What is a Birth Doula?
A birth doula is a trained professional who assists before, during, and after childbirth by providing physical, emotional, and educational support.
A doula's main goal is to help you (and your partner) have a safe and memorable birthing experience where you are heard and respected.
Why have a birth doula?
During pregnancy, a doula will help to ensure you gain a better understanding of the process of labor and possible interventions or complications that could arise. By having this knowledge, you will be able to make informed choices, even if the birth does not go as you had planned.
The kinds of support you can expect from a doula during childbirth may include physical assistance and comfort (massage, counter-pressure, maintaining a supportive posture, assisting with positions to help baby descend), emotional support (providing company, encouragement, a soothing calm space in the midst of the trials of labor), and acting as an advocate during childbirth (suggesting options or supporting your decisions when conveyed to the medical team).
Benefits of having a doula:
Improved maternal and fetal health
Added preparedness for labor and delivery
Reduced stress and anxiety during labor
Decrease in cesareans by up to 60%
Decrease in the use of Pitocin by 40%
Reduced requests for an epidural by 60%
Reduction in the length of labor by 25%
Use of fewer medications and extraction tools
Less time spent in neonatal intensive care units
More positive overall birth experience
Doula & the partner
Does a doula take away from my partner's role in the birth?
Absolutely not! If anything, we are there to assist in enhancing their experience as well. A doula can aid in the partner feeling more confident about their role of support, and in turn, they tend to be more involved. A doula's skill and knowledge can help the partner feel less burdened and anxious, especially when instinctual birthing behaviors arise. We are trained to recognize unspoken cues like body language, facial expressions, sounds, while the partner can be in tune with your emotional needs. A doula also understands that bringing a child into the world is a very personal/intimate moment and will not take away from that in any way. In the end, a doula is able to assist both you and your partner in having a positive experience.