A doula is a professional support person who provides continuous physical, emotional, and informational support to a woman before, during, and shortly after childbirth.
Doulas are typically not medically licensed, but they do have extensive training in childbirth education and labor/delivery.
Doulas are often confused with midwives, but they serve a different purpose.
Doulas are more than just experts in natural birth. They are experienced labor coaches, trained to help women and their partners manage the physical and emotional stresses of childbirth.
This article will explain 10 specific examples of what a doula actually does..
1. A doula provides support during labor and delivery
Doulas provide support to the mother and the family throughout pregnancy and in many cases during labor as well. Midwives deliver babies, while doulas attend to the mother’s emotional needs.
2. Doulas educate parents on what to expect during pregnancy
A good doula is not only there to provide support during labor and delivery, they also educate parents on what to expect during pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period, as well as offer advice on breastfeeding, infant care and infant CPR certification.
3. Doulas provide support in positioning and breathing techniques
Doulas are trained to provide physical and emotional support for women throughout pregnancy, labor and birth. They provide continuous hands-on assistance and comfort throughout the whole process. Doulas can also be called labor coaches, birth assistants, or birth companions.
Doulas are experts in pregnancy and labour support. They provide emotional, physical, nutritional and educational support to women through pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum.
However, it’s only recently that the role of the doula has expanded to include coaching for natural birth, helping a woman’s partner learn about birth as well as providing information on topics such as breastfeeding.
Doulas often help with positioning in labour and breathing techniques for pain relief during contractions.
4. Doulas make sure you get the resources and care you need
In the United States, 3.6-3.8 million babies are born each year. For some of these moms-to-be, having a baby is an easy process. But for others, it can be quite difficult—physically and emotionally.
A doula is a birthing coach for the mother. Essentially, they support the mother through labor and delivery with physical comfort measures and emotional support to help her have an empowered birth experience.
A doula is not a doctor or a nurse. They are trained to provide education about the stages of labor and provide emotional support during childbirth.
Doulas have been helping women have easier pregnancies and births for generations. They are here to help you throughout your pregnancy, labor and delivery to ensure that you get the care you need at the right time.
5. Doulas coach you through labor and delivery
In an article published in the New York Times on March 15, 2018, writer Suzanne H. Crowhurst Lennard shared her experience working with a doula during the birth of her son. She noted that though she was “the kind of person who has always felt completely in charge of her body and my destiny,” there were some aspects of labor that she found difficult to navigate without assistance. “I had no idea what I was supposed to be feeling or doing” she said.
It’s not every day that you hear the word doula, but it’s a word worth learning about. Doulas are professional labor coaches who help women prepare for and get through childbirth, usually without drugs or surgery.
6. Your doula can help you with breastfeeding
You do not have to be a mother in order to know how difficult breastfeeding can be. In fact, your doula will help you with breastfeeding.
They are trained to help expectant mothers and their families with the emotional, physical and spiritual aspects of pregnancy, labor, birth and postpartum.
Doulas offer comfort measures like warm compresses for laboring women, as well as practical support like helping you track your contractions or keep track of your baby’s nursing patterns.
They are there for the entire nine months of pregnancy, helping you prepare your birth plan and making sure that both you and the baby are safe when labor starts.
7. A doula provide comfort measures such as massage
Doulas are birth professionals who provide emotional, physical and informational support to a woman before, during and after childbirth.
They play an important role in the birth experience by helping women achieve a healthy pregnancy, safe delivery and healthy baby.
Doulas also provide comfort measures such as massage, rebozo sifting, singing or gentle touch to help relieve pain during labor.
8. A large percentage of a doula’s work is done during labor and delivery
Many mothers have decided to deliver their own children at home. Home births are becoming increasingly popular because of the increased availability of midwifery care and the trend toward natural childbirth.
However, a large percentage of a doula’s work is done during labor and delivery. Labor and birth are intense experiences that can be difficult to cope with in your own best interests.
A doula offers emotional support to the mother throughout the experience, providing invaluable advice about pain management, breathing techniques, relaxation, and other related techniques.
Often a doula’s job continues well past delivery day; they are available for the mother who has questions about breastfeeding or postpartum depression.
9. A doula help with the emotional and physical challenges that come with childbirth
It’s not widely known, but the role of the doula goes far beyond providing emotional support. In fact, many birth advocates consider a doula to be an essential part of a woman’s prenatal care team and delivery team.
Doulas are trained in several methods designed to help women have the safest, most comfortable birth possible.
When planning for a new addition to the family, parents-to-be often choose where they will give birth based on factors like safety, convenience or cost.
New research suggests that another factor should be considered when choosing a place of birth: whether or not there is a certified labor coach available in the area to assist with the emotional and physical challenges that come with childbirth – which is one of the main roles of a doula.
10. A doula supports the mother in cesarean section if necessary
A doula is a birth coach or companion who helps women plan for pregnancy, labor and childbirth. While some doulas do provide hands-on physical support during labor, this isn’t the only service they offer.
In fact, emotional support can be an equally important part of a doula’s role in your birth plan. A doula is a professional trained to help you feel relaxed and confident during your birth experience.
They will help you understand what to expect from your body during labor and delivery. If necessary, a doula will support you as the new mother in cesarean section.
With the growing popularity of doulas in the U.S., there is a lot of misinformation about what they do and how they can help. To clear up any confusion, we’ve provided 10 specific examples of what a doula actually does.
We hope this list of examples has been helpful in your search for a doula.
Photo by Georgia Maciel