Prenatal and Labor Doula
The evidence on doulas is clear. Having a doula by your side during your birth can lead to more positive outcomes for you and your baby. Noteworthy statistics include a decrease in the risk of a C-Section, a decrease in the use of any medications for pain relief, a decrease in the baby's risk of a low Apgar score, a shorter labor by an average of 41 minutes and increase in the likelihood of a spontaneous vaginal birth.
But what does a doula do?
Ahh.. the number 1 question! It's difficult to understand what a doula does until you experience it for yourself. A doula is a mother, a best friend, a tough love companion, an educator, and a form of pain relief all at the same time. I am trained in all things encompassing birth and pregnancy, and when I don't have an answer, I know exactly where to find one. I have many different forms of physical pain relief, as well as mental techniques that can be utilized depending on your preference. I know when you need chapstick, a sip of water, or your hair pulled out of your face before you can even think about it. Being your doula means being the person you need through every step of your pregnancy and birth.
How is a doula different than my husband/partner/best friend/mother/
(insert person here)?
Doulas are different than the person you are closest to whom you think may be a great option to be a part of your birth. Doulas are trained professionals who are educated in pregnancy and birth support. I come with no judgement, no biases and no personal history about you. I provide my education, my tools and my support without pushing my personal agenda. Your wishes are my wishes and I do everything in my power to support that.
Another major difference between doulas and a birth companion of your choice is physical pain management. I am trained in many different techniques to help you relieve pain without using medication or even before starting medication if you so choose to use it (this could even be in the comfort of your own home).
But what if I'm planning to get an epidural or C-Section?
I can still help you! I provide emotional and informational support before, during and after the epidural. Pain relief is also a very important aspect of doula work. An epidural typically isn't placed until active labor has begun, which could mean many hours of unmedicated laboring. Before an epidural, you're able to move around as much as you want, which helps labor progress. Epidurals make it difficult, at times impossible, to move around, which can slow labor. As your doula, I am able to help with repositioning to ensure that your labor does not stall.
A C-Section mama could use a doula help to prepare the hospital bags, answer questions about the birth, provide information about different options. A doula can be a valuable tool during a C-Section by means of reassurance and emotional support, as well as providing immediate care for mother and baby after birth, which can be understandably difficult following an invasive surgery.