Why a Doula
Having a doula is like having your very own talking labor guide. Doulas not only know what helps during labor, they also know when it helps and how to do it. Your doula can either perform comfort measures herself, or help your family or friends to support you with comfort measures. Your labor partners will feel more confident knowing that they are doing the right thing. The way you feel about what is happening to you in pregnancy and during childbirth will affect your ability to remain relaxed, deal with pain and discomfort and make informed decisions. One of the indicators of a woman's successful natural childbirth is her confidence in her ability to give birth. No one can give you confidence in your body, in the birth process or in yourself. You have to find your own sources of strength, and know how to use them during childbirth.
A doula not only encourages the mother to keep going, but she encourages the labor support to keep going as well. The process of labor can be long, and it gets hardest just before it is over. A doula can keep you and your coach focused during the most intense part of labor, helping you to manage any discomfort or pain. A doula is a birth companion, a mother figure, a woman who trusts life and therefore birth. She is a woman who acts as a reminder of a woman's ability to birth her children.
A component often missing in childbirth education classes is the emotional preparation for natural childbirth. Unfortunately, for many women, the emotional component is more important than practicing squatting positions or back rubs. Having the reassurance of a Doula
will help you meet all your goals in your birth plan.
"In comparing a doula to a best friend or the woman's mother or sister, the difference is the experience and the perspective of the doula, and her hands-on knowledge. Doulas have had training in a variety of situations, such as when labor slows down, or if the mother becomes discouraged, or if she's having back pain. And someone who truly cares for the woman may offer love and stay with her, but may not have ideas of things to try."
~ Penny Simkin
Benefits of having a trained doula:
45% reduction in cesarean births
25% shorter labor
60% reduction in epidural requests
50% reduction in oxytocin use
30% reduction in analgesic use
34% reduction in forceps delivery
From The Doula Book by Klaus, Kennell, and Klaus