juna.moms⁠
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Instagram post 18073051357163780 When it comes to clamping the cord, our mottos is "what's the rush?" The blood volume in the placenta and cord at the time of birth is BABY'S blood. It's simply mid-circulation in the placenta at the time of birth. It just makes sense to leave it be and let it finish its job.⁠
No, the blood won't drain out of baby and go backwards into the placenta.⁠
No, your baby is not more likely to get sick from jaundice.⁠
Yes, your baby will still be getting oxygen while they figure out breathing, especially important if they need resuscitation.⁠
Yes, your baby will have better iron levels for the first year of their life.⁠
Look at how thick and engorged this cord still is at 4 and 18 minutes after baby was born. Just imagine how much blood baby would have lost if the cord had been clamped immediately, or at 60 seconds, 90 seconds, or 3 minutes! The placenta was expelled immediately before the 18 minute photo was taken. The pulse in the cord could still be felt even AFTER THE PLACENTA HAD BEEN DELIVERED! The cord was finally clamped and cut more than an hour after birth at 73 minutes. ❤️⁠
📷: @lawrenrosephotography⁠
Informative post and words by @bundleborn⁠
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#placenta #lotusbirth #homebirth #midwife #midwifery #phsiologicThirdStage #delayedcordclamping #optimalcordclamping #waitforwhite #whatstherush #postpartum #birth #laboranddelivery #babychick #mommychick
Instagram post 17866964371538725 Stacks on stacks . . . of diapers. 😂 Can you relate?⁠
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Instagram post 17852665306696124 With the holiday season upon us and moms trying to make everything magical for their families, remember to stop and take a moment to take care of you. ❤️ Have a hot cup of coffee, a long warm shower and some alone time. Communicate this with your partner not as a wish but as a necessity. We must take the time to take care of ourselves to better take care of them. 💕⁠
📷: @hallmark⁠
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Instagram post 18095239591099259 After holiday feasting . . . this baby gets me.⁠ 🤣
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Instagram post 17844162355818683 I think I had a little too much turkey . . . and pie. 😬🍗🥧 #leggingsforlife⁠
📷: @hallmarkbaby⁠
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Instagram post 17990835490280335 I totally felt this way when I was pregnant. And kinda feel this way after all that turkey. 🤣🦃 Happy turkey day to all you expecting mamas!!⁠
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Instagram post 18094211479105476 I spy with my little eye the cutest turkey ever. 😍 Happy Thanksgiving, everybody! Hope it's filled with love, laughter, and cuteness like this. ❤️⁠
📷: @emilyshapaka⁠
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Instagram post 17852562805720320 Loneliness is a real thing in new motherhood and I want to be sure we talk about this. It's okay to say, "I feel lonely." We normalize one another's experiences when we share the reality of our journey. It can be so isolating when we bring our small human home and our lives revolve around his/her care. We feel detached from the outside world. The monotony of new motherhood can be heavy.⁠
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Here are some tips to combat isolation:⁠
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1️⃣ Get outside when possible.⁠
2️⃣ Video chat with friends/family.⁠
3️⃣ Join a virtual group.⁠
4️⃣ Invite someone to come over.⁠
5️⃣ Find a local mom's group.⁠
6️⃣ Listen to the radio or a podcast (it's interesting how this can make us feel connected with others)⁠
7️⃣ Run an errand--even grabbing a coffee via drive-thru can feel good.⁠
8️⃣ Get to know your neighbors.⁠
What would you add to the list?⁠
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Repost: words and 📷 by @psychedmommy⁠
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Instagram post 17867282176536875 ⁠For the week of Thanksgiving (and longer if you can!) let's focus on what we DO have instead of what we lack. The more we express gratitude and appreciate our blessings the more we recognize all of our blessings and everything we should be thankful for. 💕⁠
📷: @hallmark⁠
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #gratitude #thankful #mumlife #mommylife #mommychick #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #thanksgiving #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣
Instagram post 17855722339639264 ✈️ Tips to Survive a Plane Ride with Kids ✈️⁠
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Flying on a plane with your little one for the first time can be terrifying. Are they going to cry the whole time? How will they handle the airport, the turbulence and the landing? Well we have some tips that will help prepare you for your flight with your kids. Here's what to do to have a more enjoyable experience 😊 {Link in bio!}⁠
📷: unknown⁠
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#flyingwithkids #travelwithkids #familytravel #travelingwithkids #kidsonplanes #travelpic #airplane #familyholiday #parenting #parenthood #firstflight #babytravels #motherhood #momlife #mumlife #mommychick #babychick #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣
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📷: Martiza Elizabeth on FB
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