A birth doula does not do birth for you!
So what does a doula do for you? At Northern Virginia Birth Services, our doulas provide these ten things for you.
10. Provides Resources - Once you hire a doula, she/he is a resource for you for navigating through area resources to see what best fits your needs. She can provide you resources if you need help finding a lactation consultant, sleep consultant, dietitian, chiropractor, or what doctor or midwife best fits your needs and philosophy if you have not yet chosen one
9. On Call for you - Your doula is on call for you the moment you sign an agreement with us which means we are on call for you and will drop our lives to come to your side to support you during your birth. Yes, this means missing events, family time and outings, Birthdays, Holidays. We can be gone from our families for a long time but we fully dedicate ourselves to our clients when they need us most , no matter the day or time
8. Physical Presence - A doula remains with you from the moment you need her in labor to an hour or two postpartum. She is your constant support. Someone who knows you and will remain with you to remind you of your preferences and support you if those preferences change. Unfortunately it is very common in the hospital setting for a mother to have several nurses and even a change in providers. A doula is that presence that is unfaltering in support.
7. Comfort - Your doula is specially trained in providing specific comfort techniques that will help you along your birth journey. Our doulas are trained in position changes, massage, counter pressure, rebozo techniques, Spinning babies techniques, and much more to help the mother through the waves of intensity as she labors. Your doula can provide the suggestions you may not have thought of or knew about that can make a world of difference for you. These techniques do not eliminate pain all together for mom , but can often make them manageable.
6. Emotional support - Your doula is there to support you on this wonderful emotional journey. You are having a baby. It is an emotional and intimate experience. A doula will provide you with praise and feedback and acknowledge the hard work your body has done during pregnancy and birth. A doula can help re-frame fears by turning doubtful, negative things into positive affirmations. She can give you focal points and distractions through mental activities and rituals.
5. Informational support - A doula is a wealth of information about pregnancy, birth and postpartum. Whether it be changes you are feeling at the end of your pregnancy, to what positions can best support you in labor and birth. A doula can help explain some of the protocols and procedures that may take place at the hospital, birth center or at home.
4. Birth Preferences - A doula can help guide you in figuring out what your options are based on your needs to create your preferences or just figuring out what your top priorities are for birth and even your postpartum period. Birth doesn't always go as planned but having a doula there instills mom with the strength she needs for changes that take place or just reassurance through the process.
3. Reinforces the partners role - Your doula is not there to take this experience away from your birth partner but to encourage that bond between mother, partner and baby. It is about the three of you and doulas are there to guide a mother's partner for what she needs. A doula will look after the partner as well making sure they are taking bathroom breaks and eating. A doula's primary support still remains the mother.
2. Better statistics - A 2012 Cochrane review shows that the continuous presence of a doula shows a 31% decrease in the use of pitocin and a 28% decrease in cesarean birth and a 12% increase of a spontaneous vaginal birth. Evidence shows that having a doula as labor support for mom is the best labor support she can have.
1. You - Your doula at Northern Virginia Birth Services lets you be you and does not use her own agenda for your birth. Whether you want a natural birth, or the use of pain management or a cesarean or VBAC, we meet you where you are at and help you birth your way.