Doulas Are Laboring Angels

Have you considered hiring a doula for added support during labor? Wouldn't it be easier for a mother to have someone nurturing, guiding, suggesting and comforting throughout the entire childbirth process? Doulas have your best interest at heart because they work for you not the hospital.

WHAT ARE DOULAS?

? Specially trained women helping women through childbirth.

? Offer a continual presence vs. the hospital staff coming and going.

? Provide pre-natal visits to go over birth plans and birth desires.

? Give suggestions to help facilitate labor progress.

? Massage, encourage and guide a woman throughout labor.

? They have a bag full of labor aids that help eliminate the discomforts during childbirth.

WHAT DOULAS DON'T DO:

? Vaginal exams, or medical interventions.

? Deliveries

? Speak up for the woman; rather encourage her to voice her wishes

? Take over Dad's role

WHAT'S IN IT FOR BIRTH PARTNER?

? The birth partner can participate at his own comfort level.

? When he wants to be the main partner, he has an assistant. He can go to the bathroom, eat or even sleep if he needs to without compromising the woman's comfort.

? Women love when their partners are nurturing during labor. This is taught by the doula's example. Bonus points for Dad.

? Doula's can provide education and knowledge through out the labor, explaining procedures, etc. This can reduce Dad and Mom's anxiety.

THE BONUSES FOR HAVING A DOULA

? 50% reduction in cesareans

? 25 % reduction in the length of labor

? 40% reduction in pitocin

? 60% reduction in the need for epidurals

? 30% more likely to be breastfeeding 6 weeks post-partum

? Less incidences of post-partum depression

? More bonding with the baby

? Women experience a more satisfying birth experience

You may find a doula in your area by the internet, or by talking to your childbirth educator.

Julie L. Johnson is a wife and mother of three who has experienced every pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum and breastfeeding situation there is and has lived to tell about. She is a Certified Lamaze Childbirth Educator, Certified Doula and an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant practicing in Southern California. Her website http://www.birth-angel.com provides services and products to help ease the transition into motherhood.

In The News:

This Is Pregnancy Over 40  The New York Times
Pregnant and Depressed  The Atlantic

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