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  • Writer's pictureKaleem Joy, Licensed Midwife

Doula's: Do I Really Need One?

What is the definition of a DOULA: A doula is a professional labor assistant who provides physical and emotional support to you and your partner during pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period. For instance, a doula might offer: Attention to physical comfort through techniques such as touch and massage and assistance with breathing.

Q:Are doulas, midwives or midwives doulas? This is a common questions people ask. Midwives are full maternity care providers like an OB only with very different philosophy and their care is focused on maintaining a low risk pregnancy and birth. Although midwives will do your prenatal visits with measuring your tummy, listen to baby, take your blood pressure and so on, they are there to support your emotional, spiritual and family as well. They are the full care provider at your birth, immediate postpartum for both you and your baby through 6 weeks.

Q:If I have a midwife, do I need a doula? Great questions and it depends on the midwife you have and where your giving birth. Some midwives are very good at doing the "doula" role for a family, some are not as keen at this and a doula is a great idea. If your birthing at a hospital, it is a definite YES. If a free standing birthing center, YES is a good idea. If your birthing at home, it depends on the midwife and what number baby this is for you. If it is your first, highly consider it.

Q:Are all doulas the same? NOPE.. you need to interview a few, share what you desire are and find one you resonate with. Ask them about their experience, why they are a doula, what their services include, cost and how they interact with your chosen care provider.

As a midwife I began my birth work with women as a DOULA and CHILDBIRTH EDUCATOR in 1990. The role of the doula is such a support to women regardless of their choice of place of birth. Being a doula lead me into becoming a midwife offering a full comprehensive maternity care since 1997. Natural Childbirth 101 classes is the education clients received for over 25 years to help them achieve natural births at home and a free standing birth center.

Today doulas are used around the globe and for good reason.

A doula has a passion for supporting a family in achieving the birth they desire as well as encouraging them to see all their options and choices. They often are mothers themselves and given birth which is part of what leads them to support other mothers to achieve the birth they desire.

Birth is a time of traveling a journey of expanding who you are in your life. It's where you meet the sensations of birth with willingness to embrace them, work with them and trust them to guide you to your baby in your arms.

The waves that rush over you are there to help you achieve the very important path of your baby transitioning from the womb inside to this beautiful big and very spacious world outside. Enrolling in Natural Childbirth 101 Classes will compliment your birth including helping you have the very best of education from the midwifery philosophy.

If you're planning a hospital birth, a doula is essential especially if you're planning a natural birth. Doula's do not replace your partner or other family members, they add to it. They are skilled in emotional support and physical ways to help you have more comfort and progress during your labor. It is so helpful when going through birth to have that extra support that understands the process and the ability to help you advocate for what you desire.

Helpful Info: DONA or Doulas of North America, are one of the leading organizations that train and support the role of Doulas in the USA sharing that Doulas offer physical, emotional, partner and evidence based support for women during the childbearing years.

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