Should you hire a Doula?
Some of the benefits of having a Doula attending your birth include emotional and physical support to you, the mother and your family. The results of this have been shown in recent studies to have this impact:
• 50% less likely to give birth by cesarean section
• 41% less likely to give birth with a vacuum extractor or forceps
• 28% less likely to use any analgesia or anesthesia
• 33% less likely to be dissatisfied or negatively rate their birth experience
When the mother has a satisfying birth then she is much more likely to successfully bond with her baby within the first 2 hours after the birth. This also greatly increases her chances of success in breastfeeding.
Support of the Father
For the father, some of the benefits are that he is able to enjoy the miracle of watching the birth of his child without feeling the stress and responsibility for coaching his wife through labor, a process which he’s never gone through himself. It would be like having someone watch 6 lessons on how to play football then sending that person out to the biggest game of their life and expecting him to understand everything about the game.
The father or partner can also watch the Doula and see things that he can do practically and emotionally for the mother. These include comfort measures such as massage, cold or hot packs, applying pressure to mom's low back if she has back labor and encouraging words at appropriate times.
The Doula in no way takes the place of having the father present at the birth of his child and the loving support that only he can bring to the birthing mother. The father can relax and enjoy the experience more if he doesn't feel responsible for the mother's level of pain. Instead the Doula can reassure him of what is normal and what can be expected to happen next.
What is a Doula?
The role of the Doula includes being trained and experienced in childbirth and being there for the whole labor and birth. The Doula can meet many of the mother’s needs by simply providing continuous, encouraging support throughout her labor. Studies have shown that this alone can shorten a woman’s labor and make it a more positive experience for her. The Doula can also make suggestions on breathing, relaxation and positions.
The main role of a Doula is to bring a sense of confidence and reassurance to the birthing mother so that she can trust the process that her body is going through and not try to 'think' about what is normal or what she needs to do next. The Doula gently guides her through the labor process, making suggestions when needed.
I will join you when you ask me to come to your house or to the hospital and I will not leave you until your baby is happily nursing at your breast. I will help you to make this the best Birth Day possible.