Doulas are amazing and I highly recommend having one at your birth. Here are some common questions about doulas.
What is a doula?!
A doula is a person who supports women during labour and birth. They are knowledgeable about pregnancy, labour and birth. They should also have some understanding about lactation/breastfeeding.
They are able to assist a women through the difficulty of labour, offering support and coping techniques.
Why do I need a doula? Can’t my partner support me?
A doula has an understanding of all aspects of pregnancy and birth that your birth partner, likely, does not. She is accessible throughout your pregnancy to answer questions and alleviate your concerns. There are many studies that show that women who have a doula have shorter births with fewer interventions. This is likely because they feel informed, and can be at ease knowing they have someone who is there to fully support them. Stress is a huge factor in prolonged labour leading to interventions.
Does a doula replace my birth partner?
No they do not. They are there to support both of you. You and your partner can focus on your baby and birth, the doula will take care of the “errands”. By this I mean, making sure you both have food/water; giving the partner a chance to shower/rest during a long labour; offering tools to alleviate discomfort during contractions. However, should you not have a birth partner or someone suitable to fill that job you can ask your doula to fill that role.
Can a doula replace a midwife?
No. Midwives are medical professionals. Like your doctor, a midwife is a primary healthcare provider. Doulas offer emotional, physical and information support. They are not able to give medical advice or services.
Are doula’s just for home birth, or will they help at a hospital birth?
A doula will help you in any way to have the kind of birth that you want, no matter the location.