What Does a Doula Provide?
A doula provides:
advice during pregnancy
help with preparation of a birth plan
massage, homeopathic remedies, counter-pressure techniques and other natural pain relief methods.
positioning suggestions during labor and birth
helps support the partner so that they can love and encourage the laboring woman
avoid unnecessary interventions
help with breastfeeding
explanations of medical procedures
What effects does the presence of a doula have on the mother?
When a doula is present during and after childbirth, women report greater satisfaction with their birth experience, make more positive assessments of their babies, have fewer cesareans and requests for medical intervention, and less postpartum depression.
What about doctors and nurses?
Doctors and nurses are responsible for the medical aspects of childbirth but are not able to provide continuous emotional or physical support. They are very busy and have many patients but a doulas attention is focused solely on her client.
A doula is constantly aware that the mother and her partner will remember this experience throughout their lives. By mothering the mother during childbirth the doula supports the parents in having a positive and memorable birth experience.
Why do I need a doula if my husband is there?
Many fathers are eager to be involved during labor and birth. Others, no less loving or committed to their partner’s well being find it difficult to navigate in uncharted waters. With a doula, a father can share in the birth at a level he feels most comfortable with.
The doula's skills and knowledge can help himto feel more relaxed. If the father wants to provide physical comfort such as back massage, change of positions, and help his partner to stay focused during contractions, the doula can provide that guidance and make suggestions for what may work best.
It is often forgotten that dads are going through this labor too, while not physically, they are emotionally invested. Some have a hard time remembering what was taught in class, or others did not attend classes, so are not trained in labor support. Doulas can take that pressure off by allowing them to do what they do best, love their partner.
Do doulas only attend drug-free births?
No. Doulas are trained to support women and their partners through a variety of birthing situations and outcomes. Even if you want an epidural you usually must labor a while before the epidural is administered. If you are having a c-section the doula can prepare you before hand, provide information and help you with recovery and breastfeeding.