Given the clear benefits and no known risks associated with intrapartum support, every effort should be made to ensure all labouring women receive support, not only from those close to them but also from specially trained caregivers. This support should include continuous presence, the provision of hands-on comfort, and encouragement.
– Hodnett, E.D.
What is a doula?
A doula is a person trained to provide emotional and physical support for a woman, most notably during labor and birth, and sometimes during the postpartum period. Studies show that doulas increase the chances that a mother will give birth spontaneously and have a shorter labor. It is a joy to assist a laboring mother through the sometimes-difficult process of labor and birth. This is done through hands on support, loving verbal guidance, and an integration of the mother’s partner into the process.
A great benefit of hiring a midwife as your doula is her ability to perform vaginal exams and checks of the fetal heart tones, which is outside the scope of practice of most community doulas. If you are choosing to give birth in the hospital, this can be invaluable in determining when is the proper time to go to your desired place of birth. Doula services are available to anyone desiring a trained support person for labor and birth, and include nutritional counseling, labor and birth preparation, and time given to answering your questions. Contact us if you would like to know more!