LABOR & BIRTH SUPPORT
During labor, many women find it comforting to have the support provided by a trained and experienced doula.
- I tend to your emotional and physical comfort requirements to ease labor.
- I use massage, aromatherapy, calming words and positioning suggestions to help you progress smoothly.
- I will be on call two weeks prior to your due date and join you at the onset of labor either at home or at the hospital. I will remain with you until after the birth.
In addition to emotional support, we doulas act as advocates of the birthing mother. Your optimal birth is my heart’s desire.
Benefits of Labor Support to Mother and Family
I wish I had a doula at my birth! How many women I have heard saying those exact words, and I’m almost certain, that if I asked the dads, they would say the same. Why? First and foremost the mother benefits from the continuous, I’d like to add loving, emotional support a doula provides during labor and birth. I remember from my own births the feeling of “being alone in this”. Having a woman at one’s side who’s sole purpose is to comfort and soothe one’s mind is priceless. Words of comfort and a steady presence are the pillars of which a birthing mom can lean on. Having that security will free her energies, allowing her to be fully present for her birth. Along with emotional support, a doula will also provide suggestions for positioning and breathing and she will give hands on physical support to ease the sensations of labor. Many moms love this aspect of the doulas role and benefit greatly from it. Hot or cold compresses, massage or counter pressure, the use of a rebozo or birthing ball are just a few of the tools a doula will use to make the mom more comfortable. There is certain support only a loved one can give. It is offered freely, spontaneously and with heartfelt feeling, which makes it invaluable. Many dads or partners however, find themselves feeling insecure in the unfamiliar territory of the birthing environment. They benefit from, and usually welcome, gentle and discrete suggestions from the doula as of how to support the laboring mom. It can be hard to watch someone go through so much sensation and not know how to help them. I’ve found in my own experience, and I know from others, that dads or partners are often just as grateful for the doula’s presence, because she creates opportunities to be helpful, thus empowering the two birthing partners and their relationship.
The Purpose Behind Providing Labor Support
Is well described in the first few paragraphs of the position paper and I will state it in my own words. The memory of our births has long lasting and far reaching effects on us. It can change the way we feel about ourselves, toward our partners and how we relate to our children. The way a baby is welcomed into this world may determine how he or she will relate to the world. Birth is such a pivotal moment in one’s life that the utmost care must be given in creating a loving, caring and safe environment for mother and baby. The purpose behind doula care is to set the stage for all involved; to reach their fullest potential, to have the best possible outcome, and to reach full satisfaction. For that is how we affect positive change in the world.
A Doula’s Responsibilities
It is my commitment as a Doula to get the best training and certification available. To stay updated and informed on issues relating to my work, and to continue to further my education. It is my goal to share my knowledge and information with my clients so that every mom can make her own educated choices and decisions. I will respect a mom’s choices as formulated in her birth plan, as well as any changes to her birth plan, should that need occur. It is my responsibility to keep all information shared with me by a client confidential, thus ensuring their privacy. It is my responsibility to know the scope of my practice; what I can and cannot do in my capacity as a doula. e.g. I can’t give internal exams but I can help a mom through her contractions. I can’t diagnose or prescribe treatment for a medical condition but I can refer to a professional. As a doula I ensure continuous care, either by myself or a back up doula. I serve with the highest standard of personal conduct and professional integrity.
The Doula’s Role
Traditionally , or maybe I should say historically and certainly instinctively, birthing mothers have been supported by other woman. Since births have moved to hospitals and moms are often accompanied by their partners, the place of a woman beside the laboring mom has been vacant and her loving presence has been sorely missed. The modern doula is a professional who serves the mom in a non medical capacity. The doula’s role is to provide physical and emotional support and assistance in gathering information for a woman and her partner during labor and birth. Always think of the doula’s role as having two aspects: A doing aspect and a being aspect. The doing aspect I’ve already described; is offering emotional and physical support and providing information. The being aspect within the service a doula provides is everything she already is. It is her inner state, her inner calm, the confidence, experience and reassurance she brings to a birth. It is her own attainments she offers, her virtues, and her wealth of wisdom. It became evident to me, as I serve women, that every experience I’ve ever had serves me now. Every fear I’ve conquered, every triumph I’ve had, every time I’ve meditated, every time I got up in the middle of the night for one of my children, as well as the births of my own children, every place I’ve been, every job I’ve had, every person I‘ve met, formed what I am today. The accumulated merits of my experiences, is what I bring to every birth.