The concept of having someone coach me through my pregnancy and labor seems like much doesn’t it? I mean, women have been creating life since the beginning of time. But, bear with me, Doulas aren’t just birth coaches, their job is to provide informational, physical, and emotional support during pregnancy labor, and birth. Having a Doula in labor has many benefits.
Well, let’s start with how they become your partner, friend, and support; they will be whatever you need them to be in labor.
Doulas are knowledgeable in all things labor and birth so it makes sense you would want one or why you should definitely get one.
What Do Doulas Do In Labor?
Doulas are there for you through labor and delivery, the will help with ALL of the following:
- Provide constant emotional, mental and physical support
- Have information in regards to options about birth.
- Accommodating the mother’s preferences for the birth environment (low light, soft music, etc)
- Supporting the father or birth partner in the best way to support the mother.
- A doula does NOT give medical advice or interfere with the doctor/mother relationship.
What Doulas Don’t Do:
- They don’t give medical advice as they are not medical professionals.
- Doulas do not perform any medical tasks or exams.
- They will not take breaks or leave while you are in labor. They do not take shifts, a doula is always with a laboring mom.
Benefits Of A Doula:
- Having a doula helps you have a better birth experience.
- Around the clock support.
- A doula’s purpose would be to be there for you, her sole priority would be your comfort.
- Doulas help ease you into labor with constant guidance and encouragement.
Many sources agree that Doulas are a great addition to your team of professionals when you’re pregnant and giving birth. The following are some results of having a Doula present during labor:
- Reduced use of Pitocin
- Decreased rate of interventions during labor
- Less need for pain medication and fewer requests for epidural
- Higher satisfaction with birth outcomes
- Much lower c-section rate
- Higher chance of a spontaneous vaginal birth
- Shorter labors
“Doula-supported women had lower odds of cesarean compared without doula support and those who desired but did not have doula support…” The American Journal of Managed Care (2014)
Important Questions To Ask When Considering Retaining A Doula:
- What is your training? If certified, through what organization?
- Are you available around my due date?
- How many other clients do you have around this time?
- What is your philosophy about birth and how do you most often support women in labor?
- How many births have you attended?
- Have you attended births at my birth location and what was it like there?
- Do you have experience with my caregiver?
- Do you have a backup doula and will I meet her?
- At what point in labor do you meet up with us?
- How do we contact you during labor? Are you always on call?
- What coping techniques do you find most helpful?
- What are your fees?
- Why did you become a doula?
- Have you given birth yourself? Did you have a doula? What were your birth experiences?
“If a doula were a drug, it would be unethical not to use it.”
John H. Kenell, MD
Have you had a Doula? What was your experience?
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