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Doula Services

The Irish Trade and Professional Association for Doulas CLG member Doulas provides a range of doula supports to expectant mothers and families. Our doulas are trained to provide emotional, physical, and informational support to women during pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period. 

ITPAD is an inclusive organisation, welcoming Doulas providing range of supports, including, but not limited to: Antenatal, Birth, Postpartum, Fertility, Abortion, Pregnancy and Infant Loss, Menopause, End of Life.

 

Thinking of Hiring a Doula?

  • Research

    • You can use our 'Find a Doula' directory to identify doulas that meet your requirements​

    • Ask in your local parenting groups for recommendations

    • Ask family and friends for recommendations

  • Interview​

    • Contact any doulas you are interested in, most offer free consultations. It is as important to the doula as it is for you to ensure a good fit before proceeding.​

    • Ask for testimonials or to speak to previous clients for references.

  • Contract​

    • Once you have selected your preferred doula, ask for their contract to review.​

    • Exchange signed contracts and agree schedule


Birth Support

What do birth doulas offer?

Physical Support

Position ideas for comfort and labor progression cross over with hands-on comfort measures like comforting touch, counter pressure, breathing techniques and other “doula magic” for families. A doula’s skilled hands and positioning tools can often help a malpositioned baby find its way through the pelvis and into the birthing parent’s arms.

Emotional Support

Doulas help families to feel supported, easing the emotional experience of birth and also helping to create a space where the hormones of labor can work at their best. Whether a birth is completely unmedicated or medically very complex, every family can benefit from nurturing and connection at this tender, incredible time in their lives.

Partner Support

Whether it’s a romantic partner, a friend or another family member like the baby’s grandma, the birth partner’s experience matters in birth. Our doulas are there to support every birth partner in being as involved as they’d like with the birth. Physical and emotional support make a huge difference for everyone involved.

Evidence-Based Information and Advocacy

Our member doulas are trained to help families connect with evidence-based resources so they can ask great questions and make informed decisions about their births. Our doulas serve as a bridge of communication between their client and their providers, lifting them up to help them find their voices and advocate for the very best care.

A Birth Doula usually offers a Birth Package, made up of Antenatal sessions, in home support during your early labour, virtual support or homebirth support or in-person support once you transfer to the hospital, depending on your preferences, and a number of Postpartum sessions.

Postpartum Doula:

What do postpartum doulas offer?

The focus of a Postpartum Doula service is to ensure the family unit is thriving. To this end, Postpartum Doulas offer emotional, information and practical help. This includes, but is not limited to, and changes over weeks as family needs evolve: minding baby for parents to sleep/rest or shower/bath or eat or go for walk (whatever parents needs to do), nappy changes, bath baby, feed baby expressed milk or formula, wash and sterilise breast pump and/or bottles, prepare meals and snacks for parents, accompany mom to medical appointments, laundry (load washing machine/dryer/clothes drying horse), change bed sheets, organise baby clothes for storage, assist in any practical way that benefits parents and baby.

 

Postpartum Doulas will also provide information resources and tips on range of topics including: winding, reflux, colic, feeding positions, nappies, baby wearing, baby massage, safe cosleeping, baby sleep, washing baby, expressing and storing milk, sterilising bottles, giving baby a bottle, baby starting solids, adjustment to new routine, your own recovery, nutrition, fears or concerns you may wish to discuss.

 

Antenatal support:

Postpartum Doulas may also offer support in the Antenantal period, to help family prepare for arrival of baby.

At an Antenatal visit, a Doula can help you set up the baby's cot/side sleeper/bassinet, assemble the buggy for you, set up nappy change areas and give you tips on baby care for when you get home.

 

At antenatal support visits a Doula can batch cook for you and provide practical help. They can accompany you to medical appointments. A Doula can also go through information resources on labour, comfort measures, breastfeeding, and the post birth experience.

 

Packages

Some families book two or three mornings a week for maybe a month, to help create a schedule and new routine. It depends on what is of benefit to the family. If older children in creche/Montessori/school in the morning, then afternoon times may be more helpful if that time can feel overwhelming/chaotic. Or the morning can be of benefit to allow parents rest.

 

Some clients book a package of hours, with a loose idea of the anticipated schedule, such as booking 100 hours, to be used as 4 hours per day, 5 days a week for first 3 weeks, then 4 days a week for following 2 weeks, then final sessions in next week. However schedules can be customised and Doulas are flexible to change session times over the weeks as baby and parents needs evolve.

Fertility Doula

A fertility doula is a trained non-medical professional that can walk with you throughout your fertility journey and provide educational and emotional support during the preconception stage. Fertility doulas can be a lifeline in helping you navigate fertility treatments and reproductive technology by providing nonjudgemental support and a listening ear when you need it most. Many fertility doulas incorporate holistic, mind-body approaches that serve as complementary tools to aid fertility treatments and help you achieve your goals with less stress and more calm and ease. 

When to consider Fertility Doula Support: 
  • When you are just starting to think about planning a pregnancy in the coming months and want to gain insights on how to best prepare.

  • When you have been trying for several months or years with no success and want to gain a deeper understanding of your reproductive health, learn evidence-based information to support your fertility and explore your options.

  • When you are considering or undergoing reproductive medicine and fertility treatments, a fertility doula can support you in taking a holistic mind/body approach to complement these treatments. She can also provide emotional support and encouragement throughout the process.

  • When you are experiencing loss or a conception after loss, a fertility doula provides heart-centered support to help you process, grieve, heal, and move forward toward your goals.

  • When you move through early pregnancy after loss or infertility, a fertility doula offers continued support, holding your hand through the early stages of pregnancy.

Regardless of what stage you are on your journey to parenthood, a fertility doula can meet you where you are and provide holistic, compassionate care and understanding.

Abortion Doula

An abortion doula can be the light that guides a friend, loved one, or stranger through their abortion journey. An abortion doula can be the driver during a silent car ride to a clinic, who comforts with their presence alone, or the person at the other end of the phone as they describe exactly what will happen during your procedure tomorrow--all the while managing to make it somehow less scary.  

In the most basic sense, an abortion doula can be anybody who provides non-medical support for someone going through an abortion. They are a friendly face, a hand to hold, a shoulder to cry on, a source of information, and an advocate for their client’s care in a medical setting.  

A trained abortion doula, however, is someone who is equipped to provide nonjudgmental, knowledge-based care for someone experiencing a medical, surgical, or self-managed abortion.

An abortion doula is someone who envisions a world where all people have the information, resources, and power to make informed decisions about their bodies and lives. They believe that every single person has the right to dictate when, how, and if they become parents. An abortion doula will provide on-the-ground support and compassionate care to members of your community throughout their abortion experience.

Menopause Doula

The Menopause doula’s role is to help the client feel safe and comfortable, complementing the role of the healthcare professionals who provide the client’s medical care.

 

Like birth or death doulas, the role of a menopause doula is to help their clients navigate a significant health and life transition. Menopause doulas help their clients through menopause transition and provide actionable guidance, tips, and resources.

Similar to how a birth doula follows the mother from the early stages of pregnancy through birth and helps her through each stage of that process, a menopause doula provides that type of support from the early stages of perimenopause, guiding clients through ways that they can support and advocate for themselves.

What do menopause doulas offer?

  • They provide information on hormone basics, menstruation, and the hormone collective. They will then explore both hormonal ageing and ovarian ageing in relevant and meaningful terms.

  • A menopause doula will help you look at menopause in-depth, including what it is (and is not) as well as highlighting commonly held myths and misdirection around menopause.

  • A menopause doula will discuss with you the different approaches to managing menopause transition. It explores how Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) can be delivered and the types of difficulties it can help. They will also present the benefits of a whole-person approach to the menopause experience.

End of Life Doula

End-of-life doulas (EOLDs), sometimes called death doulas, are similar to birth doulas in that they are trained to provide non-medical, holistic support for their clients and their families.

 

No two end-of-life doulas are likely to offer the same services, but in general, EOLDs can be expected to help individuals in the following ways:

  • Provide educational information to patients and families about stages of dying

  • Help in navigating available resources so their clients can make informed choices when facing difficult decisions

  • Provide neutral, non-biased emotional support for the dying and their loved ones

  • Utilise hands-on care techniques to keep the dying as comfortable as possible while not interfering with or providing medical support or care

  • Offer spiritual support in a manner that aligns with the client – not the doula’s – personal beliefs

  • Be a guide in navigating end-of-life planning and paperwork

  • Provide grief resources and education

  • Maintain a list of referrals to appropriate community organisations and care providers

  • Offer neutral, supportive encouragement to clients as they get their personal affairs in order – including being an empathetic companion as they make their final arrangements

  • Assistance in creating legacy projects

  • Be available for practical help such as driving to appointments and handling household chores

Why choose an ITPAD doula?

A member of ITPAD:

  • Has completed an Approved course which follows the ITPAD core curriculum.  Or have joined ITPAD as an experienced doula or birth worker and completed ITPAD alternate pathway workshops.

  • Is Garda vetted

  • Has completed the Tusla Children First course

  • Is continually learning and developing through the membership community and support network of ITPAD

  • Is recommended to have appropriate insurance and to provide clients with a clear, written agreement.

  • Is recommended to be tax compliant

  • Is committed to abiding by ITPAD policies and procedures and Code of Conduct.

  • Furthermore your confidentiality is protected by the Social Media Guidelines and safeguarding policies to protect you and your doula.

 

ITPAD is a membership organisation, and we trust that the information our doulas provide us with is truthful. However if we are made aware of any circumstance which we consider would preclude a member working with your family or in the presence of children, we will rescind membership immediately. Please ask your doula for references.

ITPAD also has a complaints and feedback procedure if, for some reason, you are not happy with the service from your doula.

All our members are independent doulas and services provided are subject to individual terms of contract between the doula and the 2nd party. The Irish Trade and Professional Association for Doulas CLG does not accept any responsibility for the services provided by the Doulas listed on this website. 

Find a Doula

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