What Does an Antepartum Doula Do?

Have you heard of an antepartum doula, or a “pregnancy doula?”

Pregnancy can be tough for a multitude of reasons. Maybe the pregnant person has a young child at home, or are simply overwhelmed. Maybe they are the one in charge of handling everything during the pregnancy, or their partner/support person is away for some reason. Maybe they’re dealing with horrible morning sickness or other symptoms, or even suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum, HELLP syndrome, or preeclampsia. Maybe they’ve been placed on bed rest, are pregnant with multiples, or have a pregnancy-related illness/injury. No matter the reason, pregnancy can take its toll!

Fortunately, pregnant people who are dealing with a high-risk pregnancy or complications during pregnancy generally have their medical needs met, with lots of monitoring and support from their medical team. But there are many areas in which pregnant people in these situations don’t get extra help and support.

It can be hard for a pregnant person to relax when they are on bed rest, lacking support, or not feeling well – there are so many things to deal with that they need to learn to “let go.” What if they have another child to care for during their pregnancy? What if they’re doing it all alone? Maybe they’re struggling with their pregnancy not going how they had expected, or don’t have the best resources for their current situation. An antepartum doula can help take away some of this pressure and stress and make it easier for the pregnant person and their family to cope.

Emotionally, it can be difficult to deal with or “come to terms with” the fact that this pregnancy is possibly not going as expected, or is proving to be more difficult than imagined. Helping the pregnant person feel that they are supported and in control can greatly improve their experience with pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. Having a non-biased person who will listen to the highs and lows, celebrate the good days and offer support and encouragement on the difficult days, and talk through the fears and concerns that the pregnant person and their support person have can be incredibly helpful during this time.

Physically, and practically, antepartum doulas can make a huge difference in the pregnant person’s life, as well as their family’s. Small things that others might forget – running errands, taking care of the pets, lending a hand with other children, taking the trash out – are all tasks that the antepartum doula specializes in. Preparing freezer meals, organizing the nursery, helping to prepare a plan for birth and postpartum, and other similar tasks can help the pregnant person and their partners to relax and feel more in control. This can be especially important in high-risk pregnancies where the birthing person needs to stay in bed or control their stress levels.

Support is crucial in pregnancy, and especially in high-risk situations. An antepartum doula can provide specialized, non-biased support to families going through these situations during the pregnancy and beyond!

Contact me to learn more about the antepartum/pregnancy services I offer or view my services here.