What is a Doula?

 
 

What is a doula?

The term doula comes from the greek word “caregiver”. A doula serves women during pregnancy, childbirth and parenthood. Doulas give continuous non-medical, emotional, physical & mental support to women and her partner during the birthing time. Doulas offer resources and education during prenatal and postpartum visits, providing support as during birth and advocate for your birth choices.
The use of doulas in society goes back thousands of years. It was a widespread practice that a female of the same species be part of childbirth, and in human societies this was traditionally a role occupied by a family member or friend whose presence contributed to successful long-term health and wellbeing. Doulas in present times are seen as Professional Childbirth support with statistical evidence to back up their role in healthy birth outcomes.

 
 
 
 

Research shows parents who receive support:

  1. Are more successful in adapting to new family dynamics.
  2. Have greater self-confidence during the whole birthing process
  3. Feel more secure and cared for.
  4. Have greater success with breastfeeding.
  5. Have less postpartum depression.

Additionally statistics of doula presence from “Mothering the Mother” by Dr. Marshall Klaus, Dr. John Kennell & Phyllis Klaus (MFT, LCSW):

50% reduction
in Cesarean rate

60% reduction
in epidural requests

30% reduction
in analgesic use

25% shorter
labour

40% reduction
in Pitocin use

30% reduction
in forceps delivery

 
 
 
 

Doulas will also discuss in detail the various relaxation and pain relieving measures that can be taken to have a more comfortable labour experience. A doula will give you full access to herself around the time of your birth to ensure continuous labour support. Doulas can provide tremendous emotional and physical support through any birth experience whether holistic or medicalized.

I believe that pregnancy, childbirth and parenthood have a profoundly transformative effect on women and their families, whose experience will always be remembered. Birth is not an illness nor a condition, but rather a sacred event that is normal, natural and healthy.

Women instinctively and intuitively know how to give birth. Women for thousands of years have been doing so, which is why each and everyone of us are here now. Those caring for and giving support to these women need to respect and trust that innate wisdom. A women's confidence in her ability to give birth can be enhanced or discouraged by her chosen caregivers and by the environments she is in.

Women have the right to choose where and with whom they give birth. Knowledge and understanding empowers women to make informed choices and to take responsibility of their own health and wellbeing. Women have a right to give birth free from routine medical interventions. If interventions become necessary, all information need to understand and support the intervention should be provided.


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