I decided to go a different route for this week’s Spotlight Saturday blog post. My interview with artists of different mediums will follow next week. However, I want to highlight the beauty and selflessness of Doulas across the world. Doulas are professionals trained to provide physical, emotional and educational support to an expecting mother, giving birth or in postpartum care while advocating for the mother. A doula provides security, ensures of safety and affirms the empowerment of motherhood.
Unfortunately, I did not have a Doula for my delivery. Please check out my Birth Story to find out why. As a first time mother, I am amazed at myself for getting to 8CM of dialation with my fiance and without medical assistance. I strongly do not recommend that for a FTM (first time mom). Even if you plan to Free Birth, I still recommend finding, interviewing and securing a Doula for your first time birth. Here are my reasons as to why you deserve to have a Doula.
In 1969, the term doula was coined by Dana Raphael for her anthropological study. Modern Greek terminology defines it as a being a servant woman. Although your doula does not have any formal medical education, she is solely there to serve you and ensure of a healthy, relaxed birth. She will know when you’re parched, when it’s time to change positions, hold your hand, massage your body, prepare a snack and etc. Doulas are there to serve you and provide a positive impact to your labor.
BONDING BEFORE BIRTH
Doulas have a cut off time of acceptance because they spend time bonding with you before your due date! A doula-client relationship begins months before baby’s arrival. Your doula not only wants to get to know you and your birth plan, but she wants to bond with you. Most doulas will provide you with their personal number, so that you can contact them as needed. Although doulas are not clinically trained, they do have knowledge about birthing procedures and practices. Furthermore, a FTM may feel more comfortable in trusting a doula.
NUMBERS DONT LIE
When a woman has continuous support from a doula, the positive outcomes are documented. On the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Medicine website, trials from the Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group, the WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform and reference lists of studies were used to provide an updated Cochrane review. There was a 25% decrease in Cesarean, 8% increase in spontaneous vaginal birth, 10% decrease in pain relief medication, shorter labor by 41 minutes and 31% decrease in dissatisfied birth experience. Therefore, mothers were less likely to need pain medication because of the presence of labor support. Furthermore, labor did not need to be induced and the bay was allowed to enter naturally.
A doula does not replace your partner, they work in tandem with your partner. Their job is to be your right hand while your partner is your left hand. Your doula will provide instruction and support to your partner, so that your partner does not feel left out of the experience. Doulas are especially useful for FTF (first time father) as well!
There are different definitions for advocacy, but a doulas role is to provide support in it’s simplest form. A doula is not clinically trained, but they do have education and information on childbirth. Most doulas have children of their own, so they are no stranger to the process. Doulas encourage you and your partner to ask questions about your care and the processes. She will amplify your voice, facilitate your care with your providers and ensure that your wishes are honored when you are not present.
If you are ready to secure your Doula today, then check out the links below! Did you have a doula? Why or Why not?
C O N N E C T – W I T H – M E