what's a doula?
A doula is a person, usually a woman, who is trained in childbirth to provide continuous labor support to expectant families.
A doula helps the laboring mother and her partner by giving physical, emotional and informational support just before, during and immediately after the birth of their baby.
The doula will meet with parents before the birth to go over their birth preferences and to get to know the mom and dad.
During labor, a doula will make non-medical suggestions to the mother for comfort measures such as breathing techniques, relaxation techniques, movement, or positioning.
Just following the birth, a doula will help the new mother with breastfeeding.
why hire a doula?
- A doula's presence at birth:
- tends to result in shorter labors with fewer complications
- reduces negative feelings about one’s childbirth experience
- reduces the need for pitocin (a labor-inducing drug), forceps or vacuum extraction and cesareans
- reduces the mother’s request for pain medication and/or epidurals
- Parents who receive support:
- feel more secure and cared for
- are more successful in adapting to new family dynamics
- have greater success with breastfeeding
- have greater self-confidence
- have less postpartum depression
*Information is taken with permission from DONA International.