A birth doula is a non-medical professional trained to attend a woman during childbirth.. A postpartum doula is a non-medical professional trained to provide education and support to a family after a baby is born
2. What are the benefits of having a doula at your birth?
Several studies have shown that having a trained doula benefits all involved including not just the mother, but also the partner, attending family members, as well as hospital staff. These studies have been consistent in their results finding shorter labors, less use of pain medications, lower episiotomy rates, and as much as 50% reductio in cesarean rates. Increase rates of breastfeeding, better family bonding, and fewer admissions to the NICU. Clinical outcomes such as
3. What are the benefits of hiring a postpartum doula?Hiring a postpartum doula has been shown to:
Increase successful breastfeeding; Increase earlier bonding; reduce the potential for maternal postpartum depression; Lessen maternal exhaustion, frustration, uncertainty and anxiety during early postpartum weeks.; Reduce unnecessary calls to pediatricians; Allow the partner to get back to work sooner with less anxiety; Provide a better understanding of newborn emotional and physical needs and behavior; Provide more care choices and tools for dealing with relations and others.
4. How is a doula different from a nurse or midwife?
A doula is a non-medical professional often privately hired by the family to be a constant support (emotional, physical an informational) from the time a woman goes into labor until a baby is born. The doula does not make decisions or give advice regarding medical care, and does not perform any medical procedures. They are trained to provide ideas and offer techniques for helping labor to progress through positional changes, as well as encouragement and ideas for comfort measures.
In hospitals, nurses, midwives and other medical staff are concerned with the health and safety of the mother and baby. They often change shifts and have other patients to attend to. They are unable to dedicate all their time to the techniques a doula is trained in, or to one patient; while the doula is dedicated to the one family and does not leave until after the birth.
5. Does the doula take the place of the father or partner at the birth?
No. The doula is there as another member of the birth team; providing support, ideas and techniques for positions and comfort measures, as well as information and education along the way. The doula is also there to support the other members of the birth team by providing breaks at appropriate opportunities, and to stand in for any procedures, which a partner may not feel comfortable being part of..
6. What if you want an epidural?
A doula can still be of use if you decide to get an epidural, providing informational and emotional support; as well as assisting physically and emotionally during delivery. A doula should be able to provide several position recommendations via a Rebozo and/or peanut ball, etc, which have proven to help in avoiding a C-section, and which help baby to keep descending.
7. What if you have a C-section?
Whether planned or unplanned, a doula can help support the family with information and emotional support prior to the procedure, and wait for the family in recovery following the procedure. A doula is also able to attend the procedure if a family member is unavailable.
8. What does a postpartum doula do?
A postpartum doula helps families acclimate their household and their lifestyles to the needs of the new baby. They educate and encourage new parents in baby care and feeding techniques; make recommendations for baby products; as well as to make sure the new mother is taking care of herself and not over doing it in the first few weeks (napping, fluids, snacks, etc). They will often do light housekeeping in the baby nursery, of the baby laundry and any bottles or pump parts, which need cleaning.