Throughout history, everyone from family, friends, and community members have rallied around fortunate new mothers to help support and guide them through the birthing process. Over time, these roles have expanded and turned into a rewarding career as a doula.
You might be wondering, what does a birth doula actually do and what are the benefits of having one throughout labor and delivery?
A doula is a person who assists a mother through labor and delivery by providing support and information. A doula acts as an advocate for mothers and empowers them to take control of the birthing process.
Throughout labor, you might discover that you need or want to change positions to get comfortable or to help labor progress. A birth doula will know a myriad of positions you can try. Birth doulas can also provide a comforting touch by giving massages, applying counter pressure, leading breathing techniques and other comforting touches to help you relax. When a doula is able to provide physical support to a mom, they can often help a baby that is mispositioned find its way through the pelvis and into their mother’s waiting arms.
Simply easing some of the emotional stress that accompanies the birth of a new baby can reduce the need for interventions like cesareans, epidurals, and labor-inducing measures. It’s also nice to have someone who can help create a space for the family to relax, especially when emotions and hormones are running high. Whether you are having a natural birth or are using medication to help with the pain, everyone can benefit from additional emotional support from a nurturing and empowering source.
Regardless of who is in the delivery room with you—partner, friend, family member, etc—doulas are there to provide support them as well. This allows your support person to be as involved in the birthing process as they’d like to be. Having both physical and emotional support available makes a big difference for everyone involved.
Now that you understand some of the support-related benefits of hiring a birth doula, you can decide if having a doula is right for you. For more information about birthing doulas, check out this amazing infographic from our friends at Mom Loves Best.
Learn more about how a doula can benefit you at Mom Loves Best