What is a Doula?
A doula is a trained professional who assists women before, during, and after childbirth by providing physical, emotional, and educational support.
A doula's main goal is to help women have a safe and memorable birthing experience.
The kinds of support you can expect from a doula during childbirth may include physical assistance and comfort (massage, counter-pressure, maintaining a supportive posture, getting you into different positions), emotional support (providing company, encouragement, a soothing calm space in the midst of the trials of labor), and acting as an advocate for the woman during childbirth (suggesting options or supporting the woman's decisions when she conveys them to the medical team).
Usually a few months before the baby is due, the doula and the family will begin developing a relationship where the mother and her partner feel free to ask questions and express fears and concerns up until the baby is born. A doula will help ensure their clients gain a better understanding of the procedures and possible complications that could occur during labor. The doula can also help the mother feel at ease by helping her create a personalized birth plan for the big day!
Here are some proven benefits associated with having a doula:
- Improved maternal and fetal health
- Added preparedness for labor and delivery
- Reduced stress and anxiety during labor
- Shorter delivery
- Fewer cesarean sections and complications
- Use of fewer medications and extraction tools
- Less time spent in neonatal intensive care units
- More positive overall birth experience