We know that even the most reputable medical authorities like the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, recommend birthing with a doula to decrease interventions (like inductions and cesarean sections) and increase both birth satisfaction and infant bonding. But what exactly is a doula, and what do they do?
“A doula is a trained professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to a mother before, during and immediately after childbirth to help her achieve the healthiest, most satisfying experience possible.”
We often hear people ask, “Do I need a doula? My husband is going to support me.” Or, “My mother had three kids naturally. She will be there to help me know what to do.” A Birth Partners doula will NEVER take the place of your loving partner or family member. We know that these people know you in ways that we never will and it only makes sense that they will be able to provide a sense of security that can’t be reproduced. Plain and simple: they know you. But we know birth.
We’ve been trained and mentored in the physiology and psychology of birth, and in the art of providing labor support to birthing mothers and to their support people. A Birth Partners doula is a non-clinical, privately contracted person who works for you (not the hospital) who acts as part of a team with you, your support people, and your medical staff. Doulas provide a wide range of services to families of all sorts in a variety of birth situations.
One question we are often asked is, “What is your birth philosophy?” The honest answer? It doesn’t matter. What we want is not the reason we are invited into your space. Therefore, the important question is, what is your birth philosophy? That is what we support.
Do you know ahead of time that an epidural is right for you? Great! Your doula will continue to support you emotionally and physically throughout your birth. Will you be working for an unmedicated experience? Great! We will be there with pain management suggestions and position changes. Whatever you are working towards is what we are working towards, it is part of what makes us such a positive team.
When you give birth, most of the work is done in your mind in order for your body to respond with the hormones necessary for birth. When working so hard to stay in a peaceful state, something as simple as a new nurse or unfamiliar equipment sounds could accidently break that positive connection.
Your Birth Partners doula serves as a, “keeper of the space” during this vulnerable time. She will protect the positive environment you are creating, and because she has taken the time to get to know you and your partner, she will safeguard the things that are important to you. She provides a calm presence to sustain you and your support people through what might be a mentally, physically, and emotionally intense experience.