What is a Doula?


The word doula comes from the ancient Greek meaning "a woman who serves" and is now used to refer to a trained and experienced professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and just after birth. Studies have shown that when doulas attend birth, labors are shorter with fewer complications, babies are healthier, and they breastfeed more easily.


A birth doula

•Recognizes birth as a key experience the mother will remember all her life

•Understands the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of a woman in labor

•Assists the woman in preparing for and carrying out her plans for birth

•Stays with the woman throughout the labor

•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

•Facilitates communication between the laboring woman, her partner and her clinical care providers

•Perceives her role as nurturing and protecting the woman's memory of the birth experience

•Allows the woman's partner to participate at his/her comfort level


A doula's role in never meant to replace or omit the husband or birth companion from your birth experience.  A doula is there to help enhance that experience allow him/her to enjoy it without all the pressure, to allow the birth companion the opportunity for breaks, and to help both the laboring mother as well as her companion to understand the processes and interventions being offered by most hospital staffs.  She takes a vital role in supporting the birth companion to ensure your birth plan is understood and stuck to in the absence of any special circumstances, and she helps you to understand any special circumstances, should they arise.

Having a doula ensures that someone is always at your side, providing support and encouragement, offering positioning suggestions, explanation of medical procedures, comfort measures, and overall general support.  A Doula does not make decisions for the couple, provide medical or clinical skills, do medical exams, administer medication, or give medical advice.

Having a Doula present at your birth has been proven to:


*  Reduce the overall cesarean rate by 50%

*  Reduce the length of labor by 25%

*  Reduce forceps deliveries by 40%

*  Reduce the use of pain medication by 30%

*  Reduce the use of oxytocin by 40%

*  Reduce requests for epidural pain medication by 60%

*  Reduce the number of days newborns spend in the NICU

*  Result in higher rates of breastfeeding

*  Result in more positive maternal confidence

*  Result in decreased rates of postpartum depression



 Give birth the natural, calm, and comfortable way...

 



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