doula is

In the broadest sense of modern childbirth culture, a doula is a guide. But a doula does not lead you by the hand from a higher and more knowledgeable position. A doula helps a woman in childbirth go ahead, go herself, go confidently and calmly.
After all, a woman is the main one on this path!
Who is a Doula?
Who is a Doula?

From ancient times, a Doula was a female maid who cared for women in labor. The modern official definition of a Doula often does not give the full picture and leads to questions.

Bring water and hold your hand for money?

In the broad sense of modern birthing culture the doula is a guide. But a Doula does not lead you by the hand from a higher and more knowledgeable position. The Doula helps the woman in labor to lead the way, to walk on her own, to walk confidently and calmly. After all, the woman is in charge of the journey!

Often, Doulas are mothers themselves who have lived through their experience of childbirth, and therefore feel even more valuable in continually supporting a woman and her family throughout pregnancy and childbirth.

A Doula helps a woman navigate through a variety of approaches and information about childbirth that isn’t always reliable. Doula provides verified information in order to shape a woman's own attitude toward a particular birth format, method, intervention, etc., as well as to understand how it can affect the experience and outcomes of a woman in labor.

Childbirth is a psychologically powerful and emotional journey for most women and their partners. Having someone around to support this aspect along the way is invaluable. Caring, respect, physical and emotional comfort and necessary information - in these seemingly simple variables lies great power and the primary role of the Doula. And all of this can’t be replaced by other members of the medical system.

Today, doulas in many countries around the world are becoming a mandatory companion for women in labor, especially in a maternity hospital setting.

It can be difficult for women to understand the system of medical procedures and protocols on their own. Sometimes a woman goes to a maternity hospital for the first time and knows nothing about the system. Then she faces uncertainty, anxiety and fear, if there is no one to support her and tell her. Even before the birth Doula helps the woman and her partner to understand all the nuances and possible circumstances.

A Doula can support you wherever you are.

At the maternity hospital, at home, or in the theater :) Wherever the birth is planned and takes place, the doula will be there for you. Today there are covid restrictions at some maternity hospitals, where a woman is not allowed to take her partner or support. But that doesn't mean a woman can't be helped and supported.
In today's world we are used to online, even the therapist plugs in with us on Zoom. So with restrictions, if the woman has chosen this particular birthing center, the Doula will be able to continue to accompany her online.

Proving Facts
What are the proofs and facts?

Evidence shows that the most important thing for women is to have constant help in labor from someone, whether it is a nurse, a midwife, a partner, or a doula. However, in some birth outcomes, doolas are more influential than other support persons.

According to a study by Marshall H. Klaus, MD, John H. Kennell, and Phyllis H. Klaus (2002). Studies have shown that doulas improve the overall outcome and birthing experience for women. Many studies have been done on the impact of ongoing social support during childbirth, and they have shown amazing benefits!

50% reduction in caesarean sections
25% reduction in delivery time
Reduction in forceps use by 30 %
Decrease in the use of oxytocin to induce labor by 40 %
Decrease in the use of epidural anesthesia by 60%
Decrease in the use of pain medications by 30%
Increased frequency of breastfeeding 6 weeks after delivery
Higher self-esteem, less anxiety and depression 6 weeks after delivery

In addition to these benefits, when women feel love and support during childbirth, their ability to trust and follow their maternal instincts increases, deeply strengthening the bond with their child. This happens even when plans unfold in unexpected ways. If the energy surrounding the birthing mother is positive, loving and kind, the mother internalizes these qualities as she nurtures her child.

Support options
How is a Doula different from a midwife/husband/family member?

The midwife is the person responsible for your medical well-being and your baby's health. Although they may sometimes have a chance to give you words of encouragement, they are usually busy monitoring you and your baby's medical symptoms. The midwife is not always with you in the delivery room, but when she does come, she follows standard medical protocol. There is a difference here between the midwife in the birthing room and the independent midwife if you are giving birth at home.

- What about my husband or partner? Does a Doula replace my closest birthing partner?
- Of course not!

While a doula can be compared to a caring mother during childbirth, no one can replace a partner/husband.
Only a husband can hug and tenderly kiss just like that, only a husband can say in your ear "I love you! You're doing the best!"

Partners often become more involved in supporting the laboring mother as they learn and adopt many of the soothing techniques of the Doula. The presence of the doula frees the partner from the feeling that he or she must be a qualified support person in a completely new and difficult situation. If the labor is particularly stressful, difficult, or emotionally charged, the presence of a doula calms and increases the confidence of both the laboring mother and partner.

A friend or family member is a great idea. if you feel they have something to offer you during the birthing process. If you want to invite them to get something out of being present at your birth, it's not a good idea.

You need to surround yourself with strong, supportive people who will be your support. Some women feel that they "have to" invite their mothers to the birth, and this is often a very uncomfortable situation, where not only is it difficult for the mother to watch her daughter in a very emotional and physically stressful state, but it can also bring the mother back to memories of her own birth, which can affect the energy and space of the birth.
Mothers and daughters are usually very energetically in sync. Although your mother may just sit quietly and not say anything, you will feel her energy, and if it doesn't match what you need at the time, it can be a powerful emotional trigger.
A friend or family member, unless they are a birth attendant, will also not have the special training or tools that a Doula has.
What doesn't a Doula do?
A Doula specializes in non-medical skills and does NOT perform medical tasks. For example, vaginal exams or fetal heart rate monitoring.
A Doula does not diagnose illness, give an opinion, or give medical advice.
The Doula may NOT act as your "advocate" to medical staff and others on your behalf during the birth.
The Doula accompanies you and your partner with all the information you need to protect your interests.
Partner support
My partner is not sure whether to bring a stranger into our birthing space…

This is normal! In fact, it's even more common.
The fact is that many men and women feel uncomfortable inviting a stranger to their birth. It's a special day for them, the day their baby is born.
In general, male partners often try to take all the care, the necessary provision, and be the only support for the woman. But experience shows that usually first-time partners do not even understand what will be required of them on the day of delivery, they will be just as vulnerable and insecure as the woman.

A woman's body secretes many endorphins for support, as she can be for many hours without rest or sleep. Unfortunately, partners do not get these endorphins, and they often need to rest or take breaks. They need to replenish their energy levels, as any person would in normal life, so that they can continue to support their woman.

Having a doula can provide indispensable support to a laboring partner when her partner needs to eat, pee, rest, or call her family. I very much appreciate and approve of partners' intentions and participation in labor and help them feel helpful and confident in every way possible.
Another thing to be aware of if you are giving birth in a hospital setting. There may be many "strangers" coming and going during your labor. Changing midwives, students, nursing staff, anesthesiologists... Many people you have never met before. This can cause stress not only for the woman, but also for her partner, which in turn also affects the overall atmosphere and sense of security.
Why not have a permanent person with whom you already have a trusting and emotional rapport, a rapport, who knows all your wants, fears and has witnessed your pregnancy journey as a valued member of your birthing team. Most partners I meet are often unsure of the value of a doula. When we meet them, however, they learn firsthand about the benefits of my presence at the birth and understand how convenient it can be.

By the end of our journey together, I usually feel very close to the family, and it turns out to be genuinely mutual.
Education and qualifications
In 2015, I graduated from the Moscow State University of Psychology and Pedagogy with a degree in Psychotherapy. I had experience in counseling adults and working with children, also children with special developmental needs.

Since 2011 I studied photography at the European School of Art in Moscow, took various master classes and workshops with famous photographers.
There was a period when I plunged into the event environment and became an assistant director of large events and shows.

Since 2018, I've been back to working with people again and started developing my "Phototherapy" line of work.
A bit of an accident led me with a camera in my hands to the delivery room. That's where my transformation happened, that's where I saw my path.

Now I am qualified as a "Professional Doula" from a leading Doula training course in Russia and beyond Doula Link, and I am constantly learning, taking a variety of seminars and courses on preparation for childbirth.

I am preparing to become a mother myself and am immersing myself deeper and deeper into the topic of childbirth and motherhood with full involvement in this amazing part of our nature.
Filming the birth
"Why take photos of this?" — I often hear this question.

Birth photography is a unique service that gains more and more value over the years as parents and their grown children flip through photo albums, watch the film of their birth as a family and feel the strongest connection to each other.

"And what, you shoot everything? What's that for?" — Sometimes I hear, but every time my fire inside and my pictures help to melt the hearts of skeptics and show them the unique opportunity to capture the birth of their child.
For example, in Russia (where I lived for the last 27 years of my life) I still often encounter ambiguous or even negative reactions to birth photography. The very topic of childbirth, partner birth, and the body was taboo not so long ago.
While foreign parents (even in Turkey!) consider photo/video filming an important part of their event, feel free because nature has created the birth process is beautiful!

What is the process of shooting a birth?

Filming a birth is a very delicate, almost silent process. More often than not, I hear after the birth, "that was so unnoticeable! how did you do that?"
And every time parents get pictures and videos, there are tears of happiness, torrents of love and gratitude. It's priceless.
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