THE INCREDIBLE BENEFITS OF HAVING A DOULA
Recent studies have shown the incredible benefits of having a doula. These include:
· Fewer c-sections
· Fewer interventions, including usage of forceps and ventouse
· Fewer requests for epidurals and other drugs
· Shorter labours
· More successful breastfeeding, for longer
· A much more positive attitude to the birthing experience
· Higher self-esteem and less anxiety postpartum
When I first mention that I'm doula, I can often see a look in people's eyes. They're either thinking:
"What the hell is a doula?"...or..."Shouldn't she be wearing tie-dye, wafting lavender around, and ranting about cleansing our chakras?!"
Well, as you might have guessed, that's not quite right.
A doula is a non-medical birth partner who is very knowledgable about labour and birth and I am fiercely protective of the people who ask me to be their doula. I will advocate for you. I will ensure you understand your options, and that your voice will be heard above all else.
During pregnancy, I will meet with you and your birth partner, get to know each other and find out your hopes and wishes for your labour. We’ll create a birth plan, and I will debrief any previous birth experiences, removing any emotional blockages that may otherwise affect your labour. I also spend time practising birth positions and breathing techniques with you in your home.
As well as providing emotional and physical support during your labour, I also aim to maintain a peaceful, relaxed, environment and to ensure your birth preferences are met. Most importantly, I remain calm if things don’t go to plan and support both you and your partner throughout the whole process. I don’t take over a partner’s role but complement it. In my experience, partners welcome the extra support and feel more relaxed and confident after watching me with their loved ones.
I'll also visit you post-birth to debrief and to provide breastfeeding support if it is needed.
Long story short, I consider my role to be giving you the opportunity to have the best birth possible for you, your partner, and your baby.