What Is A Birth Doula?
A Birth Doula...
-Understands the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of a woman in labour
-Assists the woman in preparing for and carrying out her plans for birth
-Stays with the woman throughout the labour
-Provides emotional support, physical comfort measures and an objective viewpoint, as well as helping the woman get the information she needs to make informed decisions
Does A Doula Replace My Partner?
Quite the contrary. A doula enhances the role of your partner by informing, involving, and allowing them to play the part that they want to play. We are the guiding hand that can help your partner feel valued and help them play their important role. Some partners like to observe, while others like to be hands on, others also like to be the "go getter" and get things for the mother as she needs them. Either way, the doula will fill the roles that your partner does not want to play allowing both of you the experience you want and deserve.
Why Can't My Mother Or Friends Fill This Role?
Although family can be helpful in many ways during your labour and delivery, there are also many instances where they can also be unhelpul. Friends and family will not have the training or specilization in knowing how to talk to you, how to calm you, and how to educate you about your experience. Often times, mothers or friends will impart personal opinion on medical decisions that you should take, or say and do things that at times, may aggrivate you, or alarm you. This is because they are very emotionally involved with you already. Of course this is not always the case, and family are a great tool for encouragement and support, but its important not to confuse that relationship with that of the doula. A doula is there for the mother. She is a neutral and calming presence who listens to you only. She will have the knowlefge to answer any concerns you have, and provide you with resources to better educate yourself beforehand. She will never leave your side, and most importantly, she will give you comfort.
Did You Know?
Studies indicate that labours tend to be shorter with less need for technical assistance when a Doula is there. Doulas help create a relaxed postpartum environment as well, and enhance early mother-infant relationships, breastfeeding and family adjustments.