What Is A Doula?

doula artLong ago, before women started going to hospitals to give birth, they were usually cared for at home in labor by other women in their communities. This support helped them stay relatively calm and relaxed through labor. A Doula does the same thing women have been doing for eons, only doulas are trained so that they can provide both ancient wisdom and modern knowledge. “Mothering the mother” is how many people describe the role of a doula. Birth and taking care of a newborn can be such a challenging time in life, it helps to have someone to care for the mom so she can care for her baby.

Although many expectant parents don’t know about doulas, those who do choose to have a doula at their birth attest to the numerous benefits. There are also 16 research studies which show the benefits. Women with doulas are :

–  50% less likely to have a cesarean

– Have 25% shorter labours

– 60% less likely to have an epidural

–  40% less likely to use oxytocin

– 40% less likely to need forceps

– Breastfed easier

– Had less post partum depression

– Felt more confident in their mothering skills

– Had a closer bond with their infants

To read more about Kaurina’s Birth Doula Support for Surrey, Langley and the Lower Mainland, go to Doula Support

As doulas we do many things, depending on what each individual woman wants and needs. In a nutshell, doulas provide non-medical physical, emotional and informational support to mothers throughout pregnancy, childbirth and post partum so they have a more positive experience and feel better about themselves.

Some of the things we do might include : massage, relaxation techniques, help with position changes and pain coping strategies,emotional support, breastfeeding help, baby care, post-partum self-care and so on. A good doula is a good listener and is able to help you figure out what you want, without giving unwanted advice. We help parents develop self-confidence and integrate knowledge of medical, physical, emotional, psychological, and social aspects of pregnancy, birth and early parenting. We are able to direct parents to a wide range of information so if they are faced with medical issues, they can make decisions that are best for them.

You can read an article in Oh Baby Magazine on Doulas Why Doulas are a Mom`s Best Friend where it says

Looking for a way to decrease the length of your labour, reduce your need for pain medication, decrease your chances of needing a forceps delivery or a Caesarean, and leave you feeling satisfied about your birth experience? What you need is a doula—the birthing world’s equivalent of a fairy godmother.

Think I’m exaggerating? Consider the evidence for yourself. There’s a growing body of research proving that doulas (experienced non-medical female companions who provide continuous labour support) can help to improve the birth and postpartum outcomes for both mother and baby.

Doula, Kat Hickey, writes

So, What Does aDoula Do?

I love. I listen.

I empower. I massage.

I believe. I whisper.

I rock. I touch.

I breathe. I thank.

I witness. I praise.

I soothe. I dance.

I encourage. I hope.

I laugh. I cry. I dream.

I love.

What Doulas Do Not Do

Doulas do not replace the  partner or other family members.

They do not do any medical procedures or catch the baby.
They are not midwives. They do not do internal exams,  make diagnoses or give any medical advice.

Video

Here’s a video of Penny Simkin, founder of Doulas of North America being interviewed by Midwifery Today. She give a very comprehensive explanation of What Doulas Do.

 

Articles by Prenatal Journey on Doulas

Why I Do What I do – Memoirs of a Doula part 1

“Oh Baby” Magazine Article on Doulas

 

To read more about Kaurina’s Birth Doula Support for Surrey, Langley and the Lower Mainland, go to Doula Support

 

To book your free consultation call 604 809 3288 or email  Kaurina@PrenatalJourney.ca

 

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