Why hire a doula?
The experience of pregnancy and birth carry with it the promise to transform your life forever. As you birth your baby, you not only make a new life, but give birth to a mother and a family. The practice of female support during this life transition is not a new one; for many centuries and in many cultures, women experience pregnancy and birth with support throughout from midwives, sisters, mothers, friends and family. This bonds women together in the work of birthing and raising children and creates community that lasts throughout the years.
Our modern experience in birth is more medicalized, isolated, and can be traumatic. Doula services are a way that birthing women and their partners can have the support of an experienced female during pregnancy, birth and early parenthood. A doula is trained to offer education, support, empowerment, and guidance during the journey of pregnancy, birth and postpartum. A doula supports a pregnant person, as well as her partner and family members.
“I had a vision for the birth I wanted. A doula helped me shape that vision to fit reality and ultimately safely achieve it.” Manuela
Certified Doulas offer support in:
* Childbirth preparation and education
* Natural pain coping ideas like changing positions, focused breathing, and emotional support
* Promoting progress in labour and helping the mother relax
* Reducing anxiety and fear
* Informed support and empowerment for health care decisions
* Education in newborn behavior and care
* Breastfeeding support
* Emotional and physical recovery for mothers
* Home care during the postpartum months
“For me, hiring a doula meant the difference between having a repeat c/section or achieving the VBAC I really needed to heal from my first very traumatic birth.” Breeana
Labour, birth, and postpartum doulas are a growing profession, as parents are becoming more educated and realize the importance of evidence-based information, physical and emotional support, and honoring this transformational time for women, babies and families. The levels of support are deep; a doula addresses emotional, social, and physical needs in labour and early parenting. Many parents are prioritizing this extraordinary support service for labour, birth and transition to parenthood. New mothers state that, regardless of the particulars of their birth experience, the support and nurturing they receive keeps them connected to the experience, feeling safe and feeling strong as women and as a mother.
When women can come away from their birth experience, feeling supported and valued, there is less postpartum depression, more success breastfeeding, and a stronger bond with their babies. The benefits of doula support for preparation for labour, childbirth and postpartum are long lasting. When women see themselves as strong, powerful and competent, their experience with parenting will be confident and resourceful.
“My doula completely changed my birth experience, before, during and after. I wanted to have an unmedicated birth and ended up with a Pitocin augmentation and I 100% credit her for getting me through that labour and birth without pain meds. She was there to help us reason through making informed decisions. So, when things went in unexpected direction, there was still some level of feeling in control. She took care of me and my husband in a way no nurse or midwife could do. I felt completely safe and cared for with her. She shaped my birth in a million ways!” Celia
Written by: Abby Bordner, Certified Labour and Postpartum Doula and Faculty for Childbirth and Postpartum Professionals Association (CAPPA). Abby trains student doulas and prepares them for certification with CAPPA www.cappa.net. She has attended over 200 births and has spent countless hours in the homes of new families, educating, celebrating, and nurturing them in these vulnerable months of birth and postpartum. www.abbybordner.com