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Do I Need a Doula?

As with tour guides in a foreign world, birth and postpartum doulas assist new families as they navigate the life-changing journey of childbirth! Numerous research studies on doula treatment show significant improvements in physical and emotional effects for both mother and infant. 

  • Published on: 03 Jun 2021
  • 4 min read
Do I Need a Doula?

As with tour guides in a foreign world, birth and postpartum doulas assist new families as they navigate the life-changing journey of childbirth!

Numerous research studies on doula treatment show significant improvements in physical and emotional effects for both mother and infant. Doulas also have a profound effect on the whole family's well-being. They are experts when it comes to babies and can help provide guidance on the best maternity and baby products.

What exactly is a doula?

doula

A doula is a certified adult who assists new and expectant parents emotionally and physically before and after delivery, as well as throughout the early postpartum phase. They provide a comfortable, secure, and supportive childbirth experience.

Doulas are classified into two categories: postpartum and birth doulas. A birth doula provides support and assistance during conception, labor, and childbirth. As the name suggests, a postpartum doula assists the family during the postpartum stage, the first few weeks after the baby's birth.

The good news is that many doulas provide both services, so if that interests you, you will be willing to work with the same doula throughout the whole process.

What are the advantages of getting a doula?

doula assisting a pregnant woman

A doula assists with conception, childbirth, and postpartum. Doctors and midwives can work different hours, and some may be available only during the final phases of labor and delivery. Doulas, on the other hand, goes through the whole process with you. They consult with you before the birth, accompany you during labor and childbirth, and often make two after-labor follow-up visits to monitor your breastfeeding progress and ensure the baby is latching on properly.

Doulas have been shown in studies to significantly shorten labor time, decrease a mother's distress, decrease the incidence of surgical procedures (including C-sections), and increase mother-baby bonding after birth.

Because many doulas are also lactation counselors, their help has been found to increase the likelihood of breastfeeding success.

A doula can be particularly beneficial for a pregnant woman who is alone, either by choice or because her husband is unable to be present (for reasons such as military deployment).

Physical Assistance

A doula's trained hands and positioning tools will often assist a malpositioned baby in navigating the pelvis and into the arms of the birthing parent.

Help on an Emotional Level

Doulas assist families in feeling supported, calming the stressful experience of birth while often assisting in creating an environment conducive to the optimal functioning of labor. If birth is entirely unmedicated or extremely complicated medically, a mother can benefit from nurturing and support during these vulnerable times. 

Assistance to Partners

If the birth partner is an intimate partner, a mate, or another family member such as the baby's grandmother, the birth partner's experience is critical during labor and delivery. Doulas are available to assist each birth partner in becoming as active in the birth as they want. Support on both a physical and mental level is critical for all concerned. 

Why isn't a doula a viable option for everyone?

However, there are instances where a doula is not the best option for you and your birth schedule. For example, if you can't find licensed doulas in your city, it might not be a good option. If you or your husband are concerned that an additional person in the birthing space may appear invasive, it might be best to decline.

Is a doula the right fit for me?

the right doula

Your disposition can play a significant role in determining whether or not a doula is a good fit for you. If you want a "normal" birth (without the use of an epidural or any pain medication), a doula could be your best option. Additionally, if you are committed to a particular birth schedule, a doula could be a reasonable choice, and she can act as your counselor if you are having difficulty advocating for yourself. Doulas are typically qualified to assist in any kind of birth.

However, if you're not the type that wants somebody encouraging you during the process — because you're confident in your OB/GYN or midwife and his or her choices — you do not need or require a doula.

Either way, an ideal doula is someone who is empathetic, nurturing, and knowledgeable about the birthing process. In fact, he or she can even provide some directions on where you can get the best maternity and baby products.

They should also mesh with your personality. If you are naturally anxious then a doula with a calm and relaxing personality is suitable for you.

At the end of the day, it really depends on your preferences and requirement in determining if a doula is the right choice.


Avery K.

Meet Our KeaMommy Contributor: Avery K.

When she isn’t looking after the many needs of her 2 kids, Avery enjoys taking walks in the park, enjoying nature, and getting her daily fix of caffeine.

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