A doula is an expert on childbirth. A doula's only concern is to provide a mother and her partner physical comfort, emotional support and advocacy.
Studies support the necessity and effectiveness of doulas as an important part of the birth team. The most effective way to prevent an unnecessary cesarean is to hire a doula. Doulas reduce the total risk of intervention by 51%.
During pregnancy she provides additional information on nutrition, exercise, medical tests and procedures that your health care provider won't or can't. With this information, and your own research, you will be able to make confident, informed decisions regarding your care. Many mothers recommend their doula even before they give birth because of this special aspect of support.
During labour and birth, a doula's steady, calming and reassuring presence can be a blessing to both Mom and her Partner when the partner needs to grab a bite to eat or a bathroom break, or for extra support during the decision making process. Worried you might not remember anything you've learned from those books and classes in the heat of the moment? Relax! Your doula eats, sleeps and breaths that stuff! Unexpected turn of events? Hit a bumpy patch? Relax! Your doula can support you emotionally and physically to help you get back on track. Parents who have doulas attend their birth tend to be happier overall with their birthing experience and make the transition to parenthood more easily. Most parents excitedly rave about their doulas after their birth experience.
During the postpartum period there are even more questions. A doula's personal and professional experience with breastfeeding makes her an excellent resource and she will be able to help you meet your breastfeeding goals. Her practical experience will help you recover faster and more smoothly from the physical and emotional aspects of the birth, and will help you overcome breastfeeding difficulties should they arise. This amazing aspect of doula care is enough to make even experienced parents feel more relaxed and able to enjoy their baby.
Doulas do not perform clinical tasks (i.e. blood pressure, fetal heart checks, vaginal exams etc.). Your doula will not make medical decisions on your behalf. She will help you to get the information necessary to make informed decisions. She will remind you if there is a departure from your birth plan, and will advocate to support your plan if you are unable to.
Your doula is not like a doctor, midwife or nurse. Doulas do not have any paperwork, charting, clinical tasks, lists of jobs to do during her shift, other mothers in her care, or other time consuming responsibilities or distractions that take her away from supporting you in your birth process.
Your doula is not like a nurse. You will know your doula and will have built a trusting, friendly relationship before your birth process begins. You will have hired her because she is a good fit with your personality and your birth plan. Many mothers are in the birth process for 12 hours before it is time to head to the hospital. During this time your doula is able to help keep you calm and more comfortable in your own home. Your nurses will likely be strangers, may be attending multiple women, may not be an expert in natural comfort measures, and must spend considerable time updating your chart. When her shift is over, your nurse will usually go home and a new nurse will be assigned to you. It is common for the birth process to last more than 24 hours, and you may have several shifts of nurses. Your doula doesn't go home after an 8 hour shift. She usually stays with you through the birth process, until your baby is a few hours old.
Doula's love to be part of a birth team! Studies show that partners are 75% MORE involved in the birth experience in the presence of a doula. Your doula is able to demonstrate the best comfort techniques for the situation, and can take a turn if your partner needs a break. Doulas are also able to quietly co-ordinate the efforts of the birth team to provide you with the most effective and helpful support. You and your birth team will benefit from your doula's extensive knowledge of positions and activities to help labour progress, natural pain relief and coping techniques (and helpful tricks to use if artificial pain relief is needed), and other suggestions that honour your birth plan. During times of confusion, or during the decision making process, your doula's calming and informative presence can be a wonderful help to the birth team, as worried or anxious loved ones actually add to the mother's stress.
Some partners are not comfortable or are unable to be the main source of physical and emotional comfort to the mother. Hiring a doula frees up the partner to participate to the best of their comfort level or availability, while resting assured that you are in good hands.
Contact us to register with Certified Doulas.