Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Doulas and Natural Childbirth

I had mentioned previously that I desired to have a doula for Ivy's birth, but didn't know if it would be possible due to our finances. Well, I am excited to say that with a lot of prayer, David recently booking more work and our Bradley instructor Mandi working on her certification: this wish and desire of having a doula will become a reality! I am absolutely excited!!! :D

Prior to becoming pregnant I had no clue what a doula was. It wasn't until after David and I decided that we wanted a Natural Childbirth and doing some research, did I become familiar with the concept of having a doula. Since, then I have realized that I wasn't the minority in not knowing what a doula is and in fact most people don't know either. Thus the reason for this post.

What is a doula?

A doulas job is to provide the mother with physical, emotional and informational support before the birth and through out your entire labor.

Your nurses and Dr. have many patients that they are helping and are not able to be with you the entire time. David will be the entire time and I know he will be an awesome coach. He has learned so much from our Bradley classes (I am already so proud of him), but he has never actually been through the process of being a coach yet. When it comes down to it having someone there that has experience is so very beneficial!

Benefits to having a doula:

According to DONA International:

Studies have shown that when doulas attend birth, labors are shorter with fewer complications, babies are healthier and they breastfeed more easily.

Numerous clinical studies have found that a doula’s presence at birth

* tends to result in shorter labors with fewer complications
* reduces negative feelings about one’s childbirth experience
* reduces the need for pitocin (a labor-inducing drug), forceps or vacuum extraction and cesareans
* reduces the mother’s request for pain medication and/or epidurals

American Pregnancy Association states:

"Other studies have shown that having a doula as part of the birth team decreases the overall cesarean rate by 50%, the length of labor by 25%, the use of oxytocin by 40% and the request for an epidural by 60%."

Websites that I found useful and educational:

Dona International

American Pregnancy Association


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