Doulas, more often than not, are mothers themselves giving them added experience and empathy. Learn more about Doulas here.
childbirth, and new motherhood are both very exciting and very trying times in
a woman’s life. The physical and emotional demands during this period of your
life can be very overwhelming at times. It’s important to not only care for
yourself during this time and try to prepare for yourself for everything to
come, but it’s also crucial to surround
yourself with support. A typical support team would usually include your
pregnancy health care provider, your partner, your family and quite possibly
even some close friends. Another important support team member that you should
consider is a doula.
What is a Doula?
A doula is
someone that is trained in the childbirth field and helps to guide and support a woman throughout her
pregnancy, during labour and birth, and even during her postnatal period. Doulas,
more often than not, are mothers themselves giving them added experience and
empathy. They don’t just provide support for the mum, but for the entire family
as well. Doulas attend births at home, in birth centres and at hospitals. Typically,
if you hire a doula, they will meet with you multiple times throughout your
pregnancy to get to know you and your preferences as well as help you prepare
for labour and beyond. Doulas strive to help make your experience as normal and complication free as possible.
Your doula will be with you throughout your entire labour and birth and for a
short time after your baby is born. She will also continue to meet with you
during your postnatal period.
What Does a Doula Do?
a wide range of support services. Each
doula will have a different set of specific things that she offers to her
clients so keep that in mind when searching for a doula.
most doulas offer is support throughout your pregnancy. They can help you by
giving you tips on how to cope with common pregnancy discomforts as well as
help you to recognize what is normal in
pregnancy and what is not. They will also be able to help advise you on a
healthy pregnancy diet and exercise during your pregnancy. They can even show
you techniques and give you tips on how to ensure optimal fetal
Labour and Birth Education
also offer some education about labour and birth during your pregnancy. They
can teach you about the process of labour to help you better understand what
will be happening to your body as well as the different things you can expect
during labour and birth. They can answer
any questions you have and help to ease your fears.
service that doulas offer is birth planning. Your doula will sit down with you
and discuss your different childbirth options. They will help you to make
educated decisions and create a carefully laid out plan for your birth. Your
doula can help you to put your desires
for birth into writing and create an actual birth plan document to give to
your pregnancy health care provider and anyone else that will be involved with
your birth. Your birth plan can include big things like what type of pain
medication, if any, that you want to use as well as smaller things like if you
want music playing during labour and if so, what type of music should be
Teaching Others to Support You
role that a doula can play is teaching the rest of your support team,
especially your partner, how to best support you during pregnancy, labour,
birth, and the postnatal period. They
will give your support team tips and advice on the best things they can do
to help you as well as teach them how to properly advocate for you.
Supporting You Through Labour and Birth
well-known role of a doula is as a labour support person. They will stay by your side for the full duration of labour. They
can be there to help you remember any labour management techniques you have
learned, talk you through everything, and to ensure your environment is how you
want it to be. This would include dimming the lights if you wish, asking for
extra pillows, playing music if you prefer it, etc.
Helping with Pain Management
Your doula can
help you to manage your labour pains. They can help you to practice breathing techniques for labour, massage you and apply pressure as needed, as well as suggest the best positions to try for
helping labour move along as well as reducing your pain level.
Help You Advocate for Yourself
A doula will
also help you to stand up for what you want during labour and birth. They will teach you to effectively communicate with
your care providers about what your preferences are. They will also remind
you what you want when labour is intense and things may become blurry.
Obviously, sometimes things don’t go according to plan and we have to make
important decisions during labour. If this is the case, your doula will help
you to fully understand your choices and make a logical and informed decision.
even offer birth photography and/or videography. They can take photos or even a
video during labour and birth to help you remember this important experience in
your life. They can also capture your
little one’s first moments of life and your first moments together as a
also support you beyond your birth. They can help you learn to navigate life with a newborn. They may
be able to provide you with breastfeeding support and advice, and can even
assist with learning babywearing techniques and choosing the right baby carrier
for you and your bub. Your doula can help you to understand what is normal
during this period of time and what may need medical attention such as
Benefits of Having a Doula
hire a doula can be extremely beneficial to you and your baby. It not only adds
someone else to your support team that you know will be on your side and be
there for you 100%, but studies even show that there are many benefits to
having a doula. With having a doula comes a lower chance of a caesarean section, lower chance of forceps/vacuum
delivery, lower chance of induction or augmentation, less chance of using pain
medication, and less risk of postnatal depression. It’s also shown that women that have doulas have shorter labours,
more success breastfeeding, and higher self-esteem in the postnatal period.
Choosing a Doula
the decision of who to hire as your doula, it’s a good idea to meet with
multiple doulas first. Consider what’s most important to you in finding a doula
and ask prospective doulas if they offer whatever that may be. Another reason
you should meet with them ahead of time is to make sure that you click. You
need to make sure that your
personalities work well together and that this is a person that you feel
like you can come to trust and rely on. This is a person that is going to be
sharing a very intimate part of your life with you so don’t take the decision
Cost of a Doula
sets her own fees. The fees of a doula
vary greatly depending on several factors including experience, location,
and services offered. Most doulas will offer several package options that vary
in price. An established and experienced doula usually charges around $1000 or
slightly less for a package that includes antenatal and postnatal appointments.
Doulas that have less experience may charge significantly less though. You may
be able to find one that has a fee of only a few hundred dollars. Whatever the
fee for your doula is, it’s definitely worth
the amazing benefits that a doula provides.
Birth with Confidence
of having a doula on your birth support team are undeniable. It’s wonderful to
have someone who is trained and educated in birth support to be with you every step of your journey.
With a doula by your side, you’ll be able to more easily trust yourself and be confident in your ability to do the
amazing task of bringing life into this world.
Welcome to Babyinfo – the ultimate pregnancy and newborn information guide. We are here to help you find all the pregnancy and baby info you need to make the most beautiful experience of your life even better.
Our team is comprised of an amazing mix of experienced mothers, recently pregnant women, and editors with tremendous medical knowledge in the fields of gynaecology and childbirth.
Think of us as your friendly advisors, here to give you honest, easy to understand and authentic information. We are here to be your support at this crucial time in your life, when you need it the most.
Note: This website is in no way meant to replace doctors, hospitals, or other healthcare providers that may be utilized by current mothers or mothers-to-be. All mothers are advised to see a doctor for medical advice and the appropriate care before, during, and after pregnancy.