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what's a doula?

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Asked by Anonymous at 8:08 PM on Aug. 21, 2009 in Pregnancy

Answers (5)
  • A doula is a labor assistant. "The word "doula" comes from the ancient Greek meaning "a woman who serves" and is now used to refer to a trained and experienced professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and just after birth; or who provides emotional and practical support during the postpartum period. Studies have shown that when doulas attend birth, labors are shorter with fewer complications, babies are healthier and they breastfeed more easily."


    Answer by gdiamante at 8:14 PM on Aug. 21, 2009

  • I couldn't have said that better myself. I had a doula when I had my son and she and I are still wonderful friends. It truly was a wonderful experience.

    Answer by Eco-Mother at 8:27 PM on Aug. 21, 2009

  • A doula is someone (like an experienced auntie or sister in the "old days") who helps you through your labor.
    These days, a trained professional birth doula is a woman who will meet with you & get to know your preferences and help you learn about your options.
    She will be on-call 24/7 late in pregnancy, answer your middle-night questions...
    She will then come to your home in early labor and sit with you when husband is still sleeping cuz he *may* be going to work in the morning if this isn't quite "it" just yet. ;-)
    She will help you to feel better as labor intensifies and will help your partner to comfort you.
    She'll help you get to the hospital (if going), check in, get settled, etc.
    She'll keep you strong and comfy as things get more intense.
    She'll help keep you fed, hydrated, moving, rested, whatever you need. ;-)

    Answer by doulala at 8:54 PM on Aug. 21, 2009

  • CONT:
    She helps to keep you grounded and reminds you how to enjoy this very special moment, to breathe and to smile.
    She will help your partner to take his breaks, get food, sleep, learn how to press on your back (and when!), remind him to go to the bathroom (the things that guys can forget, lol!)
    If you encounter complications, she can help you seek all the risks & benefits, pros & cons, remind you of your plan-of-attack, and help you achieve that.
    She will help you to have your baby with you after, and help ensure you (and baby) get/don't get interventions of your choosing.
    She can help you with breastfeeding and postpartum comforts.
    She will check on you back at home and make your your transition into Motherhood is coming along well~ providing you with resources for further help if you'd like.

    And there are also "postpartum doulas" as well... ;-D

    Answer by doulala at 8:59 PM on Aug. 21, 2009

  • pheww!! haha!

    Doulas decrease the amount of interventions and cesareans mother-to-0be have. They help with a greater overall satisfaction of the birth experience.
    They help women to have positive experiences so that their joy is intensified and this is important in the early days, as it can lead to less postpartum depression.

    Depending on the region, doulas have reasonable rates, competitive rates, high, even can be free!
    IMO, even if their rate seems steep, consider all the benefits of being treated like a Queen while in the once-in-a-lifetime, intense moment in your life! It's worth it!
    But they usually offer sliding-scale, reduced rates, or recommendations to others who are free while certifying.
    I usually suggest asking for contributions to the doula fund at the baby shower. Those who recognize it's value will help! :-)

    Answer by doulala at 9:05 PM on Aug. 21, 2009

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