What is a Doula?
Pregnancy is an incredibly intimidating experience for all new moms-to-be. While it is beautiful in its own special way, it can be confusing and challenging for some. And that’s completely okay!
Some moms need that extra support and care along the way. While your healthcare provider can certainly help to a certain extent, they can’t dive deep into the emotional aspect of things.
This is where the role of a Doula comes in.
What does a doula do?
A doula is a professionally trained individual that provides emotional, educational, and even physical support to the mother throughout the pregnancy and labor, and even after that if needed.
They are not trained healthcare professionals, nor do they have credentials in the medical field, so they can’t help you with obstetric or other health-related issues. However, they are trained to handle pregnancy-related anxiety and other such emotional issues, to help you navigate through it safely.
Doulas are trained to provide support in both the antepartum and postpartum periods. You can choose to hire one whenever you feel the need or throughout your pregnancy and afterwards if you want to.
What is the difference between a midwife and a doula?
A doula, as mentioned above, doesn’t have medical credentials, so they aren’t qualified to provide any medical or obstetric care or solve queries for any health-related issues. Their role is to solely provide emotional care, assistance, and reassurance to mothers and their families.
A midwife is trained and qualified to provide medical care to expectant mothers, so they are allowed to order tests, prescribe certain medications, and assist labor in low-risk pregnancies.
Is it worth it to get a doula?
Depending on how you feel about it, having a doula can be really beneficial for moms-to-be, especially ones that don’t have a lot of friends or family around them that can help them or guide them during this exciting time.
Some of the benefits of having a doula include:
- Decreased maternal anxiety
- Decreased need for medical interventions
- Decreased need for assistance
- Improved breastfeeding experience
- Improved comfort during labor and after delivery
- Decreased incidence of negative birth experiences
- Decreased chances of postpartum depression
- Increased encouragement throughout the postpartum period
To have a good experience, it is important that you find a doula that is experienced and has similar opinions about birth and labor as you, so you can have someone who will support you in the best way possible!