What is a doula?
Doulas work closely with expecting mothers and their families to provide non-medical support during pregnancy, birth and during the postpartum period. A doula can provide emotional, physical and informational support. During your child’s birth, the medical team may have many things to focus on, while a doula focuses solely on the mother. Doulas will be familiar with your individual wishes and preferences, and can be very helpful in creating a birth plan.
What do doulas do?
- Offer continuous support and encouragement
- Provide references and advice during pregnancy
- Help mother to understand medical procedures
- Suggest comfort measures such as positioning during labor/delivery
- Assist with creation of birth plan
- Assist with breastfeeding
- Not a substitute for partners or spouse but another member of the team
Benefits of Hiring a Doula
- Higher satisfaction with birthing experience
- The doula’s focus is on mom and partner
- Shorter labor time
- Lower rate of C-sections, epidurals or medical interventions
- Lower rate of induction medications used
- Fewer pain medications used
- Moms feel more comfortable and confident
- Higher success rate with breastfeeding
Doulas act as an advocate for mothers and facilitate communication between care provider and family. They are available to provide birth support and/or postpartum support. If you or a loved one are interested in learning more about what a doula can do for you, Babies R Us in Columbia hosts a monthly class, Meet the Doula. There are several wonderful doulas throughout the state and in the Midlands. The support and encouragement they offer during pregnancy, birth and the postpartum period is truly amazing.