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Bedrest And The Antepartum Doula

When a woman decides to have a baby, there are many choices that she can make for herself about her caregiver, her birth place, and who should be in attendance.  But when things change about her health regarding the pregnancy, or her health in general, bedrest is some times prescribed and not necessarily by choice.  Up until now, she’s done all the footwork about assembling a team of people to assist her through this process, but for the time being, she is limited by her situation.  In walks the Antepartum Doula...

But what is an Antepartum Doula and how does her role differ from the Labor Doula and/or the Postpartum Doula? 

A new member of the birth team, the certified Antepartum Doula is specifically trained and educated to assist women/couples dealing with a high risk pregnancy, who may or may not be on bedrest, or pregnant women with medical conditions necessitating the need for help.  This assistance can include education, physical support such as bed rest assistance, sibling care, errands, meal preparation, home care, and emotional support. Her specific responsibilities are a little bit of everything, including researcher, confidante, childbirth educator, community resource coordinator, organizer, hand-holder, shoulder to cry on, and/or some times… simply an extra pair of hands around the house to help out with life in general.

Since we know that “high risk” pregnancy can include just about anyone who is having a troubled, complicated, or challenging pregnancy, the needs of the individual pregnant woman are going to differ from pregnancy to pregnancy. 

The “High Risk” label is attached to many different women with tremendously varied stories, but low risk with an immobilizing condition can also prove to make pregnancy very difficult. 

The Antepartum Doula can really play a huge role in keeping these women current with the latest research, assisting them with reading material from the library, bookstores, or the Internet, and the Antepartum Doula is there to assist with “legwork” for these moms.  Likewise, the Antepartum Doula can also provide childbirth education information.

Bedrest may be the way that many women spend their pregnancies, but certainly there is assistance to assure that women and their families do not spend that time alone.  Consider an Antepartum Doula to help ease the burden of bedrest. 

For the mom and/or family enduring a complicated pregnancy either because of illness or circumstances, the Antepartum Doula can contribute an extra set of hands to help with the daily grind of home, but more importantly, she can help to provide education and support… or what we call the “heart” of the doula.

For more information on how to certify as an Antepartum Doula, or how to find a certified  Antepartum Doula, contact CAPPA (Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association) at, go to their website at, or call 1-888-548-3672. 

This information brought to you by Laura Dana, LCCE, CD(DONA), CAPD













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