A birth doula is a trained childbirth assistant who supports families during pregnancy, labour, and postpartum to provide physical, emotional, and informational support. During pregnancy we assist the family to discover their concerns and preferences about childbirth. We accompany women and their partners in labour to help provide a memorable birth experience.
Your doula will schedule two prenatal meetings. This will give us an opportunity to talk in detail about your preferences regarding your birth. Your doula will ask about your knowledge of the birth process, and can provide information and education as needed. You will be invited to share your own personal ways of coping with pain and fatigue. This will help you and your doula decide what internal resources we can draw upon to assist you with the birthing experience. We will discuss how you and your partner foresee working together, and the roles of others who may be attending the birth. Your doula can assist with gathering information to make sure you have the information you need to make informed decisions about your birth. We can discuss together what fears and concerns you have regarding the birth. We can review your preferences regarding the use of pain medications and other interventions.
When you are in Labour
When you think labour has begun, call your doula. She can offer help and advice with comfort measures such as breathing, relaxation, movement, positioning, and massage. My most critical role is providing continuous emotional reassurance and comfort.
Your doula will remain with you for a few hours after birth. She will wait until you are comfortable, and the family is ready for quiet time together. She can help with initial breastfeeding, if desired. Our services include two postpartum visits, usually one within three days of the birth and one two weeks postpartum. During these visits, your doula can provide breastfeeding support, baby care tips, referrals to community resources, and a chance to discuss the birth experience. If you are in need of further support, additional visits are always an option.
As a Doula...
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