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What is a Doula?

January 17, 2019

 I've been interested in the role of a birth doula for some time now. And taking a prenatal yoga teacher training only reinforced this curiosity. It also created a spark to support women during their pregnancy. So when I saw a birth doula training was coming up with a trusted friend, I jumped right in! It was so eye opening to learn about the responsibilities of a doula and why a family might want one. Here is my summary of what a doula does, how a doula can impact a birth, and what my new doula services include.

 

 

Doula: [doo-luh] - Greek word meaning a woman who serves

  • A person who assists families before, during, and after childbirth

  • This can include education, advocacy, empowerment, physical and emotional support, and coaching

  • Doulas do not handle the clinical aspects of birth but rather focus on ensuring that the person giving birth and their family feels confident, supported, and comfortable during the birth process

 

Some interesting facts / statistics about doulas:

Based on a 2017 Cochrane review, the use of continuous support of laboring women during childbirth resulted in:

  • 25% decreased risk of a Cesarean section (up to 39% decrease when the support was provided by a doula)

  • 8% increased likelihood of a spontaneous vaginal birth (15% increase with a doula)

  • 10% decreased use of medications for pain relief

  • Reduction of labor time by an average of 41 minutes

  • 38% decreased risk of a low 5-minute Apgar score for the baby

  • 31% decreased risk of being dissatisfied with the birth experience

 

What makes my offering unique:

I am an experienced prenatal yoga teacher and Reiki practitioner. My services will include the choice of one prenatal yoga class or Reiki healing session to support pregnancy plus the option to add more at a discounted rate.

My goal is to maintain a smaller client base so that I can really get to know my clients, their families, and their birth goals. I will work hard to make my clients feel confident with their choices prior to labor as well as empowered and strong during labor.

 

What else is included in my service:

My services include but are not limited to:

 

Before childbirth:

  • Breathing and relaxation techniques

  • Education and preparation for labor

  • Referrals for other professionals

  • If appropriate, coaching a partner or family member to help provide support during labor

  • Assistance developing birth goals

During labor:

  • Continuous support of the individual giving birth and their family

  • Use of massage and pressure for relaxation

  • Assistance finding and getting into comfortable positions

  • Help communicating to the delivery staff

After birth:

  • Provide support and encouragement

  • Assistance on breastfeeding education

  • Education and resources for caring for your new baby

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