What is an Ayurvedic Doula?

Ayurvedic Doulas are certified doulas who are also trained in Ayurvedic principles, an ancient Indian healing system that emphasizes balance in the mind, body, and spirit. These doulas provide comprehensive care and support to expecting mothers during pregnancy, labor, birth, and postpartum.

In addition to traditional doula practices, such as emotional support, physical comfort measures, and education, Ayurvedic Doulas also offer Ayurvedic techniques tailored to each mother’s unique needs. While traditional doulas offer valuable care and support, Ayurvedic Doulas take it to the next level by incorporating ancient Ayurvedic principles into their care approach.

In this article, we’ll explore the unique benefits of having an Ayurvedic Doula and how they differ from traditional doulas.

ayurvedic doula

What is Ayurveda?

Ayurveda is an ancient Indian holistic healing system based on the idea that good health and wellbeing depend on a balance between the body, mind, and spirit. Ayurvedic principles focus heavily on preventative care and lifestyle habits to maintain overall wellness.

This includes yoga, meditation, nutrition, herbs and spices, oil massage, aromatherapy, and other holistic modalities.

What Does an Ayurvedic Doula Do?

An Ayurvedic doula provides emotional, physical, and educational support to expecting mothers during pregnancy, labor, birth, and postpartum. In addition to traditional doula practices such as helping mothers with prenatal education, birthing positions, and breastfeeding, an Ayurvedic doula utilizes Ayurvedic knowledge and practices to tailor their support to each mother’s unique needs.

These practices may include (but not limited to):

  • Nutrition recommendations based on a mother’s individual Dosha (body type), including the use of herbs and spices to support overall health and wellness
  • Herbal remedies for common pregnancy discomforts
  • Breathing exercises and meditation to reduce stress and anxiety
  • Specialized massages and bodywork, such as Abhyanga, to improve blood and lymphatic flow and relieve muscle tension
  • Postpartum Ayurvedic nutritional and wellness practices, such as Jathara Parivartanasana or “belly massage” to restore digestive function and promote healing

Want to read more about the other types of doulas? Visit this page.

Roles and Responsibilities of an Ayurvedic Doula

The role of Ayurvedic Doulas is to focus on the overall well-being of the mother, including the physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects. The following are the details of their responsibilities within each area:

Physical Health: Ayurvedic Doulas can help improve the physical health of both mother and child during pregnancy and postpartum. For example, Ayurvedic massages can improve circulation, decrease swelling, help with recovery, prevent infections, and alleviate pain.

Specific nutrition recommendations and the use of herbs can support immune function, digestion, and reduce inflammation. These practices can make for a healthier pregnancy, childbirth, and recovery period.

Emotional Health: Pregnancy and childbirth can take a toll on emotional wellbeing. Ayurvedic Doulas help promote emotional balance and provide tools for managing stress and anxiety.

Breathing exercises, aromatherapy, meditation, and Ayurvedic massages can help calm the nervous system, improve mood, help alleviate stress, and promote relaxation.

Spiritual Health: Ayurvedic principles promote a holistic approach to wellness, taking into consideration the interconnectedness of the mind, body, and spirit. Ayurvedic Doulas often provide a more spiritual and meaningful connection to pregnancy and childbirth.

Rituals such as chanting or blessings may be incorporated into the care approach, helping to create a more sacred and reverential atmosphere.

What are the Benefits of Having an Ayurvedic Doula?

Having an Ayurvedic Doula can provide a variety of benefits for expecting mothers during their pregnancy, labor, birth, and postpartum. Here are some of these benefits:

Personalized care: Ayurvedic Doulas take into account each mother’s individual needs and Dosha (body type). They work with mothers to create a unique plan that supports their individual health and wellness goals.

Prenatal Care: Ayurvedic Doulas help mothers prepare for labor and birth by providing prenatal education, nutrition recommendations, herbal remedies, and Ayurvedic massage. This comprehensive approach can help mothers feel more prepared and relaxed during the birthing process.

Stress Relief: Pregnancy can be a stressful time, but an Ayurvedic doula can provide stress-reducing techniques such as meditation, breathing exercises, and massage. These practices can help mothers relax and reduce cortisol levels, which can improve overall health outcomes.

Smooth Recovery: Postpartum recovery can be challenging for women, but Ayurvedic Doulas can provide support through Ayurvedic nutritional and wellness practices. These practices can strengthen the mother’s body and aid in faster recovery.

Cultural Connection: For mothers who value traditional healing practices, an Ayurvedic doula can provide a deeper cultural connection to the birthing process. Incorporating these traditional practices into the doula experience can offer a richer and more meaningful birth experience.

Positive Outcomes: Women who have used the services of Ayurvedic Doulas report numerous positive outcomes, including shorter labor times, decreased pain during childbirth, improved breastfeeding support, and faster postpartum recovery.

Ever heard of Hypnobirthing Doulas? Find out more about them here.

Ayurvedic Postnatal Care

The terms “postpartum” and “postnatal” are sometimes used interchangeably, but they can also refer to different things. “Postpartum” is usually used to describe issues related to the mother, while “postnatal” typically refers to issues related to the baby.

In Ayurveda, the postnatal period is considered an important stage for the mother and baby’s overall well-being, and proper care during this time can help prevent long-term health issues.

Benefits of Ayurvedic Postnatal Care for Newborns

Ayurvedic postnatal care offers numerous benefits, particularly for the newborn’s physical and mental development, such as:

  • Improved digestion and nutrient absorption
  • Strengthening the immune system
  • Support for healthy weight gain
  • Improved respiratory health
  • Increased brain development

These benefits are achieved through a combination of diet, massage, and herbal remedies.

Things to Consider When Using Ayurvedic Postnatal Care

While Ayurvedic postnatal care can offer numerous benefits, there are some potential concerns or considerations to keep in mind. For example:

  • Some herbs may interact with certain medications or have side effects, so it’s important to consult with a practitioner and inform your doctor.
  • The massage techniques used in Ayurvedic postnatal care may not be suitable for women recovering from a C-section or other medical interventions.
  • Ayurvedic postnatal care should not be used as a substitute for medical care or advice from a qualified healthcare professional.

Overall, hiring an Ayurvedic Postpartum Doula can facilitate both the mother and newborn’s recovery and help ensure the best possible outcome.

Difference Between an Ayurvedic Doula and other Doulas

Ayurvedic Doulas offer the same types of support as other doulas – physical, emotional, and informational – before, during, and after birth. However, there are some key distinctions between the two.

  • Traditional doulas primarily provide labor and delivery support, while Ayurvedic Doulas prioritize prenatal and postpartum care.
  • The services provided by traditional doulas focus on physical comfort measures like massage, counter-pressure, and aromatherapy. On the other hand, Ayurvedic Doulas take a more comprehensive approach to birth support that includes offering nutritional advice, herbal remedies, stretches, breath work, meditation, and spiritual practices.
  • The education of traditional doulas typically covers childbirth and labor basics, while Ayurvedic Doulas possess a more comprehensive knowledge of Ayurveda and its principles.

Limitations of an Ayurvedic Doula

While having an Ayurvedic doula can be beneficial, it is important to note that they are not medical professionals cannot provide medical advice. Additionally:

  • some of the techniques used by Ayurvedic Doulas may not be suitable for all women, so it is important to discuss any concerns or limitations with your health care provider prior to engaging with an Ayurvedic Doula.
  • some techniques such as yoga and meditation may not be recommended during certain stages of pregnancy due to certain contraindications.

Ayurvedic Doula Training

When looking for an Ayurvedic Doula, it is essential to think about the type of training that your doula has received. Be sure to ask if they have any certifications or credentials related to Ayurveda, such as an Ayurvedic Practitioner certification.

The following online portals offer training and certification for one to become and Ayurvedic Doula:

For an exclusive Ayurvedic Postpartum Doula Training:

Video: What is an Ayurvedic Postpartum Doula?

The video features Meghan Elizabeth discussing the responsibilities of being an Ayurvedic Postpartum Doula and the positive influence they can have on both new mothers and their babies.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How long does an Ayurvedic Doula stay with the mother?

The length of time that an Ayurvedic doula stays with the mother depends on individual needs but can range from several weeks to months after the birthing process has been completed.

2. Where can I find an Ayurvedic Doula near me?

There are many resources available to help locate an ayurvedic doula near you. You can search online for local practitioners or ask your health care provider for a referral. Additionally, there may be local support groups and networks that could provide referrals as well.

It is also important to reach out to friends and family who have experience working with Ayurvedic doulas to get recommendations.

2. How does Ayurveda support pregnancy and childbirth?

Ayurveda emphasizes the importance of balance and harmony between the body, mind, and environment. It offers guidance on diet, lifestyle, and herbal remedies to promote a healthy pregnancy and ease the birthing process.

For example, Ayurveda recommends specific foods to nourish the mother and baby, self-care practices like oil massage, and relaxation techniques such as meditation and yoga.

3. What services does an Ayurvedic Doula provide?

An Ayurvedic Doula may offer various services, including:

  • Prenatal support: Educating expectant mothers on Ayurvedic principles, diet, and lifestyle choices to promote a healthy pregnancy.
  • Labor and birth support: Providing physical comfort measures, emotional support, and advocating for the mother’s preferences during labor and delivery.
  • Postpartum care: Assisting with newborn care, breastfeeding, and offering guidance on Ayurvedic principles for optimal recovery and bonding with the baby.

4. How much does it cost to hire an Ayurvedic Doula?

The cost of hiring an Ayurvedic Doula varies depending on factors like location, experience, and the specific services offered. It’s essential to discuss fees and payment options with your chosen doula during the initial consultation.

5. Can I still have a hospital or home birth with an Ayurvedic Doula?

Yes, an Ayurvedic Doula can support you during a hospital or home birth, as long as they are trained and experienced in attending births in those settings. They will work alongside your medical team, such as a midwife, to ensure your physical, emotional, and spiritual needs are met during childbirth.

6. Do I need an Ayurvedic Doula if I already have a midwife or obstetrician?

While a midwife or obstetrician provides essential medical care during pregnancy and childbirth, an Ayurvedic Doula offers additional support focused on holistic well-being. Their role complements that of medical professionals, ensuring that you receive comprehensive care throughout your pregnancy journey.

7. Can an Ayurvedic Doula help with postpartum depression?

An Ayurvedic Doula can provide support and guidance on Ayurvedic practices that may help prevent or alleviate postpartum depression symptoms. However, they are not medical professionals and cannot diagnose or treat mental health conditions. If you suspect you have postpartum depression, it’s crucial to consult with a healthcare provider for appropriate treatment.

8. What are things to consider when hiring an Ayurvedic Doula?

When hiring an Ayurvedic Doula, it is important to consider their experience and qualifications, references and testimonials, cost, and compatibility in order to build a relationship that is beneficial to you and your needs.

Also Read: What is an Antepartum Doula?

Final Thoughts

Ayurvedic Doulas offer unique benefits to expectant mothers during pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum. By incorporating ancient Ayurvedic principles into their care approach, Ayurvedic Doulas offer personalized, comprehensive care tailored to each mother’s individual needs.

Improved physical, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing not only benefits the mother but also supports the health and development of the growing child. Consider the benefits of an Ayurvedic Doula when planning your pregnancy and childbirth journey.

error: Content is protected !!