What is a Doula?
Doula (pronounced doo-la) is a term used to describe a woman experienced in childbirth who provides continuous physical, emotional, and informational support to mamas before, during, and immediately after birth. Women have been serving mamas in childbirth for centuries and have proven that this support from has positive effects on the labor process. The doula's role is simply to help mamas have a safe, memorable and empowering birthing experience. A doula is there to give comfort, both emotional & physical, and information when needed.
Why do I need one?
Doulas are awesome! They have been through birth and know what is normal and not normal. They are there to help you with continuous care (did you know that most of the time during your labor you will be by yourselves?). They also help you find the information you are looking for to make the most informed decisions possible for you and your baby. Don't want to take our word for it? Good! We encourage you to find evidenced-based care! Read on, firends:
A recent Cochrane Review, Continuous Support for Women During Childbirth, revealed a very high number of positive birth outcomes when a doula was present. When a doula was present, women were less likely to have pain relief medications administered, less likely to have a cesarean birth, and reported having a more positive childbirth experience.
In their book, Mothering The Mother: How a Doula Can Help You Have a Shorter, Easier, and Healthier Birth, Marshall Klaus, John Kennell, and Phyllis Klaus summarize scientific studies which have been carried out on the advantages of doula-assisted births. The evidence cited is drawn from six randomized, controlled studies.
- Reduced the overall cesarean rate by 50%
- Reduced the length of labor by 25%
- Reduced pitocin use by 40%
- Reduced the use of pain medication by 30%
- Reduced forceps deliveries by 40%
- Reduced requests for epidural pain medication by 60%
- Reduced incidences of maternal fever
- Reduced the number of days newborns spent in NICU (neo-natal infant care unit)
- Reduced the amount of septic workups performed on newborns
- Resulted in higher rates of breastfeeding
- Resulted in more positive maternal assessments of maternal confidence
- Resulted in more positive maternal assessments of maternal and newborn health
- Resulted in decreased rates of postpartum depression
What a Doula does (and does not) do?
A doula says YES I CAN to:
- offer continual emotional support and encouragement for both mama and mama's partner
- helps support the partner so that they can love and encourage the laboring mama
- positioning suggestions during labor and birth, explanations of medical procedures
- phone and email support during pregnancy
- exercise and physical suggestions to make pregnancy more comfortable
- help with preparation of a birth plan
- massage and other non-pharmacological pain relief measures(ie:hypnosis, relaxation), -help with breastfeeding preparation and beginnings
- written record of the birth
- a willingness to drop all of her personal obligations to be there for you during labor and birth
- sometimes photographs upon request
and many other possibilities that vary from doula to doula.
A doula does NO I DO NOT:
- speak for a mama and/or her partner
- make any decisions on medical interventions or pain relief drugs
- provide medical or clinical skills
- do any medical exams or administer medicine or give medical advice
More information please call Dawn @ 858-218-MILK (6455) or contact us.