The word Doula refers to a woman who assists and supports other women through the process of childbirth. They work with them before the birth, through the labour and birth process and for a period of time following the birth.
A Doula is a woman who provides continuous emotional and physical non-medical support. She is a source of informational support and is hired by the expectant couple as a birthing companion, because of her training and accreditation and knowledge of the entire pregnancy, labour and birthing process.
She does not replace the partner. Instead she enhances the support of the partner so that he or she can be there for and love the labouring woman. This helps to take the pressure off of the partner to allow them to enjoy the full experience of the birth of their baby.
Her purpose is to provide continuous uninterrupted support to the mother-to-be and her partner as opposed to the irregular support that is given by maternity nurses who are attending to more than one patient at any given time.
Since the Doula and the expectant mom have met prior to her delivery date, a certain amount of trust has been built up between the two, thus, the Doula knows what the expectations of the birthing mom are. Because of this, the Doula can also act on behalf of the mother-to-be in the hospital through facilitating communication between her and the hospital or medical staff. Through her understanding of the birthing process, she can also explain in layman’s terms, some of the medical procedures, thus empowering the mother and her partner to make informed decisions.
Research proves that with a Birth Doula, women have :
- Shorter labours
- A reduced risk of caesarean birth
- Fewer medical interventions
- Healthier babies
- Better breastfeeding success
- Less postpartum depression
I am NO longer taking on private client unfortunately, HOWEVER if you want me as your doula you can find me at Origin Family-Centered Maternity Hospital in Panarama, Cape Town, South Africa. For more information on them please see: http://www.orginmaternityhospitals.co.za