What does a Doula do? The answer to this question is essential for expectant mothers. Have you been making preparations for your baby’s coming? Here is one more thing you might want to include in your plans.
Did you know that a large population of to-be parents is finding means to lessen the intervention of doctors and allow the birth procedure to occur naturally instead of trying to induce labor or rush things?
This is where the services of a doula can come in handy.
However, the services of a doula aren’t restricted to just moms and parents who want a natural birth process alone. They also assist just about anyone who is in need of delivery support.
In addition to that, a doula who has a good sense of judgment and understanding won’t question your decision nor make you feel uncomfortable.
In this article, you will learn more about what a doula does and whether or not you may require a doula’s services.
First, what is a Doula?
A doula is a highly trained individual who specializes in providing new parents or parents that are expecting a baby with physical, emotional, and informational support possibly before delivery, during delivery, after delivery, and also in the early stages of postpartum.
Furthermore, a doula is also known as a companion during pregnancy whose main aim is to provide aid to families making sure they have a smooth and hitch-free labor experience
TYPES OF DOULAS
The different types of doulas offer their services according to the needs of the family they are working for.
- Antepartum doula
- Labor doula
- Postpartum doula
- Adoption doula
- Miscarriage doula
- Antepartum Doula
More often than not, women nowadays suffer complications during pregnancy. Such problems are caused by a number of factors some of which include;
Poor diet, bad environmental conditions, Stress, Irregular exercising, and so on.
This is where the antepartum doula comes in, she helps by educating you on certain things like when and how long you should take your siesta and also helps you concentrate on grooming a more healthy and sound baby.
Also, an antepartum doula would help you by offering words of encouragement which you will need at various stages of your pregnancy as this would enable you to brace up yourself and feel more confident.
The antepartum doula will also concern herself with educating you on certain practical skills like how to prepare basic meals, running simple errands, light chores, and time for enough bed rest they also do not offer any medical services and are also a very important aid to you and your family as a whole.
- Postpartum Doulas
A postpartum doula assists families during the first few weeks after childbirth or delivery(Postpartum).
Here, the doulas help in providing information on how to feed your newly born baby, basic steps to follow in ensuring that your newborn is given the best of care, and not forgetting about your physical and emotional state, especially towards recovering from the birth.
This set of doulas can also help with some simple chores like doing the laundry, caring for the child, preparation of the baby’s meal, and little cleaning to enable you and your partner to rest properly.
- Labor Doula
Labor doulas offer help in areas like making you feel less afraid before birth, providing you with information on how the delivery will occur, and also giving the necessary support needed by you during this time.
These doulas help by giving assistance, especially during the period of pregnancy, labor, and childbirth.
They also educate you focusing mainly on the types of breathing techniques and various eating habits.
- Adoption Doula
These doulas have an incredibly unique role to play in the new family after the adoption.
Adoption doulas play a significant role in your family. From educating you on how to handle difficult situations as new parents to how to care for and groom your baby with love, affection, and understanding.
They offer their services to you as a new parent with skills on how to properly be a parent
- Miscarriage Doula
This set of doulas helps you as the mother to recover from the traumatic experience of miscarriage.
Nowadays, women who have miscarried bear the pain of losing their babies all by themselves.
This is where the doula steps in to offer emotional, physical, and informational support and words of encouragement to them and other families who also experience the same loss.
WHAT DOES A DOULA DO?
What a doula does is countless so I will be listing and describing below what a doula does in regards to pregnancy, labor, and postpartum.
Please kindly read through;
- A doula’s job is to act as a comforter, continuously providing support with encouraging words in all areas both physically and emotionally during labor.
- A doula isn’t either an obstetrician or a gynecologist who has undergone medical training.
- She soothes your nerves with a calm voice, offers advice when needed especially on good labor positions, helps with techniques on relaxation and breathing exercises, and many more.
- A doula also helps break down and translate medical terminology and procedures used by doctors and also acts as a middleman or mediator between the doctors and parents.
- A doula helps lessen your fears by making labor look less stressful and smooth so you will feel more comfortable.
- She also aids in calming your nerves and making your racing mind feel more at ease
- A doula helps further by providing some pain management non-medical techniques and combining them to know which one suits you better.
Some of these include Aromatherapy, Soft music, Reflexology, Massage, and even Meditative hymns.
- A doula also carries both parents along as she doesn’t relegate your partner or guardian or spouse behind.
- She does well to also provide support to help him relax which will also make you feel more relaxed as well.
Benefits of a doula
- A doula provides educational and informative support during labor and delivery especially helping with the massage.
- No one knows how the whole delivery process will go but doulas make sure to connect you emotionally with the nurse in charge of delivery.
- Doulas can be like your companion or your sister or mother as this will help you to feel more comfortable and also make them be able to understand your need and work with them to offer you maximum care.
- Doulas can act as a mediator between your partner or spouse and the doctor occasionally giving updates to your partner during labor on the current condition of the whole labor process and how things are going.
- Doulas will stay by you before and after the whole labor and delivery process to offer you more care support and guidance.
- Doulas also are not judgemental as they offer you support and means of coping especially to minimize postpartum depression.
Further answer on what does a doula do?
Do you think a doula might be for you?
If you are the type that will need either assistance, support, or counselling during labor, then believe me a doula is a perfect person for that position
And also if you are one that already has a particular type of birth method or plan then a doula is a good choice for you as she will guide you through the whole procedure and also stand by you especially if you are having doubts.
A doula is trained to support all types and kinds of birth methods. Hiring a doula will be of immense benefit to you if you want to try out a natural birth method( Birth without any medication) and they will also be there for you every step of the way offering soothing words of encouragement.
However, if you are one that doesn’t feel the need of having any other person cheering you on especially if it’s not from your the doctors carrying out the delivery or your partner – then you may not have the need for a doula.
How much is required to hire a Doula?
Well, the cost of hiring a doula differs based on certain factors that may be taken into consideration.
Some of which are:
- The area you live in
- The number of times you scheduled her visit
- The type of services you may require from her.
Albeit, some Doulas usually cover every aspect ranging from Antenatal visits, Antepartum, labor, delivery, postpartum till you are fully ready to take up by yourself and will no longer require her services.
Furthermore, if you are having worrying thoughts about how to go about the whole process of trying to afford a doula, then here is a piece of good news for you.
While you may have to take care of it as an out-of-pocket expense, you may also be able to offset at least part of the cost, since some health insurance providers cover doula care.
Some health insurance providers may cover some of the doula’s bills or payments and you can also pay part of the cost personally since the health insurance takes care of the other part.
In addition, in some states, Doulas are included in their Medicaid plans and others are also planning on making it compulsory to include Doulas too in the plan as well.
How can you find a Doula?
When to start looking for a doula with the aim of hiring one is when you are in your second trimester of pregnancy
However, hiring a doula even when you are almost due isn’t a bad idea as it’s never too late and it’s also best to hire one who was recommended or referred to you by other mothers or families who had enjoyed her services in the past.
Begin by making inquiries from your families, friends, and personal doctor for recommendations on how to go about hiring a doula.
In my opinion, it is a good idea to interview at least three and most importantly listen to your instincts and go for the one you feel you will be more comfortable and flow freely with.
Note, why this is being said is that any doula you choose will stay with you throughout the trying and most intimate times you will experience so you should go with the one you flow emotionally well with.
A final thought on what does a Doula do?
In addition to all being said above, Doulas offer their services in all means available from before to after birth.
The emotional and physical support they offer helps to be mothers in overcoming postpartum depression and possibly looking confident and vibrant.
So whether you choose just a doula with one type of service or one that covers all aspects of birth till delivery and beyond, it will still be of great benefit to you and will also make sure that your whole Antepartum and postpartum experience becomes more easy and enjoyable.