Many will wonder what a doula could do for them. Why having a doula if you already have a doctor/midwife, a nurse at the hospital and a partner to support you?
It is a very good question. After all giving birth is such an intimate event, why would you want to add more people to it?
A calm and intimate environment
Well, first of all the doula is there to protect and insure that you have a calm and intimate environment during labour. This is in respect to this incredible process. Privacy, calm and support are elements that can shorten the labour.
The doctor/midwife and the nurse are caring for the medical side of the pregnancy, labour and birth. They don’t have to be there continuously for you. In fact, doctors come nearly just to catch the baby. Nurses have many patients to take care of and there are shift changes too. Your partner is just as new to childbirth than you are. The role of the doula is to stay with you the whole time and support you and your partner. The doula help your partner to support you. And very importantly, you will never be left alone. Also the doula is trained to support you. She has many tricks in her bag!
The definition of a doula per Dona International is the following:
“A doula is a trained professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to a mother before, during and shortly after childbirth to help her achieve the healthiest, most satisfying experience possible.”
The doula meets with you before birth to talk about how you want to live this important event and to demystify the whole process. She will give you evidence-based information about labour and birth which will help you to make informed decisions for yourself. This is the foundation of a satisfying birth, no matter how things turn out.
What research says
The doula is present continuously all through labour and birth to support you and other support people. Historicaly, this is how women lived childbirth. Research shows that it makes a big difference on the outcome: shorter labour, less medicated labour, less instrumental vaginal birth, less ceasarean, better five-minute Apgar score.
Hiring a doula is giving yourself a dedicated person to take care of you during childbirth, one of the most incredible moment in a woman’s life, that you will always remember. Let’s make it a satisfying one, no matter how your birth turns out.
This video from Evidence Based Birth give you more information about using a doula for pain relief
Learn more about the science behind doulas at We The Parents.