Reasons why having a doula at yor birth is so beneficial. Doulas can support women and their families during the prenatal period, birth and postpartum period. Doulas are trained to offer emotional and physical support and can enhance the support offered by your doctor, midwife, partner and family.
I may be biased, not only because I had one at my birth, but because I am a doula. The truth is that my experience in having a doula was so amazing that it inspired be to become one myself and support other women and families. Here are my top five reasons for why you should have a doula at your birth.
- A doula brings invaluable knowledge and support– A doula is trained to support women and their families during labour and also during the prenatal and postpartum period. She is trained to offer emotional and physical support, coping and relaxation techniques, breastfeeding support and much more. She also will be able to recommend specific resources that are relevant to you and your family, based on your needs. Many doula’s also have other training and expertise such as counselling, massage therapy, naturopathy, Reiki, pre & post natal yoga and much more. This expertise can enhance your overall experience.
- A doula can help you with your birth plan– A doula will meet you on a few occasions before the birth. This allows for you to talk about how you envision the labour, if you have questions, concerns, fears or special requests. Obviously, your birth may not turn out exactly how you envision or intend, but having communicated about this plan before the labour gives you, your partner and your doula an idea of what is important to you. A doula can advocate for you and remind you of this plan during labour, if needed.
- A doula helps you to focus– During labour there is so much going on. Often women in labour, are concerned with how others are doing; their partner, family, other children etc. A doula can help ease the mother’s focus on and concern for everyone else and bring her back to focusing on herself, her baby and the labour. She can help you also focus on techniques that will help you during labour, such as breathing, positioning and imagery, just to name a few.
- A doula isn’t family– For some people having a non-family member present during such an intimate experience seems scary, uncomfortable and even unnecessary. I liked having a doula, and many women do, precisely for that reason, they are not family. You do not have a deep emotional connection with a doula, at least not quite like one with your partner, other family member or close friend. You need your doula to be 100% focused on you and your partner, not crying with you or having to leave the room because they can’t see you in pain. Your doula will stay by your side during your whole labour, as she is supporting you emotionally and physically, whereas your obstetrician or midwife is primarily supporting you medically during labour. Having this one on one support gives your partner or other people present for the birth the time to rest, take a break or compose themselves.
- A doula supports you while you birth the way that is best for you– Having a doula support you doing your labour and also during the prenatal and postpartum period, can give you real confidence, as a woman and as a parent. Having someone who knows the world of birth, babies, and all that comes with that, and who stands behind your decisions, is very empowering. A doula also supports you wherever you choose to have your baby, whether you chose to give birth at a hospital, birthing centre or at your home.
If you would like more information on doulas and how to find one that’s right for you, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me. You can also check out the following websites for more information:
DONA International www.dona.org
CAPPA Canada http://www.cappa.net/canada.php
DoulaCARE Canada http://www.doulacare.ca/