What is a doula: A Doula is a coach to support parents-to-be during this transitionary period of labor & delivery as well as the few first few days after the baby is born. A doula accompanies women in labor, taking care of her emotional needs throughout childbirth. In addition, doulas help partners become more involved. A postpartum doula continues after the birth of the child to help mom and her partner settle into their new roles as parents. Doulas can facilitate mom’s ability to be able to breastfeed, doulas can prepare meals for moms and clean the apartment. In some regards, Doulas assume the role of super moms. Caring for the mother, while the mother cares for the baby.
Giving birth to a baby is so much more than a physical phenomenon; it engages parents-to-be in a transformational experience, a key life event full of emotion and meaning. A doula who accompanies a woman in labor mothers the mother, taking care of her emotional needs throughout childbirth. A doula also provides support and suggestions for partners that can enhance their experiences of birth. A postpartum doula continues that valuable emotional support and guidance, helping a family make a smooth transition into new family dynamics.
Doula's are helpful for:
- Emotional support: A doula can provide emotional support, encouragement, and reassurance to a person during childbirth, which can help to reduce anxiety and improve the overall birth experience.
- Physical support: Doulas can provide physical support during labor and delivery, such as massaging the person in labor, providing counter-pressure, and offering different positions for comfort and progress of labor.
- Information and guidance: Doulas can provide information and guidance on the various options available during pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period, helping the person to make informed decisions about their care.
- Continuity of care: Doulas can help to provide continuity of care, as they are with the person throughout the entire process of childbirth, which can help to build trust and reduce the feeling of uncertainty.
- Assist with breastfeeding: Doulas can assist with breastfeeding, providing guidance and support to help the new mother and baby get started with breastfeeding.
- Support for partners: Doulas can also provide support and guidance to the partner of the person giving birth, helping them to understand the process and how to best support the person in labor.
- Lowering the rate of interventions: Studies have shown that having a doula present during childbirth can lower the rate of interventions such as cesarean section, forceps delivery, and the use of instruments to assist delivery.
- Improving overall birth satisfaction: Having a doula present during childbirth can improve overall birth satisfaction and the postpartum period for both the mother and the partner.
It's important to note that doulas are not medical professionals and do not perform clinical tasks. They are there to provide emotional, physical and informational support to the birthing person and their partner.
The above article is copied from the the Dona International website http://www.dona.org
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