The word Doula conjures up many images and thoughts in peoples’ minds. Just as birth takes many forms, so do the women who inhabit Doula work.
A Doula is someone who educates, empowers, and supports the birthing person and partner continuously through labor and delivery. A Doula is trained and experienced in providing emotional support, physical comfort measures, and non-clinical advice. A first-time labor can last anywhere from a few short, intense hours to as many as 48! Having a Doula to support you and your partner during this progress can make a difference.
You may plan on taking childbirth education, watch 100 birth videos, and read every birthing book out there, and still find it difficult to remember and apply these things during the intensity of labor. There are many times that a birthing person will need more than one person to help support their labor. While a Doula cannot replace the intimate knowledge that a partner has about you, they can help your partner support you, and support your partner when they need it too.
Study after study (J Perinat Educ. 2013 Winter; 22(1): 49–58.) show that the presence of a Doula has a positive impact on healthy birth outcomes including:
- 50% reduction is Cesarean Rate
- 25% shorter duration of Labor
- 60% reduction in epidural requests
- 40% reduction in Pitocin use
- 30% reduction in ‘assisted’ delivery
While a Doula cannot and will not make choices for you during your labor and delivery, she:
- Reminds you of the choices you made and why you made them when you are anxious or afraid
- Supports you in your chosen path, whether that is a medicated or unmedicated birth
- Provides a calm and reassuring presence for you and your partner
- Supports early breastfeeding and postpartum recovery
- Provides resources and referrals for things that fall outside of her role
As your Birth Doula I can provide you with a safe space to explore the kind of birth you would like to have. We can practice laboring positions that can help bring your baby down. We can talk about what support would look like for you and your partner during different stages of labor and pushing. We can also talk about the fourth trimester and what to expect during the Postpartum period. Postpartum Doula services are an excellent way to get the rest, recovery, and feeding support needed by a new or expanding family.
Whether you plan to give birth in a hospital, birth center, or your home, a Doula will be there on your birth journey. She can be an educator, a guide, a calm voice, or a gentle touch. Whether this is your first baby or your third, a Doula can support you. -Stephanie Drake, PhD