Mental Health Doula | Tasks and Objectives

Published: Jun 13, 2024 | Revised: Jun 21, 2024
Edited by: Marce Ferreira

Mental health care to pregnant women

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The profession of Mental Health Doula is still a domain that’s under development. Nevertheless, it’s typically a specialization for Birth Doulas, Postpartum Doulas, and Full-Spectrum Doulas.

Its primary focus of attention is perinatal mental health, that is, supporting people who experience (or are at risk of) mental health issues during the pregnancy period and in the after childbirth period (postpartum time).

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You may, for instance, think of people who experience prenatal depression (during pregnancy) and/or postnatal depression (after childbirth), which, by the way, can affect the birthing person but also their partner.

Then again, it may also apply to supporting people on their reproductive journey who already have a mental health issue, for instance bipolar disorder, borderline, or depression.

The Mental Health Doula would work on mental health crisis prevention and intervention planning, but would also build expertise as for how to work with clients (and their partners or families) who experience changed mental states and/or are at risk of suicide or self-harm, and so on.

The tasks of Mental Health Doulas may further include escorting clients to mental health appointments, help them get knowledgeable about the mental health care system, teach self-advocacy skills, and provide resources and referrals for mental health professionals, support groups, and social and legal services.

Mind also that the profession of Mental Health Doula has the tendency to also develop outside the birthing and reproductive context by giving informational, educational, logistical, practical, physical and emotional support to all people who struggle with mental illness, and not only to those who are pregnant or are postpartum (and their families).

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