Doula World Doula Week

Why I Doula…

To celebrate World Doula Week we reached out to a few of our UDA members to learn why they “doula.” Here’s what they had to say:


Heather Tolley

“I doula because I believe every birthing person has a right to be treated with respect and compassion, and that doing so leads to better health outcomes. I believe positive birth experiences aren’t just a women’s issue or a parents’ issue, but a public health issue. Our world would change for the better if life began with empowered parents and I want to do my part to help that unfold. I want to remind women of their intrinsic power; to help build confidence in their body and abilities as a mother. I’m a bereavement doula because how parents experience the birth of their baby matters especially in the face of loss. I’m a doula because I want to offer loving kindness in difficult moments.” -Heather Tolley


Rachel Seangsuwan, CD (DONA)

“I doula because I love it!  I’m able to help mothers and fathers discover their strengths and achieve their goals. I get to witness couples bond in a new and unique way. I make special connections with people that I wouldn’t have otherwise and most of all I see love, strength, and beauty every time I go to work!” -Rachel Seangsuwan 


Meredith Cohen

“I doula because I am called to the work. Years ago on a phone conversation with my sister after complaining about experiencing zero passion in my corporate job, she said, “you ought to become a doula.” “What’s a doula?” I asked her. She briefly explained the role of a doula and a strong voice inside me said, ‘I was born to do that.’ Doula work is meaningful work, it touches lives in a significant way that leaves me satisfied every time. I love engaging in the transition of this new life, it’s the perfect blend of practical and soulful work.” -Meredith Cohen 


Meagan Heaton, CD(DONA) AD(MCU) AVD(TVL)

“I doula because I love serving women and couples through one of the most vulnerable and exciting times of their lives. I love helping them feel supported, loved, and educated along the way. I cherish the relationships I gain with each family.  To be apart of someone’s birth is truly an honor.”  -Meagan Heaton




Andrea Lythgoe, LCCE 

“I doula because I believe adding a baby to the family is a time when parents can find new confidence and learn new skills that can have a positive impact on their families for many years to come. I really enjoy seeing that process happen and being a small part in facilitating that. Witnessing the love and joy that welcomes a new baby is a huge plus, too.” -Andrea Lythgoe

Birth Doulas Postpartum Doulas Pregnancy UDA Membership Uncategorized World Doula Week

World Doula Week

By Dezarae Weyburn

Lindsay Dougal, doula, offers laboring mother support.
(Photo by: Mandy Hawkes)

The term “doula” is a relatively new one. Although the Greeks used the term “doula” to mean a female slave, or handmaid, it wasn’t until 1969 that the term was first applied to birth work.

In the half-century that followed, doulas went from completely unknown to a household name. With the formation of DONA in 1992, Ricki Lake’s documentary, “The Business of Being Born” in 2008, and the Facebook series, “Romper’s Doula Diaries“, people were exposed to a new part of the birthing world.  There are now hundreds of doula certifying bodies and organizations. In addition to birth support there are antenatal/prenatal, postpartum, bereavement, abortion, adoption/surrogacy, and even death/end of life doulas.

Raquel Alfaro, postpartum doula, cares for baby while parents rest and recover after cesarean birth.

Although doulas provide strictly non-medical support, science backs their efficacy. Studies show consistently better birth outcomes with doulas than without including shorter labors, less reported pain, fewer interventions and a higher rate of satisfaction with the birth experience. While serving prenatally or in the postpartum period, doulas are perfectly positioned to notice and provide resources for perinatal mood and anxiety disorders such as postpartum depression and anxiety.

Doulas help bridge the gap by providing a unique support to their clients. Here’s what some local parents had to say about their experience working with a doula:

“For me I felt like a doula was a big support for the role of my spouse. As a woman you read and study a lot about labor and delivery, but I feel like my husband just wasn’t prepared. So having a doula out there to help him and help him to feel part of the labor and delivery was awesome. I also think an acting voice for when you are in full labor was super helpful along with the different types of calming and soothing techniques”. (Thompson)

“I don’t know how we did it last time. I really don’t think we could have done it without a doula. Why doesn’t everyone get a doula?” (Orton)

“Having a doula at my birth gave me the fortitude to push through all the opposition I felt. The thoughts that frequently come up of, ‘I can’t do this’ were negated immediately by the female companionship of an amazing supportive doula.” (VBAC mom, Nance)

“Having a doula brought a needed calm and supportive presence into my labor. Her attention to detail was spot-on and she came prepared with ideas and tools that eased my labor and made the experience one to remember.” (Zitto)

The Utah Doula Association (UDA) has over 150 members consisting of doulas and local community partners. The non-profit strives to provide a community of support, opportunity, and education to both doulas and families seeking a doula. Happy World Doula Week to its members and all doulas who are changing the world one family at a time!

UDA Annual Conference
(Photo by: Nathan Caulford)

Need a doula? Find one now.

Learn more about the role of a doula here: What is a doula?

About Dezerae:

Dezerae found her interest in birth while pregnant with her oldest. She attended her first birth as a doula in 2013. In addition to being a birth doula, Dezarae is also a trained bereavement doula helping parents during miscarriage and stillbirths. In 2015, she took a breastfeeding training through the World Health Organization and found a second passion in supporting parents in their chosen feeding method.  Dezarae loves cheering for parents, especially when they feel like they can’t do it, and is honored to witness the birth of mothers, fathers, grandparents, and babies!