Definition: a woman who is trained to assist another woman during childbirth and who may provide support to the family after the baby is born.
The word “doula” comes from the Greek meaning “a woman who serves”.
Studies show that in doula attended births:
*Labors are shorter
*Babies are healthier
*There are fewer complications
*Breastfeeding is more successful
*Spontaneous vaginal birth is more likely
*Less likely to need or ask for pain medications
*Less likely to have a Cesarean Section, vacuum or forceps-assisted birth
There are 2 different types of Doulas: Birth Doula and Postpartum Doula
Birth Doulas – Offer education and assist women in planning and carrying out their birth plans and expectations. They stay with the women throughout labor and offer emotional support, help with physical discomforts, creats an open line of communications between the women, her partner, and her care provider.
Postpartum Doulas – Offer education and support on things related to after birth such as breastfeeding, physical and emotional recovery, newborn care, bonding, light housekeeping and meal preparation. Research shows that families transition much easier with a good support team including a doula.
DOULA DO’S AND DONT’S
*Prepare and educate women and families for birth
*Help create a birth plan that includes expectations, wants and needs, and things you are uncomfortable with
*They help create a safe space allowing comfort, open communications between families and care providers, and emotional support
*They are advocates for mothers and partners during labor and childbirth
*They are NOT medical professionals and therefore do NOT offer or perform any medical services such as exams, fetal heart monitoring, medical diagnosis, deliver babies, etc.
*They do NOT judge you or decisions you make
How much does a Doula cost?
Fees can be anywhere from $400-$1000 depending on the individual doula and the services she provides.