So, what is a Doula? A non-medical companion who supports a birthing mother by providing continuous care before, during, and/or after childbirth in the form of information, physical support, and emotional support. They also may provide support to the partner and family.
This topic was important for me to cover for a number of reasons. First, like many other mothers that I’ve spoken to, my pregnancy, labor, delivery experience was very unpleasant. If there is a chance that any mother can receive this information and have a better experience than I did, then mission accomplished. Second, according to the Health Resources & Services Administration, the maternal mortality and morbidity rate is increasing. Searching for ways to ease the anxiety, concerns, and risks mothers have regarding labor and giving birth, it seems that providing information on Doulas would be a great start.
On the show 5 REASONS TO HAVE A DOULA we heard from Sierra Shuler, a practicing Doula in Charlotte, NC who gave great information on the benefits of having a Doula. If you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, here are the top 5 reasons to have a Doula.
- Doula’s provide SUPPORT to the mother, spouse, and family.
- A Doula is an ADVOCATE for the mother.
- Doula’s EDUCATE the mother on what is happening to her body, how to respond and what to expect.
- Doula’s provide COMFORT to the mother (in the form of emotional support)
- A Doula’s presence has been found to REDUCE requests for pain medication, the use of forceps, and the number of cesarean births…among many other benefits.
While there are many great physical and emotional benefits to having a Doula this information would be one-sided if I didn’t give you some scenarios in which having a Doula may not be the best option.
- If you’re having a planned cesarean, a Labor and Birth Doula is not necessary; however, a Postpartum Doula may be right up your alley to assist with infant feeding, emotional and physical recovery from birth, mother–baby bonding, infant soothing, and basic newborn care.
- If you don’t know what you’re signing up for. Sure, having a Doula sounds great but ask questions. What are your needs and how can a Doula be helpful to your situation. Remember the U in Doula is all about YOU!
- If your team is not in agreement. Always consult with your birthing team…your doctor(s) or Mid-wife. All members of your team MUST be able to communicate and come into agreement with your choices and what is best for you and baby. This is a team effort towards a happy and healthy mother and baby.
Whether this is your 1st pregnancy or your 5th pregnancy there is always an opportunity to learn and make better decisions for your life. I encourage you to do some research so that you can make a more informed decision. To get you started, click on the Resources Tab for Doulas to get more information on organizations that provide resources on how to find a Doula, what questions to ask and even how to become a Doula. To learn about our featured Doula, Sierra Shuler, click on the Guests Tab for Sierra to read her bio.
Please check out the show 5 REASONS TO HAVE A DOULA SUBCRIBE so you won’t miss out, COMMENT because we care about what you think, LIKE if this was insightful, and please share with someone that could use this information.
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