First, what is a doula?
Some of you might be wondering what a doula is. A birth doula is a trained professional who provides continuous physical and emotional support to the mother before, during, and just after birth.
Why have a doula?
According to DONA International, 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 (a labor-inducing drug), forceps or vacuum extraction and cesareans
reduces the mother’s request for pain medication and/or epidurals
What does the partner do if there is a doula?
A doula does not replace the partner, rather the role of the doula is to support both the birthing woman AND her partner. If a partner wants to provide hands-on support throughout labor, a doula will offer reassurance and possible suggestions as well as breaks when needed. If the partner is more hands-off, the doula will step in and provide hands-on support. In many situations the doula and partner work side by side to give the support needed.