A doula is a space holder for the most epic transformations of the human experience.
While society is coming aware of the existence and role of birth doulas, may don't realise that doulas also exist for postpartum support, abortion or miscarriage support and death support. The idea behind inviting a doula into your postpartum and birth space is ancient and seen across many cultures around the world. Having someone you trust by your side to hold space while you unravel, listen without judgement, care for you, feed you healing and nourishing food, and educate you on your options for the journey ahead, has the ability to empower you during the tender and vulnerable time of your life.
A doula´s offering are varied and incredibly individual. How their support looks will differ from client to client, with their visits tailored to the individual needs of the families they are supporting. So no matter where you are in your pregnancy, or postpartum journey, if you have birth still ahead of you or planning to have a baby - a doula can be by your side in addition to your midwife, obgyn and birth partner to support, educate and guide you.
We spoke to Shanay Rocker, a Berlin based doula and founder of Mama Muun, about her work, her experiences and asked her for tips, in case you are interested hiring a doula for your birth or postpartum journey.
why it makes so much sense for a lot of women to get a doula for birth/postpartum
Because you should never feel isolated and alone during this time, doulas are professional guides and friends who hold your hand from the start to the end. Doulas improve birth outcomes, lower interventions during pregnancy and labour, educate and provide reassurance during this time of major change and transformation.
No matter how the birth unfolds or postpartum journey is going providing personal One on One care is the safest, because you need someone who has the time and patience - also main focus is making sure you are being provided with emotional, physically and spiritual stability to answer your 101 questions before, during and after labour. Giving up to date evidence based information and education as well as teaching self advocacy tools to use through out the journey is key to a smooth transition into parenthood.
Doulas can reduce fears and increase confidence. Allowing you to trust yourself as a parent and the birthing process. Being that non judgment support! Reminding you of your own personal powers and ability to do this and trusting your intuition. If moms are well, the whole family is well.
Tips to find doulas
There are many German speaking doulas and international doulas to find, there will be the right doula out there for you. Doulas work independently and freelance so recommendations are always best or researching doulas in your city and arranging a meeting with a few to get a vibe feel. Doulas are best found word of mouth referrals.
Where to find doulas in your city:
- Facebook groups
- Berlin doula options / Vermittlung
- Doulas of Germany
- Local international family groups
- Google doulas in your city and contact a few to arrange a meeting to see who you get along with best. For examples “doulas in Bavaria” , “doulas in Hamburg”
- Doulas in Deutschland (but a lot are not on there)
- European Doula Network - not a doula find but it’s a great organization for European doulas
- Doula Verbund Deutschland
- Doula Deutschland
- google doula in …. And the search shows up with doulas in your city
- click on hash tags some doulas use for example #berlindoulas or #doulaberlin
- ask around, if your attending birth classes or yoga classes the instructors may know someone.
- Doulas we love to follow: Schwesterherzen Doulas, Jazz Kaiser, Stephanie Johne, Emma from thenakeddoula, Village for Mama
Good to know?
Costs vary between 400€ and a few thousand euros depending on the service. Some insurances started taking over (some) costs for doulas, mostly following and "attest" for the time after birth. Just get in touch with them and check, as well as with your obgyn. In case of limited financial resources, Verein Doulas in Deutschland e.V. offers acompany free of charge. Doulas do not replace a midwife or obgyn, they will support you in addition to the medical experts out there.
In Collaboration with Shanay Rocker, Source of Information: Life after Birth