What is a Doula and How Can a Doula Help You?
Updated: Mar 25
We can all agree that childbirth is the most important event in one’s life. Having a Doula for extra support before, during and after birth can make a difference on the quality of your journey. In this article we will see how a doula can help you get a positive start into your motherhood or parenthood adventure?
What is a Doula?
The world doula comes from the Greek word Doulē meaning female helper or caregiver. Nowadays Doulas are non-medically trained and certified professional caregiver extraordinarily knowledgeable about pregnancy, birth, mother & baby cares and the early years of motherhood parenthood journey. They provide emotional, informational, physical & practical supports as well as they educate, advocate and nurture a mother to be throughout the conception, pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum period.
Whatever birth preferences you have, Doulas offer non-judgmental assistance to all birthing people and care for all type of birth.
What does a Doula do?
Emotional Support to the birthing person and birth partner or family:
Whether you are laboring at home, within an hospital or birth center, your doula will be always by your side. She provides continuous presence, reassurance, comfort, knows how to help you feel in control, empowered, cared for, and proud of yourself. She can also just be there in silence, keeping the space safe for you and just listen to you.
Nowadays, we live in a fast life mode. However modern, the health care system falls short in providing comprehensive information to future parents. Women feels rushed, they came out of maternity related appointments with questions or concerns unanswered?!?
Doulas are professional dedicated to YOU. Their education and experience enable them to provide you with a tailored unbiased information always backed by evidence-based resources so that you can make informed choices / decisions aligned with your birth preferences and values. Whether you wish for a vaginal birth, a family centered cesarean or a VBAC… a Doula can help you navigate the hospital maternity system, connect with other resources and care providers so that you get the experience that is right for you.
Physical Comfort from a Doula may look like:
Creating calm environment for birth with dim light.
Assisting with breathing techniques, gentle touch, massage or counterpressure during labor.
Guiding you in moving out in the bed, finding various labor positions.
Just holding your hand.
Practical assistance might be for you:
Getting a snack for your birth partner so that you have continuous presence during childbirth.
Helping you with new born bath initiation.
Making you a nutritious meal while you are caring for your baby.
Postpartum Care & Recovery.
Communication and Advocacy
Sometimes it may be difficult for you and/or your birth partner to communicate with others care providers. Therefore, Advocacy doula help may look like this:
Encouraging you to ask what you want.
Guiding you to create a birth and postpartum plan.
Holding space and time for you and your birth partner so that you can ask questions, gather evidence-based information, and make decisions without feeling pressured.
Teaching you and your birth partner positive communication techniques.
Facilitating communication between you and other members of your birth team before the birth in order for you to get the best outcome at the moment of the childbirth.
Do You still need a midwife if you already have a Doula?
Doulas do not give medical advice, diagnose or prescribe anything. Although Doulas, Midwifes, Nurses, Obstetrician-Gynecologists work together, they perform different roles. You still need a Midwife or OB-GYN to do all the prenatal checks and make sure you and baby are healthy and well during and after labor. Medical Staff cater for several patients at the same times. A doula is dedicated to you constantly by your side as per your needs.
What are the benefits of having a Doula?
Medical staff change shifts, doctor sometimes arrive at the end of a birth…Doulas will get to know you and you will get to know her long time before the birth of your child. You will both meet often; she will come to your home or any other place at your demand. She will learn how to best serve you. She will stay with you during the entire labor and childbirth process and continue assisting you through postpartum with for example home visit to check on your recovery or that the baby is feeding well.
High quality Studies (Hodnett 2002 and Bohren MA 2017 Cochrane Reviews on Continuous Support for Women During Childbirth) have shown the presence of a Doula generate significant health benefits for the mother and her family including:
How much does a Doula Cost?
The cost of a doula will vary depending of the country and town you live, the services you will choose and the number of visit you will schedule. Doulas are professionals who pay business fees set up and taxes. They travel to best serve you at your convenience from doctor appointments to attend births. They are 24H/7 by your side through emails, calls, text messages…When they are supporting you they are not caring for their own families… Making sure they will be there when baby will decide to arrive…and that’s is priceless.
Here in the United Arab Emirates you can expect to pay for a doula support package between 3000 AED and 6000 AED depending on the experience and training of the Doula you choose.
How do you find and hire a Doula?
It is never too late to hire a Doula however if you are ready to have one, best is to book her as soon as possible! Word of mouth referrals are great way to find Doulas. Nevertheless, interview as many as you need until you find the Doula who you have the best connection with. Trust your instinct.
Have ever experienced a Doula support? Let us know in the comment section below.
Hope this article have helped you and I am available for further information.