What is a Doula and Should I Hire One?

March 6, 2018 | Pregnancy

Doulas have been assisting in pregnancies for centuries under various names in multiple cultures. They are there to assist the birth mother in almost all aspects of pregnancy. Depending on their certification and experience, they can assist from pre-birth to post-partum. This extra help and support has been clinically proven to help a mother have a more positive birth experience. So what does a doula do and should you hire one?

They are Your Personal Support

A doula can be considered your pregnancy sidekick. They are there when you have questions. They offer mental and physical support. While they do not replace your doctor or midwife, they are your personal companion during your pregnancy experience. Your doula remains with you during labour, assisting and coaching you along the way. Research has shown that having a doula with you during labour reduces the birth mother’s need for additional medication and has even reduced some of the needs that can lead to an unplanned caesarian section. Doulas comfort the mental state of mind as well as physical needs. This helps the mother remain more relaxed and therefore have a more pleasant birth.

They do not Replace your Spouse or Partner

Your doula is an addition to your pregnancy team, they do not replace your physician, parents or your spouse. They also assist your spouse and parents, in the same way they help you. During labour, your doula can help your spouse know what to do and how to best help you. Your doula is there to answer the spouse’s questions, as this is an emotional time for your spouse or partner too.

Not Medically Certified but Medically Knowledgeable

Doula’s are not doctors, but they do have medical knowledge. Any emergencies will still need to be addressed by a doctor, but even in these situations your doula is with you every step of the way.

Hiring a doula is a personal choice. This choice will depend on your pregnancy, your family support and your own comfort level. Doulas are registered professionals, they are certified and qualified to aid with pregnancies. Some doulas will go further to assist with the postpartum process by offering emotional support and giving the new mother much needed breaks. If you believe that you would have a more comfortable pre-and post pregnancy with qualified help, research doulas in your area.

At the Pregnancy Care Center, we have seen firsthand the connections and misconnections parents have had with their doulas. We can suggest who to contact and even offer assistance helping you decide if a doula is the choice is right for you. Pregnancy is a life changing experience, we want yours to be a positive one.