The Do’s oF Doulas

Updated: Feb 26

Happy New Year Moms! Is your list of New Year’s resolutions a mile long already? Have you considered “taking care of you” as a top priority? Want to learn better ways to LOVE YOUR BODY? February is our “Love Your Body” Month and we will be featuring various holistic approaches to women’s health and well-being. We thought we would lead into the month by featuring the Do’s of Doulas. We want to hear from you this month.

Disclosure: This information is not meant to be ALL encompassing and should NOT replace seeking advice from your health care provider for specific, questions, solutions, and concerns about your health! The purpose is to spark curiosity and gain some insight into your health!


What is a Doula?

  • A trained non-clinical professional who provides continuous physical, emotional, and informational support to a mother before, during, and after the birth of your child. I like to call them the “Your pregnancy BFF”

  • Fun Fact: 6% of birthing women in the US have used a doula according to a national survey in 2012

  • Fun Fact: in 2017 an international review of 26 trials in 17 different countries showed having doulas can shorten your duration of labor, decrease cesarean birth, and improve negative feelings towards the childbirth experience.


Now, you are probably thinking what the heck does that mean??? What do the Doulas DOOOOOOOOOOO?





Top 15 Reasons to Hire a Doula?


  • Help with Breastfeeding (helps you get your baby latching soon after birth) and their postpartum breastfeeding support has proven to increase retention rates of breastfeeding.

  • Amplify your voice at a time and setting where it can be hard to be heard

  • Studies suggest that increased access to doula care, especially in under-resourced communities can improve health outcomes for mothers and babies.

  • Studies have shown doulas decrease maternal anxiety and depression

  • Help communication between you and your spouse keeping the atmosphere calm and supportive

  • Having a “cheerleader” in your corner during labor is a game-changer. Having someone next to you, reassuring you that what you are going through is normal (still crazy but normal) is extremely helpful during labor. They also remind you of your goals if they seem to be going out of the window during labor.

  • You can usually call them or text them anytime to find out if what you are experiencing means you are going into labor

  • Answer questions you may be embarrassed about asking your OBGYN. (You can always ask them any questions, 99.99% of the time they have heard it before and you are not alone).

  • Troubleshoot aches and pains experienced during the 3rd trimester. (Pregnancy is ROUGH at the end)

  • Help develop a labor plan with you that you are comfortable with, can share with your provider, and can adapt in your time of need

  • Some studies have proven Doulas decrease your rate of obtaining an epidural during delivery

  • Provide the best resources in your community- referrals to prenatal yoga class, prenatal massage therapists, chiropractors, acupuncturists, or birth classes.

  • It is basically “On-Call for YOU.” Many doulas guarantee to be with you within an hour of when you get admitted to the hospital or birthing center.

  • Squeezes your hips for your during the contractions when you are feeling BACK labor! Massages/rubs your back between contractions to help relax and gather up strength for the next one.

  • Visits you during the 4th trimester to remind you that you are a warrior and that everything will get better!!


After I meet or hear a mother's story about her Doula, I always think to myself…I need a LIFE DOULA!!!!


References:

  1. DONA International. What is a doula? Available at: https://www.dona.org/what-is-a-doula/

  2. Declercq ER, Sakala C, Corry MP, Applebaum S, Herrlich A. Listening to Mothers SM III: Pregnancy and Birth. New York: Childbirth Connection, May 2013.

  3. Kozhimannil KB, Hardeman RR, Attanasio LB, Blauer-Peterson C, O'Brien M. Doula care, birth outcomes, and costs among Medicaid beneficiaries. Am J Public Health 2013 Apr;103(4):e113-21.

  4. Bohren MA, Hofmeyr GJ, Sakala C, Fukuzawa RK, Cuthbert A. Continuous support for women during childbirth. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2017 Jul 6

SHARING IS CARING

Want to share your mom-story and/or empower others through educational articles? We are looking for brave moms who want to share their stories. Get in contact with Jen, the Director of Communications. Email Jen at jmcliff.hum@gmail.com.


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