Have you been planning on every single detail before your delivery, from arranging last-minute hospital bags, and figuring out tips to manage labor pain? You need to add one more thing to your list: a trained doula as your labor and post-delivery companion. Couples these days, are looking for better options to reduce medical involvement during delivery.
A birth doula can be a helping hand to get just what you want in your delivery experience. A birth doula can help you as a companion to have a healthy, safe, and smoother labor and delivery experience.
What Is a Doula?
A doula is a trained health expert who offers physical, emotional, and informative support to all expecting couples. Their help can be extended post-delivery as well.
There are two types of doulas – prenatal and postnatal doulas.
A prenatal or birth doula helps in your pregnancy, stands by you in the labor room, and childbirth as well.
A postnatal doula assists the partner and family in the postnatal period with the required information and support.
Some doulas provide both these services, and you can easily hire them if you want!
Benefits of Hiring a Doula
- Doulas offer continuous support, encouragement, and comfort to the patient and her family from the time they are hired. This reduces the chances of cesarean by 39%.
- A doula offers various pain-relieving methods and strategies such as aromatherapy, music, reflexology, massage, and mantras, etc. She mixes and matches different techniques to find the best fit for you. She can make your labor duration shorter. Studies show a 15% increase in spontaneous natural birth and an average of 40 minutes shorter labor by having a doula by your side.
- Your doula teaches you the labor process in detail, keeping in mind to relieve out your stress and clear your conscience to make the labor and delivery smooth and comfortable for you. Expectant mothers feel confident and positive about labor.
- Doulas act as a mediator or an advocate on your behalf to communicate with the hospital personnel and explain to you all the medical terms and procedures.
- Doulas can reduce the use of epidurals, labor-inducing drugs, forceps, and vacuum deliveries by 31%.
- Doulas can be a good lactation consultant. They can help you in dealing breastfeeding related issues in the initial days of childbirth. Having a doula means 40% less negative experience about birth and breastfeeding.
A Doula’s Role in Pregnancy
Your doula helps you in preparing for the labor and delivery by providing you with the right and required information and support. She shares experiences of different women in the same situation that helps the expecting mother.
Introduce your doula to your doctor and ask them to include her in all the medical procedures and plans. If possible, ask the doctors to add your doula to the birth team for better understanding.
Both your doula and maternity doctor need to complement one another for their skills for a smoother delivery experience.
A Doula’s Role During Labor And Delivery
During your labor, a doula will stay with you consistently to support and provide comfort.
- A doula will use different massage techniques to soothe your pain and help you relax.
- She will help you rest in comfortable positions as the labor intensifies.
- A doula will help in dealing with the medical staff about your needs and preferences
- A doula will reassure your partner and make them stay calm.
During and post-delivery, a doula helps in teaching both partners how to take care of the baby.
- A doula provides support to the couple after hospital discharge.
- A doula helps a new mom to breastfeed her baby
- Helps the partner and manage other siblings (if any)
- A doula manages to keep you on rest and take care of your diet and fluid intake.
Why Should You Hire A Doula?
- A doula helps the couple in getting them a safe and healthy delivery:
- A doula takes charge at times so that the father-to-be can take a break and rest.
- If you want, a doula can keep your partner free from the hotch-potch and take control of all the labor and delivery stress so that both of you can enjoy the process with the baby and stay together emotionally.
- Women who hire a doula are stress-free and their labor periods are shorter, they are less likely to get a c-section, and have a positive approach towards delivery.
Make sure your doula is certified. Share your plans and requirements with her. You can reassure if the insurance cover doula or not. Ask your hospital and doctor if you can hire a doula? Do they provide one? Not all hospitals allow doulas in the labor rooms.