According to the New York Times, "African-American, Native American and Alaska Native women are about three times more likely to die from causes related to pregnancy, compared to white women in the United States."
With so many expecting moms on my timeline, and my desire to one day join the club it only made sense to write this blog.
Pregnancy can be the happiest time while simultaneously being the scariest time in a woman's life. Dealing with the changes in hormones & changes in your body all while keeping it together and being the "strong woman" the world sees you as, I'm sure can be nothing less than exhausting.
Who is really there for the pregnant mommies? Who are their advocates?
I know an amazing woman by the name of Kaila Mathews who is definitely doing her part. December 2019 she announced that she started her journey to becoming a Certified Doula.
Here is what Kaila said when asked what inspired her to start What the Doula?
"I started becoming tapped out with teaching and thought about what excited me. All things pregnancy and postpartum related excite me. I also hate knowing about how high mortality rates are for WOC and their babies and the lack of awareness we have to options/choices on our birth journeys. I decided if I could be apart of planting the seed to options for black moms in Memphis I was living out my purpose!"
I had heard the term before, but I had no idea the actual role of a doula. I'm so thankful Kaila took time to answer some of my lingering questions and educate me. I wouldn't dare hold all the information for myself! Here is what I've learned!
1. At how many weeks should an expecting mother look for a doula?
Typically doulas are sought around 30-35 weeks if expected to be apart of the birth experience and anywhere from 35 until after delivery for postpartum help.
2. What is a doula's primary job?
A doula's primary job is to mother the mother! Doulas are a non medical judgement free resource during pregnancy and postpartum to help ease all anxiety/ concerns, provide emotional and psychological support, and help educate care takers around interventions during labor, newborn care, breastfeeding, adjusting to life with new baby etc. Most women who opt into a doula have a desire to experience as natural a childbirth as possible.
3. Are doulas covered under insurance?
Not all insurances cover doulas however this is changing! Always check with care provider. Doulas set rates based on the market and services provided and many are willing to offer discounts. Doulas in training typically offer free services, as they are needed to pursue certification.
4.How are doulas different from midwives?
Midwives are medical professionals with at least a BS in nursing and/or Midwifery concentration. Midwives are board certified and deliver babies. Doulas may or may not be certified ( experienced based doulas) and do not assume medical responsibility for the baby. Midwives are also normally covered by insurance.
5.How do doulas help moms after delivery?
Every mama needs a doula! Doulas offer more around the clock emotional support new moms need, assist with breastfeeding and/or formula feeding, sleep training, light house work related to baby, look after siblings for mom to get moment to herself or with baby, help adjust to baby wearing, whatever mama needs honestly. It's so comforting knowing you can pick up a phone and run something by your doula versus waiting for the doctor's office to return a call the next business day.
6. In what specific ways can black families benefit from having a doula?
Black moms who have doulas are less likely to need medical interventions during labor (pitocin, epidural, episiotomy, c section etc), associate labor with more positive experience with pain vs suffering, have a higher survival rate for mom and infant,
Reduced time in labor, and are more likely to breastfeed.
She is such an amazing sister, mommy, wife, educator & now doula! I'm so proud to know her!
Follow her journey! You won't regret it!
For service inquiries: https://reinbows2013.wixsite.com/whatthedoula