If you are planning on a natural birth, you may be considering having a doula assist you in the birthing process. Whether you will be giving birth in a hospital, birth center or at home, a doula can be a tremendous asset to you and your family during this special time. Doulas are trained professionals who specialize in providing the mother with physical, emotional and educational support before, during and after childbirth. While your midwife or doctor must focus on the medical support you and your baby need during the labor and birthing process, your doula is there to provide continuous reassurance, encouragement, guidance and comfort. Here are just a few ways having a doula during labor can help you create the birth experience you want.
- Doulas are another person on your team that can help ensure that your birth plan is respected.
- Particularly in a hospital setting, having a doula as another advocate for you to help make sure that your doctors understand your desire for a natural birth and minimal interventions.
- Doulas can help you find positions during labor that will ease the pain and ensure optimal fetal positioning for baby. Proper positioning can also help your labor progress smoothly.
- Doulas can talk you through emotional blockages during the labor process that may affect your decision to continue with a natural birth. Your doula is there to remind you every step of the way that you are strong and capable of your goal of a natural birth.
- Doulas can help make your birthing environment calming and conducive to a peaceful and memorable birthing experience. This may include utilizing aroma therapy, music you have selected, candles or anything else you feel will make you more comfortable.
- Doulas can help with your physical comfort during labor by providing massage and other healing touch.
- Having a doula by your side throughout the entire labor can allow your partner and other family members to relax and enjoy the experience.
- Doulas can help photograph your birth experience and document your special day.
- Doulas can provide an objective viewpoint should issues arise and aid you and your partner in making informed decisions that are consistent with your values and wishes for your birth experience.
- Your doula will provide continuous reassurance and encouragement for you from start to finish, beginning before labor begins and continuing often well into your postpartum period.
- Doulas help aid in the communication between you and your partner and your care providers.
- Your doula can help your partner be involved in your labor at his or her own comfort level.
At Health Foundations, we have a very special opportunity for our families to work with one of our specially trained Doula Interns for free. These doulas are women who have completed their training with our Birth Center and are seeking to assist births as part of their certification process. You can visit the doula page to view the profiles of our doulas and can elect to interview potential candidates before deciding who will attend your birth. To learn more about having a natural birth with our midwives and doulas, contact Health Foundations for a free consultation with a midwife and a tour of Birth Center.