In years past, women gave birth with other women at their side. These other women were fundamental in providing the laboring mother with support and love and understanding in the hopes of making her birth experience one of spiritual importance and bonding. They also helped to guide her to find comfort to let her body do the work of birth.
As the years have flown by and we have come to rely on hospitals for birth, the landscape of our birthing experiences have changed tremendously. So much so, that some women want to trek backwards a bit and look into hiring doulas and midwives, and planning home births to mark the grand arrival of their baby.
Considering hiring a doula to support you in labor and birth is definitely a personal decision. While some women cannot say enough for the experiences they have had with a doula (or midwife), other women are completely happy with their hospital birth. Remember, each of us is different and what works for one may not be right for another. But if you haven’t considered a doula, check out these 5 facts about doulas that you may not have known.
1. Doulas are NOT medical professionals. Unlike midwives who are trained to help women give birth medically, doulas are there to provide emotional and physical support to birthing mothers during the end of their labor and birth. They are trained and certified like other health professionals, but are interested in your spiritual journey to motherhood. They are there to be WITH you for the duration of your labor and delivery. In fact their job is to keep you as comfortable as possible and they will do everything from provide you warm compresses or massage your feet to getting your partner a cup of coffee.
2. Doulas will come to your home, which means you can get through the initial parts of labor in the peace and quiet of your own home, if you wish. If you are planning a home birth, a doula will be there with you before the midwife, and will do everything possible to assist you. They are trained to know about the birthing process, and are essentially there to support you and your family members. Their total focus is on YOU. Whereas doctors and midwives may have other patients, may be on call, and may be in and out – a doula will stay with you, by your side, the entire time.
3. Doulas are an awesome source of comfort in the weeks leading up to your birth. As you try to find a doula, you will interview her in the hopes of making a personal connection. From there, she can be an amazing liaison to call when you are feeling anxious or not sure what is going on with your body. Women choose doulas who they feel connected to, and the doula becomes available to you even prior to birth. And, while you may not get your personal doctor in the delivery room as you had hoped, doulas guarantee that they will be there by your side. This can go miles to make you feel more comfortable, even during a hospital birth – having someone you know and trust by your side.
4. Doulas are certified. They learn about the normal course of labor, comfort measures, how to help a mom if something goes wrong, and more. They also red to have practical experience supporting women through births before becoming certified, meaning they have some experience once they get their credential. To find a certified doula near you, check out DONA.
5. Perhaps one of the greatest ways a doula can help is by providing post-labor doula hours. Many doulas offer postpartum hours where they will come to your home and help care for you, and help you care for your baby after delivery. For first time moms, and people who don’t have a lot of family members close by – a post labor doula can be a lifesaver.
Written By Stef, Mom of 4 @Momspirational
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2018. All rights reserved.