Heard of the term Doula but not sure exactly why having one at your birth could be beneficial? It is a term that is coming more and more in vogue, however it is actually an ancient concept.
The most important role of a Doula is to be a continues source of support throughout the labour and birth. Research is limited, but some studies that the benefits of having continuous support from a Doulas during childbirth might be associated with:
1. Lower risk of caesarean
2. Less use of pain medication
3. Reduced risk of vacuum or forceps
4. More likely to have a positive birth experience
5. A decrease in the length of labour
In most hospitals’ midwives cannot stay by your side throughout your entire labour as they are often caring for multiple people, managing the technology being used and keeping records. Midwives have many responsibilities, and it can be a lot of pressure on your birthing companion. Midwives take care of your health and safety. Your partner and doula will be with you continuously, surge by surge. You need expert care AND you need comfort, encouragement, information, physical and emotional support.
The role of your partner:
To provide physical and emotional comfort
Help you relax and stay positive
Communicate your needs during labour
Understand and care for you
The role of your doula:
A resource before, during and after birth
Can suggest techniques for pain relief
Helps partner provide support
Understands the physical process of birth
Supports you in advocating for your wishes
Provides tips on how to relieve stress
Helps you find comfortable positions
Information about what's happening during labor and the postpartum period, including explanations of procedures Assist with breastfeeding
How to pick a doula: Interview 2-3 to understand their perspectives and experience. It is important to be clear on their philosophies about childbirth, what services they provide, and the cost. Also, discuss your preferences and concerns about pregnancy, labour and birth to be sure you are a good fit for each other. Chemistry is key.