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At certain stages of life, we look for support that may not be available from friends and family, or from therapists and psychologists. We look for something in between — a doula.

What does a doula do?

A doula is a non-medically trained person who provides support at different times in your life when others around you may find it difficult to support you. For example, giving birth or dying. These are times in life that are both challenging and life-changing.

For many, these events can be a source of anxiety, depression or sleep problems. But there is professional help available, a doula is a person who is present to provide support and comfort.

In this article, we explain how a doula can help at different stages of life.

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What is a doula and what role do they play?

A doula is a person trained to provide emotional, informative and physical support during various life events. The most common context is childbirth, but they can also help with bereavement. They do not act as a therapist or psychologist but as a complement to the care and treatment already provided.

Areas of help

Expectant parents can experience anything from anticipation to anxiety before the birth. A professional and trained doula can be there to offer various forms of support:

  • Emotional support: Offering calm and reassurance throughout the birthing process.
  • Physical support: Pain relief techniques, breathing and positions.
  • Informative support: Preparing parents about what to expect during and after birth.

Some are also trained to help individuals and their families navigate the dying process with dignity and care. They provide support, guidance and communication until the end.

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Life comes with its challenges and sometimes we need that little extra support to make the difficult things easier. Whether you are facing childbirth or going through a sad period in your life, a doula can be an invaluable source of support and comfort.

If you feel this is something that could be helpful to you, don’t hesitate to take the first step and book a session through our website.

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8 common questions about doulas

What is a doula?

A doula is a person who offers emotional, social and physical support during pregnancy, childbirth and sometimes even at the end of life. The aim is to make the difficult process easier and more comfortable for everyone involved.

How can a doula help during childbirth?

During childbirth, a doula’s presence provides a sense of security and calm. They can offer breathing and relaxation techniques, positioning advice and other methods of pain relief.

Are there doulas that specialize in palliative care?

Yes, they specialize in supporting people at the end of life. Their role is similar but focuses on relieving emotional and physical discomfort at the end of life. They can also help you with other things such as sorting your things, writing letters or cleaning.

What is the difference between a doula and a midwife?

While a midwife has medical training and is responsible for the physical health of mothers and babies, a doula focuses on emotional and psychological support. They do not perform medical procedures or make medical decisions.

How do I find a doula?

You can find a doula here at Lavendla. Book a short session today to see if it suits your needs and wishes.

Are doula services expensive?

The cost of a doula varies depending on experience, services and location. You always have the opportunity to discuss the price for more information.

What training is required to become a doula?

There is no strict educational path to becoming a doula. However, many go through certification programs and take courses in subjects such as anatomy, birthing techniques and communication, but also grief management.

Can a doula help online or does it have to be on-site?

Many doulas offer online services, which can be especially valuable if you live in an area with limited access. However, online support may be less effective than physical presence, depending on your specific needs.

Written by Ellen Lindgren

Licensed psychologist

Ellen is a licensed psychologist and has experience mainly in clinical psychology where she has worked with various conditions such as stress, anxiety, depression, insomnia, crises and trauma in primary care and psychiatry. She has also worked with research while studying in the US and with affective disorders and insomnia at Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.