Hi, folks! Indy here.
I had so much fun sticking my nose in Pop’s Harley Davidson Motorcycle hat, and then grabbing a scrap of paper with my teeth.
Indy! Tell the truth.
Actually, Mum pleaded and coaxed, but when those papers crinkled I ran and hid under my blankie. My big brother, Patches, covered for me. He reached in with his teeth and pulled out the winner’s name.
Indy, I’m glad you told the truth. You can go back to biting Patches’ ears.
Now back to my scheduled post.
Today, I invited Stephanie Nickel to explain what a doula is and what a doula does.
Stephanie is not only a gifted writer and editor, but she helps deliver precious gifts.
She’s a certified labor doula through CAPPA Canada. CAPPA stands for Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association.
Take it away, Stephanie.
I get a variety of responses when I tell people I’m a labor doula. But the most typical is a raised eyebrow.
If you, like them, don’t really know what a doula does, let me explain. But first, let me point out what a doula does NOT do.
She does NOT…
1. Give medical advice.
2. Conduct medical tests.
3. Conduct medical examinations.
4. Criticize you for making decisions you feel are best for you—even if she may personally disagree with those decisions.
However, she does…
1. Provide resources and information so you can make decisions that are right for you, your partner, and your baby.
2. Meet with you before the baby comes. How many times you meet is up to you and your doula.
3. Join you when you go into labor at a previously agreed upon stage and location.
4. Make sure there’s always someone with you during labor, unless, of course, you want to be alone and it’s medically advisable.
5. Provide comfort measures. For example, a massage, counter pressure, verbal encouragement, or just a hand to hold.
6. Tend to your needs, and in some cases, the needs of your partner.
7. Suggest ways to cope with labor and keep things progressing.
8. Take pictures if you wish, if she’s photographically-inclined.
9. Help you get started with breastfeeding, if so desired.
10. Visit within the week after the baby’s arrival to go over the birth and offer encouragement.
In summary, a labor doula educates and informs about birth options before the baby arrives, offers physical and emotional support during labor, and gives encouragement and assurance shortly after you’ve settled in at home.
Though there is some overlap, the services offered by antepartum and postpartum doulas differ from that of a labor doula.
Below are quotes by two moms and a dad about labor doulas:
“My best friend’s sister was training to be a doula and needed to attend a live birth and offered to be my doula. She was a Godsend!” – CS
“My friend is a doula, though I didn’t really know what that all meant. Six years ago, my sister was pregnant. Knowing she would be birthing without the support of the father…I suggested we go to one of my friend’s classes. From there, I learned more and more, and when it came time to have my first baby, I knew I wouldn’t go ahead without a doula by my side!” – AF
“I couldn’t pay her enough!” – A new dad’s quote about his wife’s doula after their first child was born.
Stephanie, I’ve learned so much. I wish I could have hired you when I gave birth. 🙂
Have you hired a doula? Would you consider hiring a doula? Do you know anyone who has hired a doula?
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