Moms and Dads
This Group of Doulas is Ready to Help Would-Be Mothers
Pinay Doulas Collective is a group ready to help would-be-moms in their respective journeys
The past years saw would-be-moms opting for different options when it comes to their pregnancy. Aside from regular check-ups with doctors, some of them have sought the help of doulas in their preparations. In the Philippines, a group called the Pinay Doulas Collective has been helping several expectant moms for the big day. Modern Parenting reached out to Doula Rosana Padua to know more about their group and clarify the work they do.
The Beginning of Pinay Doulas Collective
Ros said the group started back in 2013 through a breastfeeding group on Facebook.
“Almost all of us were new parents or had new babies at that time. So we were very much active in the group and we trained to become breastfeeding counselors,” she said.
Ros shared that she and some of the members started bonding together and one of the teachers of the training was studying to become a doula brought up the idea about forming a cooperative.
“She brought us in and we studied to become birth doulas after we became breastfeeding counselors because we noticed how birth experiences birth impacts the breastfeeding journeys of mothers moving forward.”
“All of us in Pinay Doulas Collective are breastfeeding moms and breastfeeding counselors,” she added.
The difference of a Doula from a Midwife and OB Gyne
Doulas are now becoming more available for services but there are still some misconceptions.
“Many inquiries to this date think that doulas take over the role of the midwife or the OB-Gyne. But Doulas do work in a team with an OB-Gyne or midwife,” Ros said. “So our role if you can just imagine is really to help you in your emotional and mental and psychological aspect of birth, while the doula or the midwife and the doctor are the ones who ensure the physical side the health safety of the mom, and the baby.”
“Especially for our organization, we do not attend births where there are no doctors or no midwives present,” she added.
Another misconception she said is that they only support births that are unmedicated.
” [Another thing people think is that] kung gusto mo ng doula, you are aiming to have a Lamaze unmedicated birth. waterbirth home birth. No, definitely not,” Ros said. ” We accept all kinds of births, I have attended cesarean births. In my class, I teach how to prepare if they are to have a cesarean birth for health reasons. So we support even the ones who aim to have an epidural during birth.”
Primary work of a Doula
Ros also said that the primary work of the doula is to check on the mother’s mental state of being.
“The reason why more and more scum are coming in is that we have a greater awareness of how important it is to take care of the mom, during this crucial time. And the doctors, the nurses, they’re really definitely zeroing in on your physical well-being,” she said.
So for us, when we do our consultation, we talk more about how are you feeling? Are you preparing yourself to become a parent? How are you, also preparing for your relationship, with your husband. And then what are your fears a lot of women now are fearful, especially in the past two years given COVID such scenario, so many additional anxieties plaguing our pregnant women, because of everything that’s happening here, everywhere. So that’s our role. We try to navigate the emotional side of pregnancy and childbirth, including the dads we also help them because we help them how to anticipate and respond to the needs of the woman.”
Pinay Doulas Collective currently has three types of doula services – fertility, birth, and postpartum.
Still much more to learn
As more people research the importance of doulas, Ros said that they are ready to help pregnant women with their problems, especially breastfeeding.
“We want to try to espouse to cultivate in women we’re pregnant and more welcoming children welcoming babies, is that this is your birth. This is your pregnancy. This is your child’s battle,” she said. “Ang bulk talaga [of concern] ay sa breastfeeding kasi nandoon na yung bata eh. They need to solve problems and they need you to give them actual instructions.”
“I noticed during the pandemic, a lot of women are also taking solely courses on newborn care, on breastfeeding. I also noticed how women want to succeed in parenting. They know how valuable acknowledgment is coming into to becoming a parent and they want to do good.”
What’s next for the group
As for what the future holds for the group, Ros said: “At the very core, our goal is to really support women in their reproductive years. And we have not stopped doing so particularly myself. Of course, my-co doulas, some of them also took some break because of everything that happened but I continue doing my classes online. And when we start to open, we do acknowledge that pregnant women and babies are still considered as highly at risk for COVID.”
“We’re crossing our fingers that time will come that we will come back to the face-to-face classes, where we can really connect with the women and give them a hug. That’s what doulas have – the warmth that we can give them. And just to assure women that they are capable in their pregnancy, they’re capable in their mothering and they’re breastfeeding. And we hope to do that so that we inspire a generation of new moms, new parents, with much confidence in their hearts and so much belief in their own ability to be good parents.”