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What Does a Doula do? The Doula in Heels Has Answers

Kairis Chiagi, the Doula in Heels, explains her role in helping soon-to-be mothers


“Until there is racial equity for Black mothers, doulas—when they are accessible—are an additional layer of advocacy filling a void missing in today's healthcare. In some cases, doulas are relieving some of the stressors that have a direct impact on the health of a fetus. They are supporting the government and medical practices to reduce postpartum depression and infant mortality, and thus saving Black lives.” – Christine Michel Carter, Parents Magazine

Kairis Chiaji: For years, I have been known as the Doula in Heels to the Sacramento community. However, not everyone understands what the role of a doula entails. As I meet with my “mamas” to see if we can work together, including the Maternal Child Health Equity program with Blue Shield, I help provide some much-needed background on how I can help them and their loved ones during their entire pregnancy journey. Here’s where I start…

A doula’s role:

  1. Birth doulas help you during your “perinatal” experience— they are present during pregnancy, labor, and as you transition into the “fourth trimester,” or post-partum. Our purpose is to help women have a safe, memorable, and empowering birthing experience.
  2. Doulas receive community health advocate and family-centered training so that they can assist with holistic support. We do not provide medical care. Our services provide evidence-based education so clients understand medical procedures; can ask questions to assess alternative options in managing their birth; and orientations of hospital protocols so mothers can make informed choices with their care.
  3. Birth doulas are not just for the mother and child—we assist the whole family. We ensure that everyone involved is supported and informed of the options at hand.  
  4. Birth doulas reduce the need for interventions and improve birth outcomes. Births do not always go to plan, but doulas are present to help facilitate shared decision-making when situations change.

To learn more about how this doula-patient relationship works, please view this piece from the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association