Kelly Rutan is a certified Postpartum & Infant Care Doula with over six years of experience supporting families as they transition into parenthood.
Georgie Kovacs: What is a doula?
Kelly Rutan: There is a very traditional definition of a doula. It's a word of Greek origin and defined literally as a woman who serves. What does that mean, though? We can talk about birth doulas and postpartum doulas, but my favorite definition for what a doula does, and it's something I'm my own mentor in this field uses is, a doula is somebody who instills confidence and power and reduces fear and anxiety. And when we define it that way, you can see how it can work in the birth and postpartum field.
Georgie Kovacs: What is the difference between a birth and postpartum doula?
A birth doula assists a pregnant family. Most birth doulas are hired before you're actually in labor so that you can develop a relationship with that family. As you go through growing a baby, thinking about how you want to labor and bring this baby into the world, your doula is there to build your confidence, answer your questions and help reduce any fears or anxieties or worries you have about the pregnancy and the birth.