Who is a doula?

“A doula is a professional trained in childbirth who provides emotional, physical, and educational support to a mother who is expecting, is experiencing labor, or has recently given birth. The doula’s purpose is to help women have a safe, memorable, and empowering birthing experience”

 

Do I need a doula?

Doulas are important to women because their sole purpose is to provide physical, emotional, and informational support during labor and birth without doing anything medical” – Ami Burns, a childbirth educator and doula.

 

Evidence on doulas

For most of these outcomes (designated with asterisks*), the best results occurred when a birthing person had continuous labor support from a doula– someone who was NOT a staff member at the hospital and who was NOT part of their social network. When continuous labor support was provided by a doula, women experienced a:

  • 31% decrease in the use of Pitocin*
  • 28% decrease in the risk of Cesarean*
  • 12% increase in the likelihood of a spontaneous vaginal birth*
  • 9% decrease in the use of any medications for pain relief
  • 14% decrease in the risk of newborns being admitted to a special care nursery
  • 34% decrease in the risk of being dissatisfied with the birth experience*
*evidencebasedbirth.com

 

What doula can offer me?

Physical support

  • Create a calm environment
  • Assisting with water therapy
  • Giving ice chips, food, and drinks
  • Supporting mum to and from bathroom

Emotional support 

  • care for the mother’s emotional health and enhance her ability to have positive birth memories
  • emotional support to the birthing person and their partner
  • helping to work through fears and self-doubt
  • listening to the mother with empathy

Informational support

  •  keeping the birthing person and their partner informed about what’s going on with the course of labor
  • provide access to evidence-based information about birth options
  • explain medical procedures before or as they occur
  •  interpreting the different sounds the birthing person makes – for partner

Advocacy

  • Encouraging the birthing person or their partner to ask questions and verbalize their preferences
  • Amplifying the mother’s voice if she is being dismissed, ignored, or not heard, “Excuse me, she’s trying to tell you something. I wasn’t sure if you heard her or not.”
  • If a birthing person is not aware that a provider is about to perform an intervention, the doula could point out what it appears the nurse or physician is about to do, and ask the birthing person if they have any questions about what is about to happen. For example, if it looks like the provider is about to perform an episiotomy without the person’s consent: “Dr. Smith has scissors in his hand. Do you have any questions about what he is wanting to do with the scissors?”
  • Supporting the birthing person in their right to make decisions about their own body and baby

 

Whats the difference between a midwife and a doula?

Midwifes provide support when they can, but research has shown that labor and delivery nurses can only spend a limited amount of time in each client’s room. In one research study that took place in the U.S., nurses spent about 31% of a person’s labor in the room with them.

This mean that for 1/3 time you and your birthing partner are left alone in a room. it might be good for some mums but making anxious others.

Also you will meet your doula several times during pregnancy, usually she will be your individual antenatal educator. then you will have her support after birth, in breastfeeding or postpartum period.

As it is proven continuous of service in perinatal period have lots of benefits for mums mental health and general well being.

What I can offer you as Your Doula?

1 – 2 antenatal visits. Preparing a birth plan and support through pregnancy.

5 weeks on call for your birth (37-42 weeks)

It doesn’t matter what kind of birth you will have I will be there for you (home, hospital, sanctuary, cesarean)

One postnatal visit, breastfeeding support.

 

If you are interested please send me an email and we can meet to chat about your needs (it’s always free 😉 )

 

 

 

sources:
americanpregnancy.org/labor-and-birth/having-a-doula/
https://evidencebasedbirth.com/the-evidence-for-doulas/
https://doula.org.uk/how-much-do-doulas-cost/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doula

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