Doula (Doo-lah) is a Greek word that has come to mean "woman's servant". A doula, is a woman offering non medical support and information during pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period. A doula can support you anywhere you choose to have your baby ( Hospital, Birthing Center or Home Birth).
- She mothers the mother
- She is a great listener
- She is respectful
- She does not impose her own thoughts and beliefs
- She trusts the mother instincts
- She acknowledges the power of birth
- She believes the birthing woman's partner is the most important team member if that is right for that couple.
- She recognizes birth as a non medical event
- She offers continuous support to the woman and her birth team
- She believes it is a woman's rite of passage to birth her baby where, with whom, and how she wishes.
A doula is skilled in supporting the birthing woman and her partner to meet the challenge of labor one contraction at a time. The doula is knowledgeable in comfort measures such as relaxation breathing, massage and positioning, managing labor sensations using water, hot packs and aromas. Doulas specialize in non-medical skills and do not perform clinical tasks, such as vaginal exams or fetal heart rate monitoring. Doulas do not diagnose medical conditions, offer second opinions, or give medical advice.
Why Should I Hire a Doula?
Many studies in the USA have been conducted, which research a has highlighted the huge difference a doula can make to a labor and birth. have identified the benefits of having a doula at your birth:
- 50% reduction in caesarean rate
- 25% shorter labor
- 60% reduction in epidural requests
- 40% reduction in oxytocin use
- 30% reduction in analgesia use
- 40% reduction in forceps delivery
- Improved breastfeeding
- Decreased incidence of postpartum depression
- Greater maternal satisfaction
- Better mother-infant interaction
By hiring a doula a mother ensures:
- She has a skilled set of hands 'holding the space for her at home and/or in hospital'
- She is surrounded by nurturing and caring energy
- She has a reduced risk of unnecessary interventions