Recently, I was asked if people in our community were really even aware about what a doula is or what a doula does. After thinking a bit about it, I know they mention doula support at birth classes at the hospital, but I’m honestly not sure if they give enough info about doulas or not. I am absolutely certain that a lot of people don’t understand the difference between a doula & a midwife. So, I decided to do a little thinking and give y’all the low-down on what a doula really is and what we do.
Note, these are things that a BIRTH doula does. There are different types of doulas, locally we also have postpartum doulas who help moms after they have their baby.
WHY HIRE A DOULA?
A doula is part of a support system to mom during childbirth. Most often there is a reduction in extra medical necessities like labor inducing drugs, and pain medications. You can have confidence in your doula to advocate for you and your partner in times that you may not clearly understand what is happening. Want stats to back that up?
With a doula you can expect:
31% decrease in use of Pitocin
28% decrease in the risk of c-section
12% increase spontaneous vaginal birth
34% decreased risk of dissatisfaction
DO DOULAS ATTEND HOSPITAL BIRTHS?
Yes! We attend both home and hospital births. At a hospital birth, we can come to your home to support you in the beginning of the birth process, and will go to the hospital with you when you are ready. In the case of a planned home birth, we join you in your home when the birth process begins. And if your planned home birth needs to transfer to the hospital, we will also follow you there and continue to provide support.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A MIDWIFE AND A DOULA?
A midwife is a medically trained care-provider who will take care of the health of the mother and baby as a doctor or obstetrician would.
A doula is a non-medical professional specifically trained to care for the mother’s emotional needs and physical comfort.
A doula provides non-medical pain relieving techniques (such as massage, rebozo, TENS assistance, & guided hypnosis), assists with labor and birthing positions, emotional support throughout the birth experience, education & guidance both prenatally and postpartum. Doulas do not measure blood pressure or fetal heart rates, or perform any form of medical interventions.
WILL A DOULA TAKE OVER FOR MY HUBBY AT THE BIRTH?
A doula’s primary job is to support the mother in any way she can. For many women, that means helping the partner be very involved, deepening their connection, and their trust in each other through the birth process.
A doula does not replace a partner’s role, but rather works as a team with him, suggesting ways to better support the birthing woman through massage, and other comfort techniques. Many partner’s are very thankful for a doula through the birth process because she can help him be useful at all times, or take over so he can rest or eat!
Go here to connect with one of the Doulas of the Red River Valley