How to Find the Right Doula
Although doulas (or birth coaches) have been around, offering support to women during childbirth, for centuries, the desire for the use of a doula has become more common. Many expectant parents, strive for a positive birthing experience that requires less medical intervention and by having a doula, many couples are more likely to stick to the birth plan they created.
If you are an expectant couple and are creating your birth plan with the hopes of including a doula, here are some tips on finding the right doula for your delivery:
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Keep in mind that most doulas do not have medical training. Instead, a doula has extensive knowledge surrounding non-medical pain management techniques including massage, aromatherapy, and reflexology. When you meet with potential doulas, you should ask her about her experiences and how long she has been a doula. If she is a certified doula, you may choose to check on her credentials.
Discuss Childbirth Philosophies
When interviewing various doulas, it’s important to know their philosophy on childbirth. For instance, if you are a first-time parent, your knowledge is very limited and your potential doula may seem to know much more than you (and she probably does). However, if you are open to using pain management during labor and delivery, it’s important that your doula respects and is open to your childbirth philosophy and doesn’t push you to do something you don’t want to do. If your thoughts on childbirth are different, it’s likely that your birthing experience may be more stressful if you have a disagreeing doula.
Why are You a Doula?
This basic question may get overlooked by many expectant parents. Asking a doula why she decided to be a doula may make or break your decision. If she gives you an answer that moves you or makes you feel comfortable she may be a perfect match. Liking your doula is just as important as liking and feeling comfortable with your OB GYN.
What Kind of Benefits Will I Experience by Having a Doula?
When talking with doulas, ask them what benefits you may experience by hiring a doula, some doulas may seem some benefits more important than others. Here are some benefits you should consider and discuss with a doula:
- Reduction of stress and anxiety during labor.
- Help reduce the length of labor. According to Burch, George, & Germany, P.C., longer deliveries can increase the risk of birth injuries and the need to have a delayed c-section
- Lower the rate of medical interventions such as c-sections.
- Improve mother-baby bonding after the birth.
Check on Availability
When you’ve met with a doula that you really like, it’s important to know if she is available on or around your due date. It’s also important to have a recommended backup if you choose to use a doula in your birth plan. When choosing a doula, you may want to consider how “available” she is prior to your baby’s birth and after if a question arrives.
There’s always a possibility that your birthing plan can change due to unexpected events, such as the need for medical intervention, but the right doula can help you stick to your birth plan as close as possible and helping you have a positive experience.
Donna Fitzgerald is a guest blogger who enjoys composing various works around health and family wellness subjects. She is an avid reader and writer. In her spare time, you can find Donna enjoying the calm ocean waters, while she relaxes on the beach. Generally, she is accompanied by a novel. Donna has two daughters and is an advocate for helping other families remain healthy- through health, wellness, and finances.