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Do You Doula? Benefits of a Birth Doula, Part 4: Above and Beyond

By HERWriter
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Do You Doula? Benefits of a Birth Doula, Part 4: Beyond Basics famveldman/Fotolia

So, you already know some of the services that doulas offer to women throughout the perinatal period. But guess what — the basics are just the beginning!

Because doulas really structure their care to fit the needs or wishes of each individual family, the variety of benefits that come with a doula is expansive. Below are just a few of them.

During Pregnancy:

The Basics

Doulas offer unbiased and evidence-based information about your options for care. They guide you through what to expect during labor and delivery, and help you to establish some birth wishes — usually with some form of a birth plan.

They provide you with suggestions on how to manage pregnancy discomforts — eating, sleeping, physical activity, etc.

Doulas help you to process and navigate the major transition you are embarking on physically and emotionally, both as an individual and ,if applicable, with a partner.

What Else?

Your doula is connected to other professionals in the community who offer services to pregnant women. She's also in a position to pass on recommendations from her other clients.

She can, for instance, refer you to childbirth educators, massage therapists, acupuncturists, nutritionists, counselors or photographers who come with high praise from other women.

Furthermore, your doula will be familiar with the health care providers and facilities in your area and be able to steer you toward a setting and support team that best enables the kind of birth you want.

Doulas will bring you snacks and meals that satisfy your pregnancy cravings and still provide you with the nutrients necessary for a healthy pregnancy.

Doulas will go for walks with you to keep you active. Doulas will offer basic massages and teach your partner or another loved one how to release tension in your most troublesome muscle groups. Your doula will bring you books and music to share with your unborn baby.

Interested in art projects that capture fond memories of the pregnancy? Whether it's photos, poetry, or belly molds and body paint, your doula can help you to make your wishes a reality.

"Continuous Support for Women During Childbirth." Cochrane Database System Review. Website Accessed 3/9/16.

"Dads and Doulas: Key Players on Mothers' Labor Support Teams." DONA. Website Accessed 3/9/16. 

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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