A brief education on how a doula can bring positive change to your journey through parenthood. The benefits and outcomes of having professional support during a stressful time (prenatal to postpartum) as to better enjoy the new changes in your life.
Living naturally and holistically has made a major comeback in the last decade or so. Why not? It's about time we return to our roots and do what comes naturally to our minds and bodies. Yes, the commercial medical industry has been helpful to society in many ways. Yet, it has also been known to have taken out the humanism and spirituality of wellness and health. Commercial operations of pharmaceutical and life science consist of marketing and sales of medical products and services.
We have many reasons to be grateful for new sciences that have and continue to help/change people's lives all over the world. It's also difficult not to notice the gap it leaves between health safety and our natural instincts by trusting others or science with our lives. This can add a lot of unnecessary stress and turmoil for a mother-to-be who is already busy working hard to bring new life to earth.
Doctors typically have medical protocols that allow them to strictly follow routine procedures rather than understand your wants and needs and accommodate them. You may have heard of many nightmare birth stories that make you nervous about your own experience. During such a delicate time in a new parent's life, those moments should be filled with inclusivity and support, which would lead to strength and empowerment. That is what motherhood is all about; having a doula by your side can lead you there.
What is a Doula?
A doula is a trained or certified companion who provides support to you and your partner on your maternal journey. Each stage of pregnancy and anything in between is catered to in order to ensure a personal, informative, and relaxed environment. A doula will offer a safe space with emotional and physical support, as well as coach you through the processes. They are extremely knowledgeable on childbirth and can prepare you for the unknown in any given prenatal, laboring/birthing, and postpartum scenario. And best of all, a doula will bring nurturing and sensitivity to an otherwise clinical and objective environment.
What is the difference between a doula and a midwife?
Although both doulas and midwives are extremely helpful and offer an extended amount of support, there is only one significant difference between them. A midwife is a medical professional who can offer medical assistance to you and your baby's health. A doula is a non-medically trained professional certified to assist you mentally, physically, and emotionally.
What are the Benefits?
95% of doulas are female. A female support system understands the emotional and physical straits of pregnancy and childbirth. They have your best interest at heart, getting you and your baby to safety through each stage. People who are intimately close to you may feel more emotionally impacted or involved in the process.
Your Eyes, Ears, & Communication During Labor
During labor, no matter which option you choose, your mind and body are busy preparing for birth, so how do you fathom the tedious decision-making? Paperwork, questions, or concerns from medical providers. What if you desire a specific experience that the doctor thinks otherwise? In some cases, so many people are in the room, making decisions for you and about you. A doula will allow you to focus on what's most important to you; having an intimate experience with yourself and your baby.
Because they are well-trained, they know and understand every aspect of the maternal journey. From the questions you'll want to be answered to medical vocabulary and terminologies that will likely be important to you in those moments.
Breastfeeding can be such a beautiful experience, and it can also be a stressful one. It can be challenging for many moms to produce the proper amount of milk needed for their babies. This could possibly be the most enervating for a new mom, knowing your baby is relying on you. There are so many steps and techniques to take to better your breastfeeding, and a doula will surely help with this. You'll be encouraged, motivated, and coached into confidence.
The postpartum stage can be very intense. This is the time you'll be adjusting to your new life, allowing your body to heal from serious trauma, with seemingly no time in between. Consider a doula to be that kind & conscious voice that may be difficult to hear from the back of your mind during this time. It can be easy to get lost in the chaos and the emotions that get dragged down with it. Doulas are like your weight to keep you grounded and can help you stay on track of things.
Is a doula still useful if I need medication or a cesarean surgery?
Of course! There is no such thing as an easy way out when it comes to birth. Having a medicated birth or a cesarean surgery is just as tolling on the mind and body as any other. A doula can help prep you for what's to come and assist you post-delivery with gentle care.
What does a night doula do?
As mom is recovering or healing, the process could take longer if she isn't allowed the proper rest. Most families need some overnight support for the first 8-10 weeks.
The savior of the night, doulas do nap between feedings if the baby is sleeping while you catch up on yours. All a doula needs is a couch near the baby's bed and water because they typically bring their own pillow and blanket. If the mother is nursing, she will assist in burping, changing, and getting the baby to sleep.
A doula typically takes notes to keep the habits and behaviors of your baby, such as waking up or descriptions of baby poop. And by the morning, expect your bottles and feeding supplies to be cleaned and even made formula bottles for the following day.
The strength it takes to take care of a demanding newborn is what makes us as parents so selflessly impressive. But there should never be shame in asking for some much-needed help, especially when it can add to your mental health.