A doula for every type of birth

A doula for every type of birth

epidural kitI often hear from people who as questions like:

  • Do doulas support births for people planning to use epidurals?
  • Do doulas support cesarean births?
  • Do doulas support people who are not planning on “natural” childbirth?
  • Do doulas support people whether or not they are planning to breastfeed?
  • Do doulas support people birthing at hospitals? Birth centers? Home births?

The answer to all these questions is YES. Doulas do that!

It’s a misconception that doulas only support people planning on unmedicated births (could we ditch the term “natural” births? It makes it sound like someone using medication or medical technology has a somehow “unnatural” birth). But the fact is a doula provides support for the birth choices that are right for you. Every person is different. Every birth is different. No one approach is going to be right for everyone. A doula is there to provide you with information, help you sort out your choices, support your choices, and provide you with continuous support throughout your labor and birth.

For mothers choosing to use an epidural during labor, a doula can be a great emotional support who can help with comfort measures before the epidural and after, can help with beneficial positioning when you are confined to bed, and will be that constant, supportive presence throughout the labor and birth. She can help you understand the process and will be there to hold your hand through it all. Doulas can share information about all your choices for pain relief options so you can make the right choices for you.

For cesarean births, you can request that your partner and doula both be allowed in the operating room. Even if your hospital’s policies will not allow this, a doula’s support can be a tremendous help for a cesarean birth. Your doula will support you preparing for the birth, in the hospital prior to entering the operating room, and for an extended period in recovery, supporting you as you get time to bond with baby and help get breastfeeding off to a good start if you choose to breastfeed. Having a doula there besides your partner means that if your baby should need to leave your side for additional care, there’s someone to support you and someone who can be with baby.

A doula can be an invaluable support for someone initiating breastfeeding, but she also helps mothers who cannot or choose not to breastfeed by providing them with information about lactation suppression and the non-judgmental support they need and frequently do not receive elsewhere.

Statistics show that doulas improve childbirth outcomes as well as mothers’ satisfaction with their birth experience. Is a doula right for your birth? Chances are, YES! Contact me to find out how I can help you and your baby get off to a Joyful Start!

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