Doula- what's one of those?
What is a Doula and why hire a one?
Doula derives from the Greek word meaning women servant or caregiver. A Doula Mothers the Mother before, during and after childbirth. They offer continuous emotional, physical and informational support throughout your pregnancy journey. They will be with you as much or as little as you choose, it’s your journey not theirs.
In today’s modern society families are often spread all over the world not just the country. We don’t always have the support of our parents, sisters, other relatives and or friendly neighbours. A Doula will be all of those people for you. Traditionally throughout history women in labour have always been helped and supported by other women. As Childbirth was moved from the home and into the hospital this support was lost and birth became more medicalised and less supported. Education for new parents has also shifted to predominantly about birth and less so about caring for a newborn which is just as valued. The tide is shifting again and society is beginning to realise that when a women is pregnant she is generally not poorly and doesn’t necessarily need to be in a clinical setting to give birth. Most birth and post-natal Doulas will have undertaken some kind of training, often they are parents or grandparents themselves so can fully empathise with you and your situation. A doula's basic role is to provide non-intrusive, non-judgemental support according to your families needs and wishes throughout your pregnancy, birth and post natal journey. They support women and families in all kinds of situations, who have different kinds of births and make a wide range of parenting choices. The services offered by a doula vary greatly according to the needs of the women, couple or family that she is working with.
Doulas do not take a clinical role and work alongside midwives and doctors. They do not advise, but can support a woman, and her partner and family, to find balanced information to make informed decisions about her care.
Birth doulas provide continuous support, for women and couples, through pregnancy, labour and birth and the immediate postnatal time. Postnatal doulas provide flexible practical and emotional support postnatally for new mothers and families in their own homes. Some doulas work as both birth and postnatal doulas, while others work only as birth doulas or postnatal doulas.
Research has shown that hiring a Doula can be very beneficial to both Mother and Child. It can …
-Increase the likelihood of a spontaneous vaginal birth Reduce the length of labour Reduce the need for caesarean sections.
-Reduce the need for pain medication.
-Decreases the risk of been dissatisfied with the whole birth experience.
-Reduce the risk of post natal depression.
You can find out more and find doulas local to you via these links: