In the early stages of your pregnancy, you may want to decide if a doula is best for you. But what exactly is a doula? And what benefits can they offer you?
The word “doula”– pronounced ‘doo-la’ is a Greek word meaning ‘woman servant or caregiver.’ In recent years, a doula has come to be known as someone who offers emotional and physical support to a woman—and sometimes her partner—before, during and after childbirth.
It’s important to know that a doula is not a health care provider and is unable to provide prenatal care or medical care during your delivery. If you choose to include a doula in your pregnancy and childbirth experience, your medical care is always provided by your doctor, midwife or birth center nursing staff. However, doulas are trained and very experienced in the birthing process. They can guide you through your labor with relaxation techniques, breathing exercises and other comforting measures. The doula’s main job is to help mothers achieve the birth experience they desire, whether or not that includes medication or requires a Caesarean-section.
After your baby is born, postpartum doulas can provide information and reinforcement when it comes to things like infant feeding, mother-baby bonding, emotional as well as physical recovery after birth, and basic newborn care. They are there to help a new family in the first days and weeks after bringing baby home.
The Mother Baby Center welcomes the use of doulas, but families must arrange for their own personal doula and should check with their insurance provider to understand costs and ensure coverage. Find out more and start your birth plan with the Mother Baby Center today!