Doula: The Importance of A Labour Support Provider

For centuries, women around the world have been involved in the support of a labouring woman. In 2011, a family planning for childbirth will call upon a doula for her services during labour and delivery.

What is a Doula?

According to DONA (Doulas of North America):

“The word ‘doula’ comes from the ancient Greek meaning ‘a woman who serves’ and is now used to refer to a trained and experienced professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and just after birth; or who provides emotional and practical support during the postpartum period.”

Some clinical studies have found that a doula’s presence at birth:

  • Can result in shorter labors with fewer complications
  • Will help to reduce the negative feeling about one’s childbirth experience
  • Can reduce the requests for pain medication and epidurals, as well as the incidence of cesareans
  • Can decrease the need for pitocin (a labor-inducing drug), forceps or vacuum extraction

Role of The Doula

A doula is supportive to both the mother and her partner, and plays a crucial role in helping the partner become involved in the birth to the extent he/she feels comfortable.

A doula does not make decisions for clients or intervene in their clinical care. She provides informational and emotional support, while respecting a woman’s decisions.

A doula does not replace nurses or other medical staff. They do not perform clinical or medical tasks such as taking blood pressure or temperature, monitoring fetal heart rate, doing vaginal examinations or providing postpartum clinical care.

A Doula is there to comfort and support the mother and to enhance communication between the mother and medical professionals.

For your best birth experience, hire a doula to make that happen.

Contact a doula in your area: DONA International

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