Thirteen years ago, when Louisville’s Doulapalooza first began, organizers spent a lot of time explaining what exactly a doula is and does for expecting mothers.
Nowadays, however, thanks to the push of information and popularity of the service, doulas have arrived, according to the Doulapalooza event coordinator Cindy Lamb, who works as a doula herself. The 14th annual Doulapalooza will run in conjunction with the Douglass Loop Farmers Market on Saturday, Oct. 20, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“There are still people who assume doulas only attend home births or that doulas insist on a certain mode of birth, but we are guided by the desires and goals of the woman,” explains Lamb. “Birth and postpartum doulas have made much progress with public knowledge and respect as part of a hospital birth team.”
For those still in the dark, a doula is a trained professional who provides continues physical, emotional and informational support to a mother before, during and after childbirth. They are not a nurse to the baby, rather they champion for woman’s overall health.
Doulapalooza is a way for expecting mothers, or those thinking about it, to interact with Louisville-area doulas and garner more information, make more connections. Lamb says there will be more than 20 vendors pertinent to expecting mothers, some of which have been with the event since the beginning.
They include businesses and organizations like Mama’a Hip, Heartland Music Together, Birth Care Network, Embrace After Birth and Diaper Fairy, among many others.
Lamb has worked as a doula since 1998, and although she supplements her income with several side jobs from nannying to freelance writing, being a doula is her favorite of them all.
“My birth work is the best thing I do,” she says. “It’s very empowering.”
Doulapalooza also serves as a fundraiser for various organizations and nonprofits that focus on childbirth, and this year the recipient is the Louisville Doula Project.
Lamb says one of her favorite aspects of the event is seeing and meeting new faces of the growing birth and wellness community.
“And the best part every year is hearing from women and couples how they found so much support that day at Doulapalooza,” she says. “Especially when they show up with their new babies on board the next year!”
Doulapalooza is free and open to the public. It runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 20, at the Douglass Loop Farmers Market, 2005 Douglass Blvd.