Benefits of Having a Doula
by Your Side
Many expectant moms choose to have a doula, also known as a birth companion or labor coach, by their sides to help them get through childbirth. Doulas are non-medical professionals who provide educational, physical and emotional support to families before, during and after childbirth. A doula is highly trained and experienced in helping families have a healthy and satisfying birth experience. Doulas support women birthing in any setting: hospital, birth center or home, providing that a licensed midwife or doctor is in attendance.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A DOULA AND A MIDWIFE OR DOCTOR?
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A midwife or obstetrician is responsible to care for the health and safety of the mother and baby, provides clinical care, medical advice and is hands-on delivering the baby. A doula does not perform clinical tasks but rather focuses on the education, support and comfort of the family during labor and birth.
WHAT DOES A DOULA DO? Most doula-client relationships begin a few months before the baby is due. During the prenatal period, the doula forms a strong connection with the family. The mother and partner are free to ask questions and express any fears or concerns. At a prenatal visit, the doula helps the expectant parents learn about their birth options and create a birth plan. Discussion could include the phases of labor and how labor progresses, pain management options, demonstration and practice of comfort measures for labor, pros and cons of potential medical interventions, and newborn procedures. The doula is on-call until you go into labor at which time she joins you to provide physical and emotional support in person including: massage, hydration, assisting you to stay calm and relaxed, suggesting position changes, facilitating communication with your birth team, and more. Importantly, she helps you to feel empowered and confident during your labor and is there for your partner and family, too. After your baby is born your doula stays with you for several hours to help you get settled in, assist with breastfeeding and anything else needed before itâ€™s time to rest. She returns to visit you in the first week to do a postpartum visit. This visit may include discussing the birth and how you felt about it, newborn care questions, assistance with breastfeeding and making sure that the family is settling in smoothly.
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CHRISTIE COLLBRAN and AMY LEWIS
Owners, Doulas Buddha Belly Birth Services firstname.lastname@example.org buddhabellybirth.com (727) 489-4750
Guide for Prenatal to PreK, the most important developmental years!