Do You Need a Doula or Know Someone Who Might?

Both Erin and Brenda are in the certification phase to become a DONA certified doula.  In order to do this, we must attend three births and collect a variety of records from these three births, including evaluations from the doctor, the nurse, and the mom for all three births.  As well, there is a mountain of reading (interesting though!) to do, essays to write and other requirements (see here for requirements).  While both of us have breastfed, we are registering for a breast feeding course (the same one taken by the nurses to become “breast feeding friendly.”  That will give us added ideas to support moms to breast feed their little ones.  We both took a great course recently on using the Mexican rebozo as a comfort measure.  Brenda had the opportunity to use it extensively at her first birth to great success.  Please email us at peacefulpassagedoulas@gmail.com or use the contact form on the right side of the blog if you would like more information.  Hope to hear from you soon.

Not convinced?  Here are some reasons to use a doula (from http://pregnancy.about.com/od/doula1/a/reasonstohaveadoula.htm)

Typically you will hear women say a lot of things about their doula. She came to the house to help them in early labor. She rubbed mom’s back in just the right way and in just the right spot – for hours. But is the benefit of a doula quantifiable?
  1. More likely to have a vaginal birth. 
    With the cesarean section rate standing nationally at nearly a third of all births, it seems that have a doula to help provide you with a slight edge in the area of a vaginal birth would be a good thing.
  2. Less likely to need forceps or vacuum extraction. 
    No one wants to think about forceps or vacuum extractions being necessary at their births. Using a doula can help lower your need. Perhaps it’s the labor positioning being used or that it happens when some of the other factors are met, like less use of anesthesia. But not having to use the dreaded “salad tongs” sounds like a winner in my  by PirritSuggestor”>book.
  3. More likely to be satisfied with their birth. 
    Satisfaction is for all the women, not just ones who hanatural childbirth or a vaginal birth. Is it the fact that a women is encouraged to make her own choices? Is it that she feels like she was in control of the decisions made in her labor? Having a good birth means a lot of things, and it looks very different to different women. It can also help lower the risks of postpartum depression.
  4. Have a shorter labor. 
    Who wouldn’t want to shave even a few minutes off the length of labor? Is it the relaxation? Is it the positions? Is it the comfort of knowing that someone is there with you?
And from the Just Mommies blog, they list 10 reasons:

Ten Reasons to Hire a Birth Doula

What is a Birth Doula?

A birth doula is a person who is trained and experienced with childbirth. Birth doulas are generally involved with an expectant mother before, during and shortly after childbirth. In other words, a birth doula is an expert labor and delivery assistant.

   
 

Ten Reasons to Hire a Birth Doula

Birth Doulas Enhance the Birth Experience:
You may forget what it felt like to take your first “legal” drink, but you’ll never forget the birth of your children. The birth doula’s role in labor and delivery is to anticipate your needs and help carry out your wishes. The birth doula is there to provide continual physical and emotional support.
Assistance with Creating and Maintaining a “Birth Plan”:
A birth plan is a document that spells out in writing your wishes for your labor and delivery. If you’re planning a hospital birth, the birth plan would be shown to your doctor, hopefully before you would go into labor. Most doctors and hospitals adhere to expectant mother’s birth plans, as long as it does not compromise the mother’s or expectant child’s health. A birth doula can help an expectant mothercreate her birth plan. Once the woman is in labor, the birth doula would be there to support and encourage the woman, according to her wishes. The birth doula, however, is not in the position to make demands on your behalf. The birth doula also can not force you to adhere to your birth plan or withhold by PirritSuggestor”>pain medication. The birth doula’s role is to encourage you the best they can, to follow your wishes.
Enhance the Birth Experience for Expectant Partners:
A birth doula is not there to take the place of the partner. With the doula’s experience, they are better able to assist the partner and guide them on ways to better assist the laboring mother. The doula and the partner’s roles compliment each other.
Full One on  by PirritSuggestor”>One Care/Support:
Many people believe they will receive all the care and attention they will need from their doctors and nurses. If you’re planning a hospital birth, chances are, you will not be the only patient. Doctors and nurses are there to monitor your health and labor progress along with every other laboring mom. The birth doula is there solely for you. They do not work with other moms while you’re in labor. Doulas also do not work in shifts. You will have the same doula at your side for the entire birth experience.
Decrease in Incidence of Use of  by PirritSuggestor”>Pain Medication:
Many expectant moms choose to forego the use of pain medication during childbirth. The doula’s role is to assist and encourage the birthing mother the best they can to adhere to those wishes. The continual physical and emotional support offered helps laboring moms cope with the pain and discomfort, making labor pain management much more likely without the use of drugs.
Assists with  by PirritSuggestor”>Breast Feeding:
For those who choose to breast feed, research has indicated that women who choose birth doulas have a better success rate with breast feeding then those who do not. The doula is there to offer guidance and support with breast feeding per their  by PirritSuggestor”>training and education.
Increases Better Bonding:
Part of a certified birth doula’s training places emphasis on maternal/paternal/infant bonding. The birth doula recognizes the importance of those first few minutes/hours after birth with bonding. Research indicates families who have used birth doulas have a higher recorded incidence of maternal/paternal bonding then those who have not. This does not mean that you have to use a birth doula in order to bond with your baby; it just shows that the birth doula’s presence is a factor in bonding success for all parties.
Decreased Incidence of Post Partum Depression:

Women who use birth doulas appear to have more confidence and feel empowered by their birth experience. A common complaint from women who have/had suffered from post partum depression is unsatisfactory or complicated births. We already know that birth doulas can play a role in overall childbirth satisfaction.
Birth Doulas Assist with Communication:
While birth doula can not give medical advice, perform diagnostic tests or diagnose problems, they can, however, promote positive communication between you, your partner and the hospital staff. Many women feel overwhelmed or helpless during labor. The birth doula’s role is to help be your advocate.
Birth Doulas are Relatively Low Cost and Recommended:

Clinical researches as well as major health organizations such as The WHO recommend continual labor support. Birth doulas are shown to reduce labor times and improve the overall satisfaction of the birth experience. 

Hope you are convinced.  Talk to you soon



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