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What Is A Doula?

What Is A Doula?

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Many women today choose to have a doula present at the birth of their baby. While a doula can't deliver your baby, he or she can provide you with coping mechanisms during labor and delivery or after birth. The main goal a doula has during your labor is to make you as relaxed as possible, which in turn leads to effective pain management. If you hire a doula after your baby's birth, the stress of being a new parent may not be quite so overwhelming.

Doula is Greek for woman's servant, and they were used in early times to assist with childbirth and infant care. Over the years, doulas have become much more respected, and studies have shown that women who use doulas have shorter, easier labors and faster recoveries. You'll find that every doula's approach is different, so you'll have to find the one who suits your personality style and birth plan. A doula can be present at a hospital, clinic or home birth, in addition to a midwife or doctor.

A birth doula has received extensive training in childbirth, and can give the mother emotional and physical support during the delivery. For example, she may coach the woman on breathing and relaxation techniques, but also do aromatherapy massage or press a warm cloth to the perineum to prevent tearing. A birth doula can also assist a new mom after her baby is born, by providing information on care and feeding of the infant. It's up to you and your doula to arrange a schedule that works for both of you.

A post partum doula only helps with the aftercare of the infant, and gives support to the new parents. She will help the new mom with learning breastfeeding, bathing and sleeping skills. These doulas can be a great support for women, especially those who may be suffering from post partum depression. When you feel that you are ready, the post partum doula will stop visiting you and your infant.

A doula can be a great source of support during your delivery, or even after your baby is born. He or she is at the birth solely to look after your comfort and well being, which is appreciated after hours of labor or an extended hospital stay. A lot of women who decide to have a home birth have a midwife and a doula, as they would like to avoid drugs and want to have the added support for pain management.


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