What is a Doula?

Hello! My name is Lis Kunzi, company founder of Step Forward to Better Health. As a Registered Canadian Reflexology Therapist (RCRT) my goal is to provide you with a suite of gentle touch treatments aimed at increasing your energy, reducing your discomfort or pain, and helping you live a more dynamic life using reflexology. I am also a Certified Birth Doula CD (DONA). It was through my own journey as a mother that set me on this incredible path aimed at empowering women to make the birth of their children a positive one. Today’s feature is on the topic of Doulas.

Doulas, also known as birth companions, have been helping women give birth for centuries. In fact, the word “doula” comes from the ancient Greek meaning “a woman who serves”. Today, this term is applied to certified and experienced professionals who provide continuous physical, emotional and informational support to women before, during and after birth.

I understand the complexities of the birth process; it can be challenging. In a nutshell, doulas help expectant mothers benefit from 4 key elements.

Reassurance. It’s advantageous to hire a doula early on in a pregnancy so we can serve as a valuable informational resource, answering all your questions about what to expect ‘while expecting,’ how to design a birth plan, and how your family can get ready for the ‘big day.’

Assistance. During labour and delivery, doulas will provide the expectant mother with continual support such as: making suggestions about how to position your body during labour, helping you manage your breathing through the contractions, and providing you with some relaxing massage. We will answer all your questions about ‘what’s happening to me?’ It’s not unusual to learn that expectant mothers, under the care of a doula, may produce lower levels of stress hormones during labour as compared to women without this assistance.

Bonding. Doulas work to ensure that the all-important mother-infant bond occurs immediately after delivery. Bonding is essential, especially in making breast feeding happen and lasting.

Postpartum. When a doula becomes an integral part of the delivery of a child, it not only aids in supporting mother-infant bonding, but it can also help decrease postpartum depression, and reduces or eliminates feelings of inadequacy when a new mother is faced with ‘what do I do?’

As a Certified Birth Doula, my goal is to empower women in the Calgary community with the skills and confidence needed to make the birth of their child(ren) a truly positive experience. Women have the right to experience the natural childbirth they desire, and doulas are standing by to help make this a reality. Learn more about what doulas do by visiting my website at stepforwardtobetterhealth.ca

Lis Kunzi, Founder and Owner of Step Forward to Better Health