The Difference a Doula Can Make
A Doula is specially trained woman who supports a woman in pregnancy, labour and after the birth in order to help her have the experience that she hopes for. She is there to help the labouring woman to be empowered in her birth; to be an advocate for the labouring woman when she may not want to speak herself. The presence of a doula may often be a quiet one, in the background or just watching from a corner, but the labouring woman knows her doula is there and that the reason she is there is to support her and her family.
We would love to hear from you if you had a doula or are considering having a doula at your next birth. What difference do you feel having a doula made to your birth? How did your doula support you in pregnancy, birth and beyond?
Here are some of the ways that having a doula can help you to have a positive birth:
- Most couples meet with their doula in pregnancy to discuss, among other things, their birth preferences. In labour a doula can then be your advocate when you do not feel like talking.
- In birth, the little things can make a difference. A doula often works in the background; turning down the lighting, closing doors, providing a damp flannel, changing the music - all of which can help a woman to stay focused on her body and her baby without unnecessary distractions.
- A doula is there to support the father-to-be as well. Many new fathers can feel unsure or alone when it comes to the labour - the doula is there for him too.
- Your doula can remind you of your birth hopes, of your hopes for your baby, when labour is getting more intense or you are feeling like it is all too much. She can encourage you to keep going; to keep doing what you've been doing.
For me, my doula helped to make my second birth a truly positive birth. She was there in the background; quietly supporting me. When I was in transition she said just the right words to give me faith in my body and my baby. I feel this helped me to go on to have the natural and positive birth I had been hoping for.