What is a doula?
Doula is the Greek word to mean women’s servant; however, the definition has come to be known as women who are experienced in child birth. She provides continuous physical and emotional support during and after labor.
What does a doula do?
I came across an article named what does a Doula Really Do? (Jessica Austin, Birth Doula) and she explained it fabulously, in real situations. I found myself nodding in agreement because as much as you hear that we provide… The truth is you may not know what a Doula really does.
- A Doula will help track your birthing sensations, and help you to decide when to call your Midwife or go to the hospital.
- Weather a home or hospital birth a Doula can arrive before your midwife, or transfer to the hospital.
- We come when you call and remain by your side till you deliver and then stay afterwards
- Doula’s, Dads and any other supports make really good teams, we all work together to provide a calm, comfortable, safe birth atmosphere. Catered to your needs
- Doula’s wipe your brow and provide cool cloths (in fact I keep a basin of ice and water right by me, one nurse commented on the convenience of my water station)
- Feeling at ease in the birth room is often much easier for dads if there is a doula present. (My husband praised my doula. I think at times he needed her more than I did.)
- We ensure that care is individual and focused on the mother’s needs.
- Doulas help in education, and guidance to support the women’s’ decision as to where she wants to have her birth.
- Doulas assist in helping in creating a birth vision/plan by providing education and information on the questions that the family has.
- Doulas help advocate on behalf of the mother; providing her with information about what is going on with her and her body, medication, and achieving a positive outcome determined by her birth plan. If the birth does not go as planned, a doula can provide information on what is going on and encourage the couple to ask questions and take the time needed to make an informed decision about proposed interventions.
- Doulas provide continuous emotional, physical and informational support.
- Doulas offer coping techniques such as breathing, guided-relaxation, position changes and massage.
As A Doula
- I come when you call
- I provide a cold cloth
- A calm reassuring smile
- A wealth of knowledge
- Someone to breath with you
- Non-stop hip squeeze or back pressure and as Jessica Austin birth doula rightly said, it’s harder to sustain than it looks
- Sit on the floor with you
- Sit in the shower with you, holding a shower to your back.
- Dance with you
- Help you to ask those informed consent questions
- Plus much, much more…
STATS During labor
- 50% reduction in caesarean delivery
- 25% shorter labor
- 60% reduction in epidural requests
- 30-40% reduction in forceps
- 40% reduction in oxytocin
- In a study, of women whom gave birth with just her partner there was a rate of 22.5% caesarean, compared to 12.2 with a father doula team.
Questions to Ask A Doula:
The most important thing is to choose a doula that you are comfortable with and feel a connection too. Interviewing a doula in no way obligates you to hire them. Interview until you find a doula that best serves your needs.
- What training have you had?
- What services do you provide?
- What are your fees?
- Are you available for my due date?
- What made you become a doula?
- What is your philosophy regarding child birth?
- Would you be available to meet me before the birth to discuss my birth plan?
- What happens if for some reason you are not available at the time of my birth?
Questions taken from; is a Doula for me; www.americanpregnacy.org
What does a doula really do, Jessica Austin, http://www.birthtakesavillage.com/what-does-a-doula-do/