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Basic Information About What to Expect From a Doula

KonzaBaby Doula Services are available to families in our local area prenatally, during labor and for postpartum care.  Doulas provide emotional and physical support during pregnancy, labor, birth and postpartum.  They call themselves many things including: Childbirth Assistant, Labor Support Professional, Birth Assistant, Birth Companion, etc.

A doula...

 
Recognizes birth as a key life experience that the mother will remember all her life...
Understands the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of a woman in labor...
Assists the woman and her partner in preparing for and carrying out their plans for the birth...
Stays by the side of the laboring woman throughout the entire labor...
Provides emotional support, physical comfort measures, an objective viewpoint and assistance to the woman in getting the information she needs to make good decisions...
Facilitates communication between the laboring woman, her partner and clinical careproviders...
Perceives her role as one who nutures and protects the woman's memory of her birth experience.

 

The acceptance of doulas in maternity care is growing rapidly with the recognition of their important contribution to the improved physical outcomes and emotional well-being of mothers and infants.


A doula provides:

 
explanations of medical procedures
emotional support
advice during pregnancy
exercise and physical suggestions to make pregnancy more comfortable
help with preparation of a birth plan
massage and other non-pharmacological pain relief measures
positioning suggestions during labor and birth
helps support the partner so that they can love and encourage the laboring woman
avoid unnecessary interventions
help with breastfeeding preparation and beginnings,
written record of the birth
many other possibilities that vary from doula to doula

What Can A Doula Do For Me?

According to Mothering the Mother, How a Doula Can Help You Have a Shorter, Easier and Healthier Birth, by Kennell, Klaus, and Kennell (1993), having a doula can give you a:

 
50% reduction in cesarean rates
25% shorter labor
60% reduction in epidural requests
40% reduction in oxytocin (pitocin) use
30% reduction in analgesia use
40% reduction in forceps delivery

Questions To Ask Your Doula

Does she provide prenatal and/or postpartum visits?
What can you expect during these visits, if offered?
How many births has she attended?
Can she provide references?
What form of training has she had?
What types of births has she witnessed (Cesarean, epidural, intervention free, VBAC, teen birth, etc.)?
Her fee?
Has she ever worked with your care provider or at your place of birth?
Does she has back-up arrangements available?
What will her role be in early labor?
Will she provide labor support at your home prior to going to the place of birth?
Is she familiar with many methods of childbirth?
How does she define her role during labor and birth?
Does her fee include postpartum doula care and does she offer these services?

KonzaBaby Doula Links

About KonzaBaby Doula Services
Myths About Fathers and Doulas
Sample KonzaBaby Doula Contract
Borrow our video "Special Women:  How a Labor Assistant Makes Birth Safer, More Satisfying and Less Expensive"
In depth Information About Postpartum Doulas

 

We offer prenatal, labor and postpartum doula services.  For more information, please contact us.

 

Updated 02/08/2001

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