What is a doula, and why is it essential to have one? In this episode, Debra shares her insights on the role of doulas in childbirth. When we look back historically, it is apparent that female companions during birth, now known as “doulas” were a significant part of the calm, connection and safety for birthing people. Doulas supported others prenatally, and during labor, birth and postpartum. .  Research shows  that  a doula plays an active role in helping to shorten labor, decrease cesarean births  and makes birth easier and more satisfying for both mother and baby. Doulas have many benefits for a woman during labor and postpartum, but there are not enough of them in the birthing space. Listen in as Debra discusses how doulas are the missing link in maternity care, and how they can help amplify the voice of the birthing people  facilitating informed decision making. 

In this episode:

  • Doulas offer emotional and physical support during labor and postpartum. Continuous support during labor is beneficial for both mother and baby.
  • Doulas are a valuable resource for pregnant women and new parents. They offer support, information and companionship to birthing people.
  • There are many benefits to having a doula during childbirth and postpartum, but not enough doulas are available in the space.
  • Although the medical model can provide benefits, without careful planning, birth often becomes more of a “medical emergency” or “procedure” instead of the honoring of the emotional, physical and spiritual process that birth holds. 
  • Listen to episode 4 with Dr. Sarah Buckley to learn about childbirth hormones!
  • Doulas add to the privacy and comfort of childbirth. They make a difference in the outcomes for the birthing woman and her partner.
  • Visit https://www.dona.org/ for a guide on understanding the roles of a doula and how to find one.
  • Doulas are a missing link in maternity care, and as states and employers see the benefits for MotherBaby-Family, they are beginning to include these services in their benefits.  Doulas are recommended as a  part of global initiatives to provide Safe and Respectful Care such as the www.icichildbirth.org 
  • Have you had a doula at birth? Tell us about your journey @orgasmicbirth!

Key Takeaways:

  • Emotional support equals physical wellbeing
  • There is no risk in hiring a doula – it should be highly considered
  • Having a doula can help reduce fear, provide comfort and increases satisfaction in childbirth 
  • Fear in labor will slow or stop labor
  • Doulas add to the privacy and the connection with your partner
  • Having a doula amplifies your voice to ensure you are heard and respected
  • Collaboration for birth is best for all – doulas add care
“With the transition to a medical model and hospitals, there have been benefits, but also much has been lost, including the roles, skills, and wisdom of support and companionship in birth and postpartum.” 
“Fear in  labor is designed to slow or stop labor, so it will be longer and harder if the laboring woman does not feel private, safe, and unobserved.”

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