What are the benefits of having a doula?
Studies have shown that when your birth is attended by a doula, women are more likely to have a spontaneous vaginal birth, more likely to have a shorter labor, less likely to have a cesarean, less likely to have narcotics, and less likely to have an epidural or need instrumental delivery. A doula helps by reducing stress, pain, and anxiety.
A labor doula can help you differentiate pre-labor from progressive labor, and early labor from active labor. A labor doula is trained to be able to help you in every stage of labor.
What exactly does a doula do during labor and the delivery?
A doula has many roles during the labor and delivery. A doula encourages you, reminds you to eat and drink, helps with visualization, helps with breathing techniques, reminds you about coping techniques, performs counterpressure or massage, recommends different positions, and encourages and assists with use of the birth ball, peanut ball, rebozo and other comfort techniques.
Does a doula replace the father or partner?
A doula does not replace anyone. A doula is another member of the birth team and helps fathers or partners participate at their own comfort level, showing them how to use comfort techniques and providing them with information.
Can a doula still help me even if I know I want an epidural?
Yes! A doulas presence is often helpful during early labor, during the epidural placement process, and during delivery. A doula will continue to give emotional, informational, and physical support as you may still need support for comfort and to help with ideal positioning.
What does a doula not do?
A doula is not a medical professional and cannot give medical advice or perform medical procedures. A doula does not make any decisions on your behalf, but instead helps you understand your options and helps YOU to communicate your desires to the medical team.