Imagine feeling fully supported during your birth, both emotionally and physically; empowered to ask questions when you have them; and in complete trust of the people with you during your birth. This is what it feels like to labor with a doula!
A Labor Doula’s role is to provide information during pregnancy, emotional and physical support to a laboring mother and her partner, and a follow-up visit to review the birth, answer questions, and provide postpartum support.
Your doula will meet with you one or two times during your pregnancy for prenatal visits where she will review stages of labor, how labor might start, work on your birth plan/wishes, and talk about any important decisions you might be making. She will go over the changes your body might be going through or what you might expect in the weeks leading up to, during and following labor. While a doula is a wealth of knowledge, these visits do not replace a Childbirth Education class, but compliment a class well.
What Support Looks Like:
A doula’s primary role is one of support, for the laboring mother and for her partner as well. She comes to your birth equipped with positions and comfort measures that help make labor manageable and normal. She knows what labor is like and can be a calming force for both the mother and her partner as labor intensifies. When labor begins to progress, your doula will meet you at home, helping you stay comfortable and assisting in the decision of when to head to the hospital. A doula supports you through your entire labor and for about an hour or two after the birth of your baby. She returns for a follow-up visit once you are home with your baby.
A doula also provides the space for a laboring mom and her partner to make the necessary decisions for their birth. This can be as simple as saying “would you like some time to talk about this decision?” or “Would you like to ask your provider any questions about this procedure?” While the decision is made only by the couple themselves, a doula can be a great reminder that this is their birth, their body and their baby and therefore their decision.
Benefits from Doula Care:
There are many benefits to having a doula attend your birth, here are a few documented by research:
· Decreases the overall cesarean rate by 50%
· Decreases the length of labor by 25%
· Decreases the use of pitocin by 40%
· Decreases requests for an epidural by 60%
· Improves APGAR scores for baby
· Improves mother’s satisfaction with her birth experience
Read more here: https://evidencebasedbirth.com/the-evidence-for-doulas/