Doulas provide emotional, educational, physical, and mental support to mothers during the birthing process. Not to be confused with midwives, doulas do not participate in the medical aspects of birth. Instead, they empower pregnant mothers to have positive birth experiences. There are also postpartum doulas that provide support to new parents with birth recovery; however, the best-known type of doulas may also be thought of as birth companions and advocates for new mothers. A doula may help to enhance your birth experience. Here are three things to know about having a doula.
The relationship begins several months prior to birth.
The doula-client relationship benefits from building trust. It is ideal to begin working with your doula several months prior to your due date. The doula is there to help you navigate the complex process of giving birth. Doulas bring a wealth of information about birth plan options, as well as strategies to reduce and manage stress during labor. Being comfortable enough to ask questions and seek new options is key to taking advantage of a doula's expertise. While a doula is physically present closer to labor, the doula and client may talk over the phone to build their relationship, too.
Doulas also support the mother's partner.
While having a doula present during labor is beneficial to the mother, doulas are also able to help the mother's partner as well. Research suggests that as labor intensifies, the father or other partner tends to retreat and provide less physical comfort to the mother. A doula is able to provide continued physical comfort to the laboring mother while also communicating and modeling ways that the partner can provide support as well. Additionally, the doula is able to communicate with your partner in the time leading up to labor to provide educational support to them, as well.
Licensing is not required to become a doula.
Doulas are not required to be licensed in order to assist laboring women. However, certifications are available through organizations such as the Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association and DONA International. While interviewing candidates, make sure that you find the right fit. Certification may be important to you, and certifying organizations may be able to provide referrals or lists of potential doulas. Doulas that have passed a certification course have been trained to provide up-date medical information on an array of different birth options. Your doula is your advocate and support system during labor.
To learn more about doulas, contact a company offering doula program services in your area.Share
11 February 2020
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