What does a doula really do anyway?
This is the question I get asked most often when I tell people I am a doula. Most of the time, people assume I deliver babies or that I only work as a labor support person for women who don't want pain relief...these are just a few of the misconceptions.
Here is what a doula actually does...
The role of the doula is to provide continuous physical and emotional support for you throughout labor. Doulas do not replace your partner, we're there to support them! Doulas bring the extra knowledge about medical procedures, hospitals and birth in general, that your partner may not have. Your doula will stay with you the entire time, allowing your partner to rest, eat and use the restroom as needed. Doulas help create a space which you can make informed decisions. Sometimes you may need more time to make a decision you're unsure of or you need more information before you can make a decision. A doula helps you navigate through challenges that can arise, even in the smoothest of labors.
Here are some of the benefits of having a doula by your side:
*increase the likelihood of having a spontaneous vaginal birth
*increase in the likelihood of having a positive birth experience
*fewer medical complications
*lower use of induction/labor augmentation
*significant decrease in requests for medical pain management
*decrease in the risk of a cesarean
* higher success rate for breastfeeding
*faster postpartum recovery
*overall higher birth satisfaction