Impact of a Doula and Birth Coach on a Positive Birthing Experience
The term "doula" is Greek in its origin and means "women's servant". In history, women have supported one another in childbirth for centuries with a positive outcome in the birthing experience. In the modern world, a doula is a non-healthcare professional trained to support the expecting mom during pregnancy, labor, childbirth, and postpartum. Such support can be physical, emotional, and educational. A doula is also known as a birth coach and it is recommended that you find a certified doula to assist you or your clients in childbirth.
What does doula do?
A Doula is an extension to the regular birthing team. Their work starts with educating the parents in what to expect, explain their options, and finding out what their birth desires are. This allows for a strong connection between the doula and the mother-to-be. This trust is imperative for comforting the mother during childbirth. According to the American Pregnancy Association, support from a doula reduces requests for epidurals by up to 60%, decreased need for C-section by 50%, and drops labor time by an average of 25%. In addition, the doula's work goes beyond childbirth. Doulas often help the new parents adjusting to the new demands, having a positive role in avoiding post-partum depression.
Should a doula be hired as part of the birthing team?
Doulas are a positive addition to the birthing team. In the modern practices for hospital maternity care, nurses don't have the time to be remain with the mother during labor. A doula is there exclusively for the mother and will guide her through breathing, positioning, comforting words, and will use manual techniques pain relief. A doula is also an asset to the birthing team for communication, support, and suggestions in how each member of the team can be supportive of the laboring parent.
It is more and more common to see hospitals and birthing centers working with doulas or birth coaches. They have recognized the benefits of a doula in providing a positive birthing experience to their patients. Given the trend of having full holistic care as part of a firm's benefit package, it is becoming increasingly popular for firms to include doula, midwife, and other natural birthing practices in their medical insurance plans. If you consider the health and well-being of your female employees, I urge you to consider doula services for you and your company.