16 Mar Do I Need a Doula?
Do I Need a Doula?
With doulas becoming more and more popular and visible across social media, it might make you wonder if you need one for your pregnancy too.
Pregnancy is a mentally and physically challenging time for all mothers. While healthcare providers lookout to make sure you’re healthy physically, it’s also important to take care of yourself emotionally.
When it comes to emotional support, having your friends and family around is wonderful. But sometimes, you just need a little extra help, and that’s where the role of a doula comes in.
What Is A Doula?
A doula is a professional that is trained to provide emotional, educational, and even physical support to the mother throughout the pregnancy and labor.
They are not health professionals, so they can’t help you with obstetric issues. But they are trained to handle pregnancy-related issues to help you emotionally navigate through labor, birth, and sometimes postpartum.
There are doulas that specialize in pregnancy, labor, and postpartum, so you can choose to hire one when you feel the need for some extra support.
What Is The Difference Between a Doula and a Midwife?
A doula, as mentioned above, isn’t qualified to provide any medical or obstetric care. Their role is to solely provide emotional care, assistance, and reassurance to mothers and their families.
A midwife is a licensed healthcare provider that has completed graduate-level programs in this area. They are trained and qualified to provide medical care to expectant mothers. They can order tests, in some cases prescribe certain medication, and assist labor in low-risk pregnancies at birth centers.
How Can a Doula Help Me?
The idea of having a doula is to make pregnancy safe and a little less overwhelming for mothers. Doulas provide their services with constant reassurance and natural techniques they are trained to use.
Here’s how they can help during the pregnancy period:
- They can help you with physical discomfort issues by massage and breathing techniques
- They provide emotional reassurance when you feel anxious or overwhelmed
- They might be able to answer a few pregnancy-related questions to help you understand the entire process a little better
- They can help you make your birth plan
- They can help you deal with pregnancy-related symptoms like nausea and back pain
During labor and postpartum, they can help by:
- Constant support and reassurance throughout the labor
- Bridging the communication gap between you and the healthcare staff
- Helping you breastfeed
- Helping with meals and light cleaning
- Referring to additional support in different topics for baby/mom
The benefits of having a doula are:
- Decreased incidence of negative birth experiences
- Decreased maternal anxiety
- Decreased need for medical interventions
- Decreased chances of postpartum depression
If you are looking for a birth companion, birth coach, or post-birth supporter, then a doula might be perfect for you! You can learn more about our doulas here to find someone that is right for you and your family.