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Natural Therapies Home | Natural Medicine | Doulas

Doulas

 
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The term “doula” has its origins in Ancient Greece, and it refers to a woman that is trained and has experience in assisting a woman through labour.  The role of a doula is to support a woman in labour, wherever she chooses to give birth – a hospital, at home, or in a birthing centre.  They provide continuous physical, emotional, and education support from when a woman is pregnant, to birth, and after birth, when the baby is brought home.  It is important to note that a doula is not a midwife, nurse, or medical practitioner.  They do not provide medical, nursing, midwifery or therapeutic care, nor will they comment on, interpret, or judge the care that is provided.  They are there in a purely advisory and supportive capacity.

The Benefits of Having a Doula

Engaging the services of a doula can make a massive difference to your pregnancy and birth.  Studies have shown that doulas can result in:

  • a 50 percent decrease in the need for a cesarean delivery
  • a 25 percent decrease in the length of labour for first time mothers
  • a 60 percent decrease in epidural request
  • a 40 percent decrease in artificial oxytocin use
  • a 30 percent decrease in forceps use
  • a decrease in the use of pain relief medications

Doulas are also able to provide:

  • professional care and assistance at any time
  • access to resources and information so that people are able to make informed choices about their pregnancy, labour, and childbirth
  • referrals to classes such as ante natal fitness, birth preparation, lactation classes, pregnancy yoga, and also to pregnancy massage services
  • assistance in preparing for the birth such as creating a birth plan or a plan of action
  • post-natal support with breastfeeding or referral to a lactation consultant
  • support for the father
  • general support and care when the baby is first brought home
 


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