WHAT IS A DOULA?
A doula is a trained professional who provides physical, emotional, and informational support to families before, during, and shortly after childbirth. But doulas are so much more than just that! We build relationships with expectant families with the purpose of helping them have a positive and empowering birthing experience and act as a bridge between parents and other forms of professional care they may need.
Doulas encourage and support parents in advocating for themselves, learning what questions to ask, discussing their fears and concerns, and creating a unique birth plan.
Doulas do not provide medical care or offer medical advice but we are knowledgeable and trained in many medical aspects of pregnancy, natural birth, cesarean birth, and the postpartum period and we use that knowledge to help our clients gain a better understanding of labor progression, interventions, procedures or possible complications that may arise.
During delivery, doulas are continually with the birthing person and have a wealth of comfort measures and coping tools to offer including breathing techniques, massage, laboring positions, mindfulness, aromatherapy, and rebozo techniques. Doulas also work closely with the birthing person's partner, alleviating concerns, offering reassurance, and encouraging them to have an active role in the birth process.
After birth, doulas can help begin breastfeeding, encourage bonding between the new baby and other family members, and provide space for parents to process the birthing experience.
WHY SHOULD I HIRE A DOULA?
Research has shown that doula-attended births resulted in:
- cesarean rate reduced by 50%
-length of labor reduced by 25%
-use of Pitocin reduced by 40%
-requests for an epidural by 60%
-higher success of breastfeeding
-lower rates of postpartum depression
Women report more positive birth outcomes when using a doula, than without. Regardless of the type of birth you're planning, having someone in your corner from beginning to end can be a tremendous benefit.