Take Doulas for example. According to the NCT, having a Doula to guide and support you through a first-time pregnancy can shorten labour by 2 hours, reduce the chance of a C-section by 50%, and decrease the need for pain relief too. So how do they manage all this, especially considering Doulas aren’t medically qualified?
It’s all about the type of support they provide. To begin with, you have to know what a Doula’s role is, and whether you want a birth or postnatal Doula. But generally, the role of Doula is to form a close emotional bond with an expectant mum, before, during and after the birth of a new baby – effectively mothering the new mum, supporting and encouraging her in all aspects of the new arrival.
Along with your midwife, your Doula is part of the team that will provide strong emotional and practical support throughout the end of your pregnancy and through your labour and beyond. And although they don’t do anything medical, they provide a continuous, reassuring presence that can have astonishingly positive effects of the progress of your labour and delivery, as mentioned above.
And if you choose, your Doula will be fully involved in your birth preferences by supporting you and your partner, helping you choose what’s right for you, and making sure that you understand everything that’s happening during your labour, as it’s happening.
Also important to remember that some Doulas cover the roles of Birth and Postnatal Doula, to allow a continuous flow of support.
Every mum with a new arrival needs support, and that’s exactly what a postnatal Doula is there for. But her role is much more than to provide moral support. Your Doula will want to ensure than every aspect of your physical and emotional wellbeing is taken into consideration, and that your partner, children and household is prepared for a new baby.
She will also work with you all to integrate the new life and routines that a newborn brings, and helps to look after the household until at the agreed time, you’re ready to resume your life with a new addition!
For a greater insight into the wonderful benefits of a Doula, visit the NCT website at www.nct.org.uk and search for Doula.