Pregnancy is an exciting, joy-filled time for parents. However, it can also be filled with anxiety and stress. That’s why Brookings Health System started a volunteer doula program, providing a free pool of doulas available to assist women who have their baby at Brookings Health System.

Nicole Biever from Brookings shares her experience using a volunteer doula for the birth of her second daughter.

Hear why doulas are helpful for partners as well as laboring and delivering moms from Jake and Amanda Jantzer of Brookings.

Learn about what a doula is and their role in childbirth and postpartum stay from volunteer doula, Judy Miller, in the video below.

What is a doula?

“Doula” is Greek for “to mother the mother.” A labor doula is a woman who provides continuous labor support during childbirth and helps expectant parents have healthier, easier births. She assists the mother and her partner with emotional and physical needs, making the experience as comfortable and memorable as possible. A doula is trained in massage, pressure point relief, positioning, and birthing balls. She also uses music, aromatherapy, relaxation, and visualization.

Postpartum doulas help parents in the first days after delivering a new baby to help them transition and adjust to having a newborn. They help parents with items like infant feeding, emotional and physical recovery from birth, mother-baby bonding, infant soothing and basic newborn care during their postpartum stay at Brookings Health System.

To qualify as a volunteer, a doula must complete a Doulas of North America (DONA) training course or its equivalent. While certification is not required, volunteers must commit to one 24-hour shift per month.

Parents to be who would like to use doula services during labor, delivery, recovery and postpartum process at no cost may contact (605) 696-9000 ext. 8052 for more information.

In addition, Brookings Health System offers childbirth preparation classes, breastfeeding classes and tours of New Beginnings Birth Center. Contact (605) 696-9000 ext. 8052 for information on these OB services.