|Q: What is a Birth Doula?|
"A birth doula" refers to a supportive companion (other than a friend or loved one) who is professionally trained to provide labor support. She performs no clinical tasks. A doula provides physical, emotional and information support to women and their partners during labor and birth; help and advice on comfort measures such as breathing, relaxation, massage and positioning, assistance to families in gathering information on the course of their labor and their options, continuous emotional reassurance and comfort, non-medical skills such as massage and other non-pharmacological pain relief measures, assistance to partners who want to play an active support role, help so the woman has a safe and satisfying childbirth experience as the woman defines it." - DONA
|Frequently Asked Questions...|
| Q: What if I already know that I want pain medication or an epidural....
Is a Doula still a good idea?
A Doula's role is to support a woman's choice to have the birth SHE chooses. Both medicated and unmedicated births are what Doulas are trained to work with, and both choices can benefit from Doula care. Women who opt to have medicinal intervention (narcotics/epidural) often have questions about their options/decisions, may need assistance with finding comfortable positions in bed, find themselves less physically mobile or mentally alert, and sometimes tired and frustrated with the birth process. These circumstances can present emotional challenges that a Doula can help guide a woman through. In the case of a cesarean birth (planned or otherwise) - A Doula (if allowed in the O.R.) can be a great support and source of information and reassurance during the delivery and immediately following the opeartion when dad/partner may be with the baby.
Doulas travel to wherever the woman chooses to give birth (hospital, birth center or home) and will discuss with you the arrangements for the birth-day and how she will coordinate with you when labor begins. For some, this could mean laboring at home with you until it's time to go to the hopsital, or it could mean waiting until you are admitted and feel you are ready for her assistance. All doulas carry cell phones and/or pagers and are prepared to respond to their clients day or night. Doulas also work with backup doulas in case of an overlap in client deliveries, illness, or other unforseen events that could mean the need for another doula to fill-in for her.
|Q: Can doulas work in the setting that I am choosing to labor and birth?|
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|Postpartum doulas are trained in postpartum adjustment, newborn characteristics, care, feeding and development, and the promotion of parent-infant bonding. There is a great deal of evidence suggesting that quality support can ease the transition that comes with the addition of a baby to the family. By educating, tending to the needs of the parents, infants and children and by offering quality referral information, the postpartum doula can ease and enhance the postpartum experience. - DONA International – Postpartum Position Paper|
|Q: What is a Postpartum Doula?|