Birth Baby family
A Birth Doula is an individual who offers one-on-one support for a woman in labor. During labor and birth, Doulas provide continuous care to the laboring mother with encouragement, relaxation techniques, and comfort measures. Doulas also support the mother through portions of the prenatal and immediate postpartum period.
Through the ages, women experienced childbirth with the support of other women during their labor. When birth shifted from taking place at home, “within the community”, into the hospital setting - this essential care was changed. Today, many families are bringing back this holistic approach to childbirth by including a professional labor support person, or Doula, in their team of caregivers. The father, or primary support person, has a very important role; However, he or she may feel pressure in many ways. Having a Doula’s continuous support often relieves the family of these “pressures” and allows them to express their emotions as they witness the beautiful and amazing birthing process. “Among consumers who have utilized the services of a labor support provider, it is often the woman's partner who raves afterwards about the benefits of having the support at the birth.”
The main job of a Doula is to provide the mother with encouragement, reassurance, informational support (non-medical advice) and physical comfort measures. Doulas will never substitute the services of a doctor or nurse midwife. Because they do not have the medical duties of the primary care physician, Doulas are able to fully concentrate on staying with the mother while supporting her in having a safe and satisfying birth. As a result, the mother has at least one person with her for the entire birth process.
A Doula will meet with the mother during her pregnancy to get well acquainted. Typically, at this meeting, they will discuss the detailed birth plan, supplies needed, and relaxation and comfort techniques. Sometimes a second or third meeting is also arranged. Then, when labor starts, the doula helps with the transition to the hospital or birth center (if traveling), and stays with the family until an hour or two after the baby’s birth. Many Doulas will offer a postpartum visit as well.
Dancing for Birth
The Bradley Method
A Postpartum Doula provides educational, emotional, and physical support during the time following birth. This allows the new mom to smoothly transition into her new role. She will share information about baby care, assist with breastfeeding education, as well as teach siblings and partners to “mother the mother.” Postpartum doulas also make sure the mother is fed, well hydrated and comfortable. A Postpartum Doula may assist as early as the immediate postpartum care or the months following birth.
The presence of a postpartum doula can:
- Reduce the incidence of postpartum depression
- Increase the rate of successful breastfeeding
- Enhance all relationships in the family as they welcome their new little one.
EDUCATION is vital! Please visit our classes page for childbirth preparation, infant massage and more...
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