What is a doula?

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The following is a student blog post by a Karen Owen

What is a Doula?

 

Happy Mother's Day!(2)You pass me in the store, taking note of my shirt, you drive by me and notice the advertisement on my vehicle, and every so often, we strike up a conversation.  Eventually, you ask me what it is that I do and I say, “I’m a doula.”  I see a look of curious confusion cross your face, but you’re unsure if you should ask the question that is on your mind.  WHAT on earth is a doula?  I’m so glad you asked!

A doula is a support person for women during pregnancy, birth and postpartum.  She assists you as you make your journey into new motherhood and helps you achieve your desired birth.  In essence, a doula “mothers the mother”.    The role of a doula during labor includes:

·         Providing emotional support

·         Utilizing comfort measures such as positional changes, massage, breathing, movement and much more!

·         Helps a mother to become informed about birth options by providing information

·         Assists the mother and her partner to communicate effectively with her doctor and hospital staff

·         Provides a continuous presence in labor for both parents.  A doula does not replace your partner but rather works with him (as desired) to benefit the laboring mother

Studies show that women who hire doulas for continuous labor support have a greatly reduced likelihood of cesarean section, interventions and need for pain control, as well as shorter overall labors.  In addition, women also experienced:

·         31% reduction in the use of Pitocin

·         12% increase in the likelihood of a spontaneous vaginal birth

·         34% decrease in the risk of being dissatisfied with the birth experience[1]

A doula also offers help in facilitating immediate skin-to-skin contact and bonding, and assists with initial breastfeeding, if desired.

With all the many benefits of doula care, it’s easy to see the importance of hiring one to be a part of your birth team.  For more information or to schedule a free consultation, contact Heritage Birth Services at HeritageBirthNC@gmail.com or 704.414.0008.

 

Karen Owen is a certified Birth & Bereavement Doula and owner of Heritage Birth Services, Kings Mt., NC.  She is a wife, homeschooling mother of 4 and an active member of her church.  In her spare time, she enjoys photography, football and spending time with her family. www.HeritageBirth.net

 
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