Why have a doula?
A doula is a trained birth assistant who provides emotional, physical, and
informational support for women and partners during labor and delivery. Doula's also offer physical support through out labor as well as oversee that the environmental factors are conducive to the Mother feeling safe and relaxed. Doulas offer nonjudgmental care that helps new mothers feel supported and cared for throughout their pregnancies. Providing continuity of care throughout her pregnancy & postpartum.
Benefits of Having a Doula During Birth.
There are several benefits to having a doula during labor and delivery.
First, having a doula means that you will receive more personalized & continuous care than you would with an unassisted birth.
Having someone walk along side you in a system that is broken and segmented means you as the birthing woman miss out on crucial continuity of care that is proven to support positive birth outcomes. As our medical system becomes more strained with staff shortages and policy changes the needs of the birthing woman become categorized as opposed to individualized. A doula supports the birthing woman throughout their time together, including labor and birth providing a supportive and safe place for her and her partner to sound questions, gain birth education, understand the system, how to make decisions and so much more.
Second, a doula helps ensure that you feel comfortable throughout the process.
Navigating your pregnancy and knowing what choices you have and what lay ahead of you is a daunting task when you have no knowledge of what to expect. A doula can put your mind at ease and help you understand the terrain you now find yourself navigating to be empowered and confident - reducing stress and anxiety and promoting a healthy pregnancy.
Third, a doula can provide emotional & Physical support during labor and birth.
A doula not only gets to know you throughout your pregnancy but also supports you and your partner through the early stages of labor and will attend the entire birth. A doula has experience in understanding and observing the physiology of labor and knowing what signs to look for for when it is time to go to hospital to easing physical sensations through acupressure and other non-evasive measures such as the rebozo, use of water & massage to name few.
Fourth, a doula helps you access the information to make the best decisions.
It is a doula's job to be up to date with the latest information on evidence based best practice for pregnancy, labor and birth. It is unrealistic for the birthing woman to know all of these things when her main role is to grow her baby and have a healthy pregnancy.
Finally, a doula can give you tips on how to prepare for labor and delivery.
10% decrease the use of pain medication 31% decrease in the use of pitocin 34% decrease in negative birth experience 15% increase in spontaneous labor 38% decrease in low APGAR score 34% higher rate in breastfeeding 41 minutes reduce in labor time.
Cochrane Review - Continuous Care for Woman During birth. https://www.cochrane.org/CD003766/PREG_continuous-support-women-during-childbirth