Giving birth to a baby is usually a painful, physically demanding and mentally stressful activity for a woman. So for centuries, women have assisted other women during the childbirth process. Now it is possible to formally hire a trained woman called the doula assistant to assist a pregnant woman during childbirth and the postpartum period. A doula is a Greek term for a woman’s assistant. It indicates that the doula is a trained woman who will assist a woman during the pregnancy and also after the baby is born, allowing her to plan the pregnancy better and making it a less stressful period for the mother and baby.
A Doula Assistant’s Role
Many women especially when pregnant for the first time and without any family support, do not know what to expect during their pregnancy. The Doula helps them prepare for the pregnancy so that they can plan it better. The pregnant woman can consult the doula assistant regarding all her queries on the various aspects of the pregnancy, like the diet, nutrition required, physical activities, and any other health-related issues the woman may have. Usually for healthcare related queries, the woman will have to visit the medical facility, however, the doula will visit the home of the woman who hired her, to make it easier for the woman to get help
The doula assistant will use her experience to provide comprehensive pregnancy-related assistance. This includes providing information on the various techniques which ensure that the pregnant woman remains comfortable during the pregnancy. She will also help the mother create a birth plan for the baby. Though the doula will not provide any medical assistance, she is usually aware of the medical care required. The doula will help the mother during the labor, reducing the discomfort. She will also help the mother after the baby is born, in taking care of the baby, nursing it and recovering from the pregnancy.
Hiring A Doula
The doula is hired by the parents who are expecting a child, and it is advisable to do some research before hiring a doula. It is important to find out the training and experience of the doula assistant, the services she will provide. Some doulas will visit the woman periodically during the pregnancy, while others will offer consultation over the phone. It is also important to check the motivation of the doula, the reason why she decided to become a doula, and her personal philosophy regarding childbirth. The parents should ensure that the doula is present during childbirth. The fees charged by the doula will depend on the kind of services, experience, and other factors.
Benefits Of Hiring A Doula
Though a doula does not offer medical care to the pregnant woman, using the services of an experienced doula assistant can greatly reduce the medical expenses during pregnancy and childbirth, because of the better advice offered. Some studies have indicated that having a doula can reduce the probability of having a cesarean section by approximately 50% and the time for labor by 25% since the mother is better prepared for childbirth. Additionally, the amount of Oxycontin and epidurals required by the mother are also reduced significantly. The doula also uses massage and touch to reduce the anxiety and stress experienced by the mother. So hiring the services of a competent doula can make the childbirth process medically safer, and mentally less stressful.