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Advantages to using a doula

By November 23, 2010 - 2:29pm

Many people are curious about doulas, but aren't exactly sure how they can help in the birthing process. Share your insight to help mothers and mothers-to-be learn understand doulas and what doulas can do.

By November 24, 2010 - 1:20pm

Some women go into labor without even having been in the hospital before. Especially first time moms, have no idea how intense labor can be and that it is reassuring to have someone besides your husband with you. They may even think the doctor or nurse will always be there and will help them. This can be a scary time because everything is so so unknown, you don't really know what contractions will feel like, you don't know how well you can handle them. Sometimes they just need someone there who can tell them everything is fine and what she is feeling is normal.
As a doula I am there to reassure the mom and prepare her for what she may feel during labor. I am there to help her husband or partner guide her through each contraction. I am there to offer suggestions to help ease the the pain she may be feeling or just help her get into a more comfortable position or a better position for the baby. Doctors and nurses are great at what they do, but unfortunately they don't have the time to sit with the family and help them. Doulas do, that is what our job is, to be there. Also sometimes when the hospital staff wants to do something, it may not be in the best interest for mom, but they don't usually give you options. Doulas can remind you of your birth plan and to ask for alternatives or to see if what they are wanting to do is medically necessary. Hospitals are a business and it can takes days for a labor to get going.

I encourage all moms to have a doula or someone else to help them through the labor. Also if they are far from family to look into having a postpartum doula to help them adjust once they get home.

November 24, 2010 - 1:20pm
By November 23, 2010 - 9:25pm

We worked with a doula during my first pregnancy, and "interviewed" several before finding a person that both my husband and I were comfortable with.

My husband and I were both nervous about the labor and delivery of our first child, thousands of miles away from any family, and not exactly sure if we would be able to communicate effectively when under a stressful situation. We wanted someone "on our side" coaching us; someone we could depend on with the emotional and physical-comfort aspects, while the doctors did their thing.

Mostly, we wanted someone who could facilitate my husband as the birthing coach, and not take over in the process. He was worried about being a "third wheel" in the delivery room (his fear was that I would like her better than him...LOL!). The doula said she was there to coach my husband in easing my physical pain or emotional fears; she was there to "take over" where my husband himself was emotionally drained, or needed a break.

Having a doula helped calm my fears about going into L&D throughout my pregnancy, and provided great topics of conversation for my husband and I to discuss regarding our expectations. (Unfortunately, I delivered so early and fast, we did not have time to call my doula for the actual delivery...we thought we were going to the hospital in an emergency "stop the labor" and not an emergency delivery!).

Highly recommend using a doula!

November 23, 2010 - 9:25pm
By November 23, 2010 - 3:33pm

Well the birth doula works with pregnant woman before, during and shortly after the birth of their child. Postpartum doulas work with families after their child is born, during the postpartum period.

Birth doulas provide emotional, physical and informational support, as well as continuous one-on-one support to mom during labor and birth. Doula's do not do anything medical, such as vaginal exams or monitor fetal heart tones. The doula is there to support the mom acheive the best possible birth experience. In whatever that means to the mom. Medicated or not the doula supports mom in her choice as she makes informed decisions. The doula will support, encourage and give gentle caring reminders to mom throught labor.

November 23, 2010 - 3:33pm

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The word "doula" comes from the ancient Greek meaning "a woman who serves" and is now used to refer to a trained and experienced professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and just after birth; or who provides emotional and practical support during the postpartum period. If you are a doula, interested in hiring a doula, or want more information on the role of a doula... Please join us!


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