Reporting Natalie Nyhus
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Do you know anyone that’s had a doula?
Its literal meaning is “woman who serves” and is now used to refer to a trained professional who provides support to mothers during and after pregnancy.
Doulas, though not a new concept, are picking up in popularity in the Twin Cities.
Becoming a parent can be scary, so having their expertise is a relief to first-time mothers.
“In the first weeks it’s always nerve wracking being a first-time mom with questions,” said first-time mother Crystal Smith.
As mothers themselves, Veronica (Jacobsen) and Britanny (Kubricky) know this firsthand. In addition to being mothers, they are both Doulas. Their job is to help parents during and after pregnancy.
“We’ve had a lot of people say ‘I wish I knew about you before I had my baby.’ We’re like ok, we’ll still be here for the next one,” said Jacobsen.
Traditionally doctors, nurses and hospitals offer parental support, whether it’s to answer a question or provide a lamaze class.
“You kind of go into it and think every woman has done this, I’ll be fine. I can just look up a few things online. But when we got there we realized there was so much more information that we didn’t realize was out there,” Jacobsen said.
Doulas offer more specialized attention.
“I think it’s important to give families another option,” said Jacobsen.
About a year ago, Veronica and Brittany spun their doula careers into a new business called Baby Love, a place where parents can learn together.
“We wanted to be something where we were small enough so families felt they could get the attention they needed and that they wouldn’t feel overwhelmed. We also wanted to build community,” Jacobsen said. “We do traditional childbirth class and it covers everything from healthy pregnancy, labor and birth. After the baby we cover newborn care and breastfeeding.”
That’s not all. Baby Love offers classes on breast feeding, how to use cloth diapers and use a car seats.
“Having them learn how to find the right seat, use it correctly and install it,” said Jacobsen.
The classes aren’t just for first-time parents.
“We do a refresher class: First, second or third. We’ve had fourth-time parents come in so they can get the information they need again,” Jacobsen said.
Like other doulas in the Twin Cities, Jacobsen said the No. 1 thing for new parents to remember is that there are resources available for support.
“You know who’s going to be teaching them and you know that we are trained and certified, and this is our passion. This is what we love to do,” Jacobsen said.
Class offerings and prices vary at Baby Love. Most start around $25, and packages are available. Baby Love is one of several doula resources in the Twin Cities.