DONA International doulas ‘mother the mother’.
Women have complex needs during childbirth and the weeks that follow. In addition to medical care and the love and companionship provided by their partners, women need consistent, continuous reassurance, comfort, encouragement and respect. They need individualized care based on their circumstances and preferences.
DONA International doulas are educated and experienced in childbirth and the postpartum period. We are prepared to provide physical (non-medical), emotional and informational support to women and their partners during labor and birth, as well as to families in the weeks following childbirth. We offer a loving touch, positioning and comfort measures that make childbearing women and families feel nurtured and cared for.
Numerous clinical studies have found that a doula’s presence at birth
- tends to result in shorter labors with fewer complications
- reduces negative feelings about one’s childbirth experience
- reduces the need for pitocin/oxytocin (a labor-inducing drug), forceps or vacuum extraction and cesareans
- reduces the mother’s request for pain medication and/or epidurals.
Research shows parents who receive support can:
- Feel more secure and cared for
- Are more successful in adapting to new family dynamics
- Have greater success with breastfeeding
- Have greater self-confidence
- Have less postpartum depression
– Recognizes childbirth as a key life experience that the mother will remember all her life
– Understands the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of a woman in labor
– Assists the woman and her partner in preparing for and carrying out their plans for the birth
– Provides emotional support, physical comfort measures, and an objective viewpoint, as well as helping the woman gain access to the information she needs to make good decisions
– Facilitates communication between the labouring woman, her partner and medical care professionals
– Perceives her role as nurturing and protecting the women’s memory of her birth experience
(Taken from the DONA International website – Doulas Of North America)
Beyond labour: Benefits to mother and baby after birth
Post birth, research shows:
– Better attachment and bonding between mother and baby
– Reduced need for medical intervention
– Reduced incidence of post-partum depression
– Improved mother and baby well-being
– Positive feelings about labour and birth
Doulas are becoming increasingly visible and important in our labour wards because of the positive effect that they are having on all who are involved in the birth process. Every woman ought to have a positive and memorable birth experience. Having a Doula with you during your labour and birth will help you to have the birth experience you desire.