Careers Unveiled: Doula
Have you ever wondered what goes into certain jobs?
In this limited series, Careers Unveiled takes a look at at some of the lesser-known career fields in Trinidad and Tobago, exploring occupations that, while we may know little about, feed into critical areas of our society.
This week, we meet with Doreen Hamel-Smith of the Doula Alliance of Trinidad and Tobago. Doreen is a Doula who has dedicated her career to providing emotional and physical support for new mothers throughout labour, delivery and during the postpartum period.
Essentially, a Doula “mothers the mother”, coaching her throughout the entire process, and enabling the mother to have the most satisfying and empowered time that she can during pregnancy, birth and the first few days as a new mother.
Most people assume the role and functions of Doulas and midwives are similar, but they do, in fact, have different training, duties, and certifications.
A Doula has many responsibilities and her bond with the mother starts long before the due date. She provides informational support for an empowering birth experience; is a source of motivation and reassurance during labour; helps create and protect intimacy within the birth space and helps with the comfort and progression of labour. A Doula also plays a vital role during labour and delivery for families who may be experiencing pregnancy loss.
A midwife is a trained health professional who helps healthy women during labour, delivery, and after the birth of their babies. Midwives may deliver babies at birthing centres or at home, but most can also deliver babies at a hospital.
Doreen tells us more about her fascinating career in aiding with welcoming new life into the world.