A doula is a non-medical companion who provides emotional and physical support to the birthing woman during your pregnancy and childbirth. A doula may also provide support to the partner and family.
Unlike a midwife, doulas are not medical professionals and they do not provide medical care or deliver babies. However, they are typically certified with courses in helping the birthing mother and her family during this period. They are there in a purely advisory and supportive capacity.
Most doula-client relationships start a few months before the baby’s due date. During this period, the doula develops a relationship with the mother and takes an active role in creating a birth plan.
During the delivery of the baby, doulas are in close proximity with the mother. During this period, they provide comfort using pain-relief techniques like breathing, relaxation, massage, and laboring positions. They will also encourage an active participation from the partner.
Depending on the needs of the birthing mother, doulas may perform several roles:
Several studies have revealed the advantages of having a doula present during pregnancy and childbirth. The findings resulted in:
In addition, doulas are able to provide: