I'm so delighted to introduce Laura Dehne, a wonderful Doula here in the Albuquerque area! Check out some of the all so important questions you may have, during this Ask the Doula segment!
Reach out to Laura and check out her services here:
WHAT IS A DOULA?
The word “doula” comes from the Greek, meaning “a woman who serves”. There are many types of doulas, but the most common is the labor and birth doula who is a trained non-medical professional who provides physical, emotional and educational support through pregnancy, childbirth and early postpartum.
ARE DOULAS AND MIDWIVES THE SAME?
No. Doulas do not provide any medical care. Without the responsibilities of a medical provider, a doula can give her undivided attention to the laboring mother, staying by her side throughout the entire labor.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF DOULA?
Cochrane studies in 2017 and 2019 revealed that having the continuous support of a doula during childbirth reduces the use of pain medications, epidurals and artificial oxytocin (Pitocin), increases spontaneous vaginal births, reduces the length of labor, lowers the risk of c-sections, helps make breastfeeding more successful, higher apgar scores in babies and increases mother’s satisfaction with the overall experience. And in 2014 the American Congress of Gynecology (ACOG) acknowledged the doula as “one of the most effective tools” to improve birth.
WHERE DO DOULAS WORK?
Labor and birth doulas attend all types of births including: homebirths, hospital births and birth centers.
WHEN SHOULD I HIRE A DOULA?
Since your doula will be a part of a very intimate and private time in your life, it is important to build a trusting relationship with her, so the sooner the better; although it’s never too late to add a doula to your birth team!
WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED IN DOULA SUPPORT?
Since doulas are not medical providers they do not perform any type of medical tasks such as: vaginal exams, monitor baby’s heart tones, diagnose conditions, make decisions for or speak on their clients behalf, change shifts (but instead is continually present throughout labor and birth) and usually does not plan on catching the baby.
DOES A DOULA REPLACE THE FATHER OR PARTNER?
To the contrary, doulas are an ADDITION to the birth team; supporting dads and partners as well. Helping dads to stay fed, hydrated and rested is all part of a doula’s role.
WHAT IF I DECIDE TO HAVE AN EPIDURAL?
Doulas continue to support even if a mother decides to have an epidural. Helping mom stay hydrated and assisting with position changes are a few of the ways doulas support with an epidural. Also, a doula’s presence during the delivery of the baby can be immensely beneficial.
CAN A DOULA ATTEND A C-SECTION?
Yes! Depending on the wishes of the family and hospital policies, the doula may or may not be present in the operating room but will be waiting in recovery offering all the same support as she would immediately after a vaginal birth.
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Anna Cummings Photography
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