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The contemporary role of a birth doula brings back the traditional model of having a “mother’s helper” by her side during labor and birth.  Usually this would be another woman who had experienced childbirth herself, although this is not an absolute requirement, but it was definitely a woman who was able to provide comfort for a mom-to-be. She typically brought a calm and experienced air to the birthing room, and by doing so, also brought a sense of assurance and serenity to everyone present, most importantly, to the new parents. The doula movement in our country seeks to bring back an atmosphere of confidence and assurance to the intense job of childbirth in our extremely busy industrialized society. This has been shown to have very real, measurable benefits for the birthing woman and her baby.

 

 Did you know that having a doula present at your birth has been shown to result in:

 - 26% reduced chance of having a cesarean

 - 28% less likely chance of needing analgesia for pain relief

 - 33% less chance of perceiving the birth experience as negative

 - Greater chance of successful breastfeeding and better chance of immediate maternal-infant interaction

 - Less chance of postpartum depression

 

A doula comes to your birth equipped to employ many comfort measures for you. These may include:

-Suggesting different laboring positions

-Pressure point counter pressure, especially for back labor

-Helping you to stay mentally focused

-Use of heat and/or cold for comfort

-Help for husband/partner in assisting you

-Massage

-Help understanding medical terms or procedures which may be suggested 

(however a doula will never tell you what decision to make, rather help you gather the facts you need to make decisions)

-Help you use relaxation techniques, both physical and mental

-Help you to use laboring tools such as the birth ball, the bath or shower

-Provide an encouraging presence for you and your partner during intense contractions

 


 

Before your birth, a doula meets with you and your partner to discuss (or help you formulate) your birth plan.  As the couple meets next with their doula, a cooperative understanding begins to form, giving confidence to all as they look forward to the birth. After your birth, a doula is trained to help get breastfeeding established and answer general questions.