Specialized Doulas -- What's out there?
Updated: Jan 20, 2020
When most people think of doulas, they think of birth doulas. There are many types of doulas, and many doulas overlap with some of these hats, there are some that specialize in one kind of doula support.
At the core of any doula's job is to provide emotional, physical, and informational support. The techniques used can be different depending on the kind of support the doula specializes in, and the client's individual needs. Here's a list of what each kind of doula specializes in to help you find the kind of support that would fit your needs best.
Birth Doula -- supports a pregnant person before, during, and immediately after birth. Birth doulas are trained in supporting people during a full spectrum of births, including medicated, unmedicated, and surgical births.
Postpartum Doula -- supports a family with a new baby/babies during the first few months (up to a year) after their arrival. Postpartum doulas can help with breastfeeding, infant care, supporting a client's self-care, and assisting in household tasks (cooking, folding laundry, etc..)
Antepartum Doula -- supports a family during a high risk pregnancy, during a pregnancy complication, and often while the pregnant person is on bedrest. An antepartum doula supports a family emotionally during this time, but can also help with tasks and scafolding to support a household to run smoothly while bedrest is needed.
Abortion Doula -- provide emotional, physical, and informational support before, during, and after a surgical abortion procedure.
Adoption Doula -- supports birth families and adopting families during pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum transition.
Sibling Doula -- supports siblings emotionally during the birth of a new sibling. Sibling doulas can be present at the birth with your child, or be available to support your child at their home.
Bereavement Doula -- provides support before, during, and after birth during any trimester.
End of Life Doula - (also known as a death doula) supports people planning for their choices surrounding their own death. Death doulas also can provide vigil and support of loved ones before, during, and after death.