Okay let us get back to the basics. Doula what? What the heck is a doula you might ask? Or you may immediately picture me with long, long hair, a flowing long skirt, a tie-dye shirt, crunching granola on my commune.
Nope that's not it. I'm dressed in work attire, at my full-time job as a fund development coordinator for a non-profit organization. I have my standard Starbucks by my side, and my hair is fairly short.
So what is a doula? Here are the basics, but don't worry as I learn more so will you!
The following is a general description of what you might expect from a CAPPA certified labor doula. Typically, doulas meet with the parents in the second or third trimester of the pregnancy to get acquainted and to learn about prior birth experiences and the history of this pregnancy. She may help you develop a birth plan, teach relaxation, visualization, and breathing skills useful for labor. Most importantly, the doula will provide comfort, support, and information about birth options.
A doula can help the woman to determine prelabor from true labor and early labor from active labor. At a point determined by the woman in labor, the doula will come to her and assist her by:
Helping her to rest and relax; Providing support for the woman's partner; Encouraging nutrition and fluids in early labor; Assisting her in using a variety of helpful positions and comfort measures; Constantly focus on the comfort of both the woman and her partner;Helping the environment to be one in which the woman feels secure and confident; Providing her with information on birth options.
A doula works cooperatively with the health care team. In the event of a complication, a doula can be a great help in understanding what is happening and what options the family may have. The doula may also help with the initial breastfeeding and in preserving the privacy of the new family during the first hour after birth.
Did you doula or not? Have a story? I want to hear it.