Please use the following section to help you understand the how's and what's about
a Doula. If you have other questions, please don't hesitate to contact
me and ask.
Fathers may worry they are not doing enough or the right thing. A Doula can help
him care for and support the mom by giving suggestions, providing encouragement or giving needed breaks during
a long labor. It is easy for the inexperienced dad to become overwhelmed and easily frustrated when the simple
comfort techniques taught to them don't work - or are forgotten! A doula can help offer the right suggestion at
the appropriate time, helping the father use his support skills better.
A doula helps the father to be more involved and more effective. The nurses can not be with you at every moment or may not be at liberty to answer your questions in an unbiased manner. The doula fulfills this role so that parents receive the information they need to make informed decisions.
In short, the couple will find that the doula enriches the father's role by supporting
both of them, not just the woman.
The father or birth partner will still need support and relief, and during the often exhausting work of pushing, a doula can be valuable in lending a hand, offering suggestions, and in general, helping you avoid intervention that is likely to result with the use of an epidural or other medication, that you wouldn't experience otherwise - like a forceps or vacuum extraction birth.
During your prenatal visits, your Doula will help you arrive at an informed choice and then fully support your decision. An example would be that most doctors won't tell you before hand that they won't allow an epidural until 4-5 cm dilation. Or that the epidural may not work. Planning a pain free labor with no support can turn into a miserable labor when the epidural doesn't work or is patchy. With an epidural you are subject to more intervention from medical procedures, such as the use of pitocin.. Again the doula can give you the information you need to make informed decisions and offer you alternatives - whether before the birth or during the event
Another scenario could be that you are planning a natural birth, but plan on having pain medication "if it gets too bad" and would like to hold off for as long as you can. A doula can help you do that and help you obtain a natural, normal birth.
A doula can often help moms get to 7-8 cm comfortably before they ask for pain relief.
For them that is an awesome accomplishment. After hearing how far they are, they opt to continue without medication
and deliver unmedicated, giving the sense of control, pride in themselves and accomplishment.
When things get tough or things happen beyond your control, and different people
are scurrying in and out of your room, it will be extremely comforting to have a doula there - someone you know
and trust who will be able to inform you of what's going on! She won't be a stranger.
She is your advocate above all. After your baby is born, I stay around until everything
has settled down and mom and baby are fine - and then I give the new family time alone. This is essential for bonding
and for loving each other after such an emotional event!
On top of this, nurses do change shifts. Depending on the hospital you give birth in they may work a 12 hour or an 8 hour. And then there are the times where they may call in a nurse just for several hours until the load is a bit lighter. So chances of you having the same nurse throughout your labour is pretty slim. They have to go on breaks and when they do - another nurse you may have never met, may have to come in to do an assessment.
Your Doula however, stays with you throughout your labour. One continuous presence.
Even your doctor may not be the same one that was on call when you started! Your doctor will only be called in
occasionally and may not show up until the very last pushes to bring your baby into the world. Most doctors are
very busy and manage most womens' labor by phone, sometimes managing several women at one time.
Having a Doula ensures that you still receive the emotional support necessary during
labour. Some midwives prefer not to give that extra emotional support. They'd rather a Doula did it! Talking to
your midwife is a good suggestion to see what her take on you having a doula is.
This covers the prenatal visits and being on-call, the phonecalls etc. The remainder
may be asked two weeks prior to your due date or after the birth at a postnatal visit. Most Doulas have their own
payment schedules and are willing to work with families on that, if done in advance or upon signing the contracts.