The birth of a child is always a momentous milestone, and there are numerous services around to help every step of the way. If you are having a baby, whether it is your first or your fifth, you may wish to consider hiring a Doula to make the process as smooth as possible.
What Is a Doula?
A doula is a professional who is specially trained to help during and after the pregnancy. They are not the same as a midwife, as they are not medically trained, rather they assist with physical and emotional support. This assures that the expecting mother can be as comfortable as possible throughout the entire process. They can be hired on before the delivery for assistance, and will even conduct post-labor check-ins to ensure everything is okay with mama and baby.
Doulas are able to provide a range of services including:
- Providing both emotional and physical support before, during, and after labor and delivery.
- Giving advice on potential resources for the birthing process.
- Assisting during the delivery by tending to the non-medical wishes of the mother. (i.e. lighting, music, retrieving comfort items.)
- Advising on stress and pain relieving positions for sitting and sleeping during later trimesters, in addition to performing massages, or helping with relaxation exercises.
- Assisting with, or encouraging open communication with medical staff in regards to any desired procedures.
- Aiding the new father by helping him find ways to better support the new mother.
The birth of a child, especially if it’s your first, can be a stressful and emotional time. A doula can help take the uncertainty out of the situation, and can provide support whenever needed. They can help an expectant mother feel more confident and calm as their due date approaches. Additionally, for first time mothers, it can be nice to have someone to go to with any questions after birth as well. A postpartum doula can help with sleeping, swaddling, bathing, and nursing. With latching problems being one of the most frequently reported issues after birth, having someone to help you can be a relief. During this time they can also help spot signs of developing postpartum depression, and aid in steps to combat it if needed.
What To Look For.
When looking for the right doula for you, you may consider speaking with multiple options on the phone, or meeting in person. Having an open and honest conversation is one of the best ways to see if you feel comfortable with them. Just like with every other relationship in our lives, when you click with someone you just know it’s right. Don’t be afraid to ‘interview’ multiple options to see which one works the best with you.
Whether you’re expecting your first or fifth child, a doula can be a wonderful resource to consider. You can hire one early, but there is never a right or wrong time. The benefit to hiring one earlier on is that they have time to get to know you and your family; however, it’s never too late.
If you’re seeking additional support, or just want someone knowledgeable to lean on, a doula might be worth looking into. Don’t hesitate to reach out and ask questions if you’re still unsure; a professional doula will be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding what they can do for you.