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What is a Doula and How can you Benefit from Having one?

doulas2

From the beginning of time, women have been cared for and nurtured as they become mothers. Family, friends, and the community would gather around the new family to support and guide them during the early weeks and months with a new baby. Now today, we have doulas to be a part of mom’s support system and nurture her.

A doula is “a trained professional who provides continuous physical, emotional, and informational support to a mother before, during, and shortly after childbirth to help her achieve the healthiest, and most satisfying experience possible.”

Whether it’s a family’s first or tenth baby, a doula can help support the family, and make the birth and postpartum experience better.

What are the Benefits of Having a Doula?

Physical Support
– Continuous uninterrupted presence; freedom from other obligations, other patients, hospital polices etc. – only there for mom!
– Position ideas with hands-on comfort measures (comforting touch, counter pressure, breathing techniques, etc.)
– Help a malposition baby find its way through the pelvis
Emotional Support
– Help mom and family feel supported, and ease the emotional experience of birth
– Knowledge and understanding of emotions and physiology of labor
– Ability to remain calm and objective for mom
Advocacy
– Be the bridge of communication between mom and her providers, and advocating for mom’s wishes and goals
Partner Support
– Support the birth partner in being as involved as they’d like with the birth
Maternity Care
– Reduces the length of labor
– Less likely to need Pitocin
– Less likely to have a cesarean birth
– Less likely to use any pain medication
– More likely to rate their childbirth experience positively
– Increases breastfeeding and enhances bonding time

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The acceptance of doulas in maternity care is growing rapidly with the recognition of their important contribution to the improved physical outcomes and emotional well being of mothers and infants.

For more information check out “The Doula Book,” and https://www.dona.org.

Did you know that Tara is a certified DONA doula? Ask her any questions!

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