What Does a Doula do?
Birth doulas provide information and support during pregnancy, and labor and birth. Below is a general list of what they do. Each birth, each woman, and each family is individual, so needs will vary.
Many doulas offer other services, such as placenta encapsulation, childbirth education, and lactation services.
Doulas providegreat support and comfort. Studies show the increase in vaginal birth, the lower rates of cesarean-section, and increased confidence in mothering when women have the support of a birth doula. For more about the postpartum doula check out this blog post.
What happens when the birth that was envisioned, and all the practicing of comfort measures, and information provided does not create the desired birth outcome? What happens when a woman who wanted a natural birth has an epidural, and a long drawn out vaginal birth with much intervention, or a cesarean-section?
Why I Created Down the Canal – The Game of Birth
There are so many books to read and so many websites to visit; it can be overwhelming for expectant parents. How do they really know which sources are promoting the best available evidence? Down the Canal is a pregnancy game, created for easy access to the information, and to inspire further inquiry into the birth process.
The goal is for people to play the game and learn they have more questions. It challenges the player to explore their own beliefs about birth. It is an inquiry into the self, as much as it is an inquiry into birth.
Since 1991 I have been an advocate for physiologic birth; birth with little or no intervention when mother is healthy and has no underlying medical issues. The question that continually arises is “Why aren’t more women taking a stand for themselves in birth?” Discussions with colleagues have often led to “How can we educate women and families about all their birthing options before they choose their doctor or midwife?”
We have a maternity care crisis in the United States, which you can read more about in the article I wrote in the Journal of Mother Studies.
The choice of care provider is one of the first choices a woman will make, usually within the first three months of pregnancy. Many women choose this provider based on recommendations from well-meaning friends and family members, without asking questions about how they view and treat birth.
Sharing my knowledge and wisdom about all things birth