Most women will get some form of emotional support during their pregnancy. Friends, family members, and their baby’s father will all be sources of encouragement during the pregnancy. The amount of support they can give during the delivery is limited, however. That’s where a doula comes in. A doula is a certified birth companion whose job it is to give the mother support.
The Support Of A Doula
A doula will meet with her client before she goes into labor to make a birthing plan. Doulas know how important it is to have more than just one backup plan. Labor can take several different turns, so she educates her clients on all possible occurrences.
Even though doulas aren’t licensed in medical care, they still know a lot about the medical side of giving birth. They can inform clients of health risks and side effects of using local anesthesia. Doulas can show them comfortable birthing positions.
A doula will be available to take her client’s calls during the last three months of pregnancy. The mothers that contract them should be able to tell them in confidence their hopes and fears. Doulas should give them positive, but realistic feedback on what to expect. Doulas strive to make pregnant women feel confident and ready to take on the strenuous task of giving birth.
The Birth Plan
Doulas will not choose their client’s birthing plan. They will simply give educational advice on their options. A good doula will be by the side of her client throughout any labor process. In the event something isn’t going ideally during birth, a doula will reinforce the verbal wishes of her client.
C-sections are operations that involve removing the baby by making an incision in the mother’s lower abdomen. C-sections are an option when a mother is unable to push out her baby through her birth canal. Sometimes mothers going through a difficult labor will give up on trying to deliver vaginally.
They may also feel pressure from the doctor get the baby out as soon as possible. Though short labors are ideal, a doula knows that isn’t always the case. A doula will have her client mentally prepared for any length of labor time.
Her client may specify that she did not want a C-section unless necessary. If so, the doula will relay that information to the doctor. Women who have doulas are more likely to deliver vaginally than those who have no professional labor companion.
Doulas will often offer messages to their clients during the time they are in labor. Doulas are educated about the importance of oxytocin. This hormone is responsible for uterine contractions and does much more too. Oxytocin also causes pregnant women to enter a state of nirvana. This will, in turn, let them tolerate more pain.
This can be crucial during childbirth where the mother chooses to forego epidurals. Massage is one of the best ways to stimulate the release of oxytocin in the body.
Doulas strive to make the experience of giving birth as beautiful as possible. Women who have doulas know that they have an advocate that will keep their birthing wishes and safety at heart.