Birth doulas are trained to provide emotional and physical support for mothers throughout childbirth. Birth doulas do not provide medical care for the mother or baby. They make it their first priority to meet the needs of the birthing family while acting as a guide and valuable source of information.
What kinds of things might a doula do during birth?
- provide perspective and help families gauge how far along they are in the birth process
- suggest positions and movements to help labor progress or find comfort
- suggest and demonstrate ways for partners and family members to support moms during labor
- provide appropriate massage, counter pressure, or touch to help moms relax and find comfort during labor
- help moms breathe effectively throughout the different stages of labor
- answer questions and help facilitate communication between families and care providers
Are there any other benefits to having a doula?
Absolutely! Studies have shown that doulas also improve birth outcomes and maternal perceptions of birth. Women who use doulas have been shown to:
- experience fewer interventions
- request pain medication less frequently
- have shorter labors
- have lower rates of cesarean births
- report higher satisfaction with their birth experience
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