What is a Doula?
A Doula is a trained birth coach — a surrogate mother/sister/auntie figure (without the baggage) who accompanies the couple throughout the entire labor and delivery process. They offer what Doula Giuditta Tornetta calls a girlfriend’s PIE: unconditional physical, informational and emotional support.
Join our virtual doula program now, and get informational and emotional support, two out of the three services doulas offer…and it is free. Simply go back to the home page and put your due date and e-mail address and enjoy a virtual doula at your side.
Physical comfort procedures used during labor can include massage, counter-pressure, gentle touch, and literally supporting the laboring woman’s body weight during a strong contraction. Positioning and frequent position changes are proving to be helpful in labor progress. Doulas often help mothers to squat or to assume other positions that require strong physical support.
Informational support is also essential when the labor goes from the comfort of the home to the hospital. Often, as soon as the mother arrives at the hospital and is given a hospital gown, a transformation takes place. The mother goes from a natural birthing mother to a frightened ‘patient.’ Medical providers intervene with strange machines and equipment, offering technological assistance that is somewhat confusing and frightening to the mother-to-be and her partner. A Doula, with her knowledge of the natural physiology of labor and delivery, can explain suggested medical procedures and interventions and help provide the clarity expectant parents need when faced with medical decisions.
Emotional comfort is imperative if the mother is to feel safe and secure in the birthing environment. A Doula‘s unique role is to encourage the mother-to-be’s self-confidence, protect the sacredness of the process, and help her relax and focus on the natural rhythm and progress of her labor.
Doula can’t save clients from medical interventions at their birth (early induction, elective episiotomy, pushing on your back only, encouraging drugs, speaking about baby’s size and implying a cesarean birth is better.) During the interview with your doula your desires and your care provider will be discussed. Many doulas know and have had experience with many providers and can help you match up with one who will respect your particular desires. If your doula does not know your provider, she will help you by suggesting some key questions and evaluating early compatibility with your provider. Some couples have the idea that they can stay with a doctor they don’t like or who has a different agenda than theirs, and still have a great birth as long as they have a doula to “fight” for them. They think that as long as it’s in their birth plan, then the nurse or doc will not do certain things (elective episiotomy, early induction etc.) because it’s against their wishes and if they try, the doula will save them. But that is not the job of a doula. We try to help our clients questions, interact with the nursing staff and doctor to help them get as close to what they want as possible given their circumstances, but there are some doctors who are going to do what they are going to do no matter what. One of the benefits of having a doula (especially early on) is that she can help find the right care provider for your envisioned birth. This might be one of the most important jobs of a doula. No one wants to fight when they’re in labor! We are here to empower you to stand for what you believe, desire and deserve. By standing up for your own rights you will show your baby how it is done.
“My mission, as a Doula, is to help women remember their innate ability to give birth naturally, in a relaxed and meditative state.”
Love this breastfeeding link