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Different Types of Doulas

Updated: May 29, 2023

If you’ve heard the word “doula” before, you probably think of someone who supports women throughout labor and delivery. This is accurate! However, the word “doula” comes from ancient Greek and translates to “a woman who serves”. Doulas do not just serve women throughout labor and delivery, but instead support individuals and families throughout a variety of life events. I have outlined a few different types of doulas and their differing roles below.

Different Types of Doulas

Birth Doulas

Birth doulas are the most well-known type of doula. Birth doulas provide informational, emotional, and physical support to women and their families throughout pregnancy, labor, and delivery. Birth doulas work in homes, hospitals, and birth centers. Birth doulas are trained in non-medical pain management techniques. Birth doulas can be an invaluable addition to any birth team.

Sibling Doulas

Sibling doulas work with families to help their children prepare for the arrival of a new family member. Sibling doulas provide care for older children throughout the birth of the new baby, allowing the parents to focus fully on labor and delivery without needing to worry about the well-being of their other children. Sibling doulas can be especially beneficial for parents who live far from their families and do not have family members to help care for their older children.

Postpartum Doulas

Postpartum doulas provide care for entire families following the birth of a new child. Postpartum doulas typically work in the homes of their clients. Postpartum doulas do so much that it is difficult to sum up their services concisely! Postpartum doulas provide support to new mothers and assist with postpartum healing and lactation and/or feeding support. Postpartum doulas also care for new babies while simultaneously completing tasks around the house to ensure that newborn families can get some much-needed rest. The support of a good postpartum doula is truly one of the best investments a new family can make.

Fertility Doulas

Fertility doulas support families on their path to conception. Similar to birth doulas, fertility doulas provide informational, emotional, and physical support to those who are planning to conceive. The path to conception can be an extremely emotional time in one’s life, and the support of a caring doula who is well-versed in the scientific aspects of conception, such as fertility treatments and IVF, can be greatly useful.

Death Doulas

Death doulas help prepare individuals for the end of their lives. Speaking about death here in the West is often uncomfortable and frowned upon, if not taboo. Death doulas help facilitate the necessary conversations between the dying and their loved ones, and help the dying individual prepare for a good death on their terms. Death doulas also provide emotional support to both the dying individual and their loved ones.

Here at Madam Doula, we currently provide two of these services: birth and postpartum doula services. You can learn more about our services under the “Madam Doula Services” tab on our website.


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