For a growing contingent of moms-to-be, doulas have become just as essential to the childbirth experience as taking omega-3s and getting down with hip-opening yoga squats. There’s a good reason for that—studies have shown that by enlisting the help of these trained pregnancy pros, mothers are more likely to deliver healthy-weight babies and successfully breastfeed, while being half as likely to experience birth complications.
So what, exactly, does a doula do? “A doula provides a constant presence of emotional support, education, advocacy, cheerleading, and hands-on guidance for expectant mothers and couples as they approach and enter into the birth process,” explains Well+Good Council member and Mama Glow founder Latham Thomas, who says client Rebecca Minkoff refers to her as “a producer for your birth.” And if that sounds like the kind of ally you could use outside the delivery room—say, when it comes to your side-hustle or your dating life—many modern doulas are ready and willing to assist with that, too.
(click link at top to read the entire post on wellandgood.com)
(click link to read the entire interview on birthzang.co.uk)
I got asked today whether I support women who already have a birth partner, usually their life partner, and yes I do. I think being a doula supporting almost 100 births, I must have done maybe five where there wasn’t also a birth partner present.
These were special because my birth doula role merged somewhat with the birth partner role and it was just me and the birthing woman, journeying towards welcoming her baby and just us in the birth room (with a midwife also).
But most of the time, my role as a doula is ‘space-holder’. I hold space for the couple.
That means I create space for people to explore their thoughts, feelings, options around birth and then when we get to the birth I hold that space allowing them to do their thing – the birthing woman in her birthing power birthing her baby or babies, and the birth partner doing their vital partnering thing of being totally present in each moment with her, usually in absolute awe of her strength and perseverance. I support ‘them’ to have a positive birth experience.”
Click link above to read this great interview with doula Lisa Ramsey on what a doula “does”…
I spent all of my 30 hours of early labor at home, and most of my six hours of active labor there as well. I continued to delay calling my doula, not knowing how much longer I would be laboring, and certain that I needed that “tool” in my tool belt to realize my goal of an unmedicated, birth center birth. My doula met us at the birth center, and two and a half hours later my daughter was born in the water and placed on my chest.
Now, I won’t break it down for you (though my husband might) what it cost us per hour to have doula support for my final 2.5 hours, but what I will tell you:
It was worth every single penny.
(click link above to read article)
(click to read this interesting article in the New York Times online)
PC: Michael Appleton for the NY Times
“There is a popular misconception that a doula, someone who provides professional labor support, is only useful for women who are planning an unmedicated or natural childbirth. As a long time doula, I can tell you that nothing is further from the truth.” (click link to read on pregnancy.about.com)
#4 Get a Damn Doula
Have you ever cut your hair yourself? It might turn out okay, but then you get it done at the salon with the hypnotizing head massage and the mysterious, magical products and the blow-out-you-can-never-replicate and you realize, yeah, that was better with professionals. That’s kind of what doulas are to birth. (click link to read a great post on improvingbirth.org)
Leza Besemann first heard of doulas—women whose job is to provide continuous emotional support during labor, but who are not medical nurses—at a natural childbirthing class in the early 2000s, when she was 30 and preparing to have her first baby. “As soon as my husband and I heard about the role of doulas, we knew it was something we wanted to do,” Besemann said. She has since given birth to four children with the help of a doula, whom she says is “like a member of the family.” (click to read on The Daily Beast website)