What Is A Doula and Why You Need One
What Is A Doula?
The doula is a professional trained in childbirth who provides emotional, physical, and educational support to pregnant person who is expecting, is experiencing labor, or has recently given birth. Their purpose is to help laboring people have a safe, memorable, and empowering birthing experience.
What Does A Doula Do?
During delivery, doulas are in constant and close proximity to the laboring person. They have the ability to provide comfort with pain-relief techniques including breathing techniques, relaxation techniques, massage, and laboring positions. Doulas also encourage participation from the partner and offer reassurance.
Answering Your Questions
What if I want an epidural?
That's great! Pain management is a personal decision, can be empowering, and I fully support your choice. Read more about doulas and epidurals here. A doula is specially trained to help provide those comfort measures. It might be massage, it might be using water, it might be counter pressure or help with movement, but a doula will be able to help you keep your cool before, during, and after an epidural.
Does a doula replace my partner or support person?
Never. Doulas and support people make a fantastic team! Doulas encourage and enable partners and support people to be as involved as they want to be. I pride myself on overseeing the labor process and giving partners and support people the tools they need to support the laboring person with confidence. Support people commonly report higher satisfaction in birth when a doula is present.
I have a midwife, do I need a doula?
Absolutely! Whether you decide to work with a midwife, OB, General Practitioner in a hospital setting, or home birth, a doula is an essential member of your birth team. A birth doula offers continuous support-- your provider is medically responsible for many people at one time. A doula is solely dedicated to one person in labor at a time. This kind of support has shown to have many benefits, including a high reduction in interventions and increased comfort for both the laboring and support person. Medical providers are not able to give continuous support, particularly in a hospital setting.
What is the difference between a midwife and a doula?
A doula and a midwife offer different types of services, even though both may support the childbirth experience. Midwives have medical training and, during the birth process, focus on delivering a healthy baby. Doulas, on the other hand, focus on the needs of the laboring person, physical, educational, and emotional support.
What if I have a c-section?
Doulas help you navigate the medical system in the event of a c-section. A doula can bring in another set of hands and eyes and ears to help you better prepare for your upcoming surgical birth. Your doula can help you get answers to your questions. Many families find that they benefit from the supportive and informative services of this extra set of trained hands during a surgical birth