How can a doula help me?
If you are a first-time mum, giving birth can be quite confronting. The same can be said if you are a second-time mum whose first labour was a traumatic experience. Of course you are excited to finally meet your tiny person but you probably have mixed feelings about birth.
Maybe you are scared or just unsure about what is awaiting you. Even if you think that you are going to rock this birth thing and you are totally up for the challenge right now, it is still exactly that; a challenge. There will be a lot of unknown feelings and symptoms.
I am here to guide you through all of this, to encourage you and give you confidence in your ability to birth your baby. Most importantly, I will give you continuous support.
Women expect hospital staff to offer support during labour and postpartum. It's a no-brainer! That is why we go to hospital. However, many women are unsatisfied with the amount of time and the quality of support they get from their medical providers. One study found that new mothers expected their nurse to spend 53% of her time offering support, but only 6-10% of the nurse's time was actually engaged in labour support activities. Continuous support through labour by a dedicated birth attendant has been proven to result in better birth outcomes for mothers.
Empowering you during labour can take many shapes and forms. It may be through verbal reassurance, praise or a calming touch. I am there to make you feel safe throughout the birth and the weeks leading up to it.
I will guide you through different labour techniques and birth positions to find what works for you. There is no one ‘right’ way. You may need different techniques at different times. In addition, you will often need help to move from one birthing position to another. I can assist you in this, or show your partner how to do this safely.
Making informed decisions is key to a positive birthing experience. I am familiar with the birthing process, birthing positions for an active labour, available pain relief options – their individual pros and cons, breastfeeding and lactation tips and tricks, common aches and pains of pregnancy and common challenges of adjusting to life with a newborn.
Sometimes medical providers prefer labouring women to be compliant, obedient, easily manageable, pain-free and comfortable in their labour. A quiet patient is a good patient, right? Unfortunately, these interventions can have negative impacts on the birth outcome. I facilitate communication between you and hospital staff, even other support people (husband, family and friends). Through me you can voice your wants, needs and concerns. Simultaneously, I help to simplify the messages from the medical provider.