What’s a Doula?
October 12, 2020

What’s a Doula?

By Natalie Hobbs
Britni Allen

We spoke to Britni Allen, one of Dubai’s favourite doulas, to ask that question and more.  


What’s a Doula?

The word Doula originates from Greek language meaning female slave/servant.  Sounds scary, but in reality, we offer non-medical, informational, emotional, and physical support to an expectant couple.  We support you throughout your pregnancy, birth, and postpartum journey.


Why did you become a Doula?

I have always had a curiosity about pregnancy, birth, and babies.  After the incredible births of my two children, one ‘land baby’ and one ‘water baby’, both fully natural births, yet completely different experiences, I knew that my path in life was to work in the birth field.  Since receiving my certifications, I have supported many families as a doula, and have also taught prenatal and postnatal yoga classes around Dubai.  I am a firm believer in the power of women supporting women, and that great strength - physical and mental - can come from the practice of yoga.


Why would I work with a Doula? 

Doulas provide prenatal preparation; labour and birth support; and postnatal support.  During the prenatal sessions we discuss all aspects of pregnancy, labour management, breastfeeding, and general newborn care.  We are able to share comfort techniques and emotional support techniques with the birth partner, so that they have the tools to offer support once labour begins.  Your Doula will support you throughout your labour and the birth of your precious baby. 

Data has shown that having continuous Doula support increases a couple’s chances of having a more positive birth experience.


Do you help after the birth?

Postnatal support visits will give the new parents a chance to ask questions, discuss concerns, or maybe debrief their birth.  We will visit you and your new baby to offer breastfeeding support, help with newborn care, and emotional support during the early days with your new baby.


How does a Doula work with my birth partner, midwife or obstetrician?

Your Doula does not replace your birth partner, your Midwife or your Obstetrician.  All members of your birth team have an important role and play a big part of your birth experience.  Your Doula and your partner work together to support you, emotionally and physically.  Your Midwife and/or your Obstetrician are there to make sure that you and your baby are safe.  You and your doula will build a caring and supportive relationship during your pregnancy, so that your doula is able to offer you full support during your labour/birth, and postpartum period.


When should I start working with a Doula?

It’s a good idea to find your Doula early on in your pregnancy. Usually your prenatal preparation sessions will begin around week 30-32 and wrap up around week 36-37, but your Doula will be available to provide advice and support throughout your pregnancy.


How do I find out more?

Visit www.britniallen.com online where you’ll find more information about Britni.  You can also find her on Facebook and Instagram.  To learn about the amazing collective of doulas that Britni works with head over to www.morethanbirthdoulas.com


More than birth doulas