More women are choosing to birth the the comfort of their homes, to the tune of a 5% increase according to the latest numbers. Even if you feel more comfortable birthing in a hospital, you can bring the support of a doula with you.
I wonder if any birth statistics are kept regarding the presence of doulas…
I’m answering a series of questions my friends have put to me about labor support, doulas, and birth. Here’s a follow-up to the first one, asking for a little more detail.
What does a doula do that would be helpful to me as a pregnant woman?
A doula is a person (usually a woman) who knows more about birth than the average bear. A doula can provide the pregnant woman with information about birth options (using movement, position changes, visualization, and breathing techniques instead of painkilling drugs and epidurals, if that’s what the woman wants — for example).
The doula can also help the mother educate herself about procedures involved in a hospital birth. Are IVs a necessary aspect of labor? Are epidurals medically necessary? What is an episiotomy? What’s the deal with circumcision? What are the risks to mom and baby with these procedures? A doula can give the mother these answers (or direct her to good resources) which can help the mother make the most informed decision possible.
The doula also helps the mother find resources for new moms in her community (childcare, breastfeeding support, pediatricians, etc).
I believe that educating pregnant women makes them more confident, and confident pregnant women become confident mothers.
If you have a question for me, please leave a comment or email me at prairiedoula [A!T] gmail [D!OT] com. No names are used in the Ask the Doula section.
Welcome to PrairieDoula, web presence for Prairie Doula Services based in DeKalb and Sycamore, Illinois. Wander over to the About page or glance in the sidebar to read more about me and what I do.
For a while this blog will focus on answering questions about doulas and their role at births that were put to me by a group of friends a while ago. I hope the answers will help you in whatever way they can.
First Question: What the heck is a doula?
A doula is a professional labor assistant. Doulas are there to give one-on-one support to a woman during pregnancy, in labor and during birth. The support can range from suggestions about position changes that might offer pain relief, to providing massage, to providing information about procedures that might happen during labor, and tons more.
Doulas can work with the mother at home births, at birth centers, and at hospitals, and many laboring moms find a doula to be especially helpful in a hospital setting where one-on-one care is generally not possible from the nursing staff. Doulas are not medically trained and do not perform exams, provide medical advice, or take the place of a healthcare professional. Doulas give birthing women and their partners emotional, informational, and physical support during pregnancy and birth.
My goal as a doula is to help birthing women find the information they need to make the best decision for themselves, their baby, and their family, and then to fully support their decisions throughout their pregnancies. I value your choice in when and where and with whom you want to birth.
For more information about doula services in Northern Illinois, contact me: prairiedoula A.T gmail D.O.T com