A Doula is a woman who is paid to help women going through late pregnancy and childbirth and assists the mother and family throughout that process. However, the doula is not trained in childbirth and is not a replacement for a medical doctor. If this sounds strange to you, then it should be worth noting that about 1% of births in the US are assisted by doulas for expats and that number is increasing. If you think about it, such a service is more than welcomed and needed in our society. In most families, the father is busy making a living and the expectant mother doesn’t necessarily have the support and companionship that she needs. As a result, having someone that wants to be there throughout the latter pregnancy to attend to her needs, is simply irreplaceable.
There are no known risks of having a doula services web page available and there are lots of benefits. There have been many studies that indicate that having a trained doula available to support the expecting mother has actually reduced the use of epidurals by as much as 60%. The need for Cesarean sections also decreased by 50%, forceps use by 40%, length of labor by 25% and even labor induction was needed 40% less of the time. These statistics are absolutely astounding and show the measurable benefits of having a doula to support and help the expecting mother.
The main reason for the above benefits is due to the doula being trained to help reduce anxiety and stress in the expecting mother. Such anxiety actually slows and can even stop contractions which the presence of a doula can prevent. The presence of the doula has also been shown to decrease the rates of postpartum depression in women and they have also shown to breastfeed more successfully.
When it comes to the actual services provided, there are usually at least two meetings before contractions begin. The initial meetings with a doula are to discuss the birth plan and answer any questions the family may have. Then, they are usually available or on-call a few weeks before the birth. The packages differ according to the needs of the expecting mother but they usually range from between $150 to $1000.
The doula will also answer all of your questions and concerns about the baby and birth process. They will also provide videos and reading materials so that the couple can be better prepared for the baby before he/she arrives. In many cases, the doula does much more than providing comfort, company, and advice. They also act as a coach throughout the birth process and are a huge comfort to the mother.
In closing, if you are unsure about your pregnancy and birthing process and require a safe and guiding presence, then you should consider hiring a doula service. The cost is very reasonable and the relief and comfort a doula will provide are simply priceless. So, be sure to contact a few doulas in your community and set up meetings to discuss your needs before deciding whether this service is for you or not.