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Copyright © 2010 Helena Hentz

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Doula care in Perth
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"Learning you are pregnant is like preparing for two births: your baby’s and your own rebirth. We know that we are entering a new phase of our life, so different from this phase that is like a new life altogether. We are being reborn as a mother, and we can not really know what it will be like until we arrive there. So the few months of pregnancy are a time to prepare for not one new life, but two."

What Is Doula

The word “Doula” (doo-lah) comes from the ancient Greek meaning “woman’s servant”.

Since time began, women have always helped women give birth. Traditionally, laboring women were surrounded by family members and experienced women from the community. Women knew how labor was to proceed and they werent afraid of it. They were coached and taught by their female elders. As childbirth became the domain of the medical profession and women moved into hospitals for birth, women lost their vital connection to one another during this time of intense physical, emotional and spiritual work. The art of birthing has been lost.

Today, a doula is here to help you get in touch with that lost art and assist you through this most magical journey into motherhood / fatherhood.

Doula is an experienced woman, who is trained in child-birth. A doula understands the natural process of birth and the emotional needs of a woman in labor. She provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to women and their partners throughout the childbearing year.

A doula is your personal birth companion offering constant support to you and your partner that the hospital staff may be unable to provide, as they will probably be very busy with the clinical aspects of the birth, are often taking care of more than one labouring woman and change shifts every 8 hours.

A doula will meet you and your partner one or more times before the birth to get know the two of you and your wishes regarding labour, to create a trusting bond. A doula will stay with you continuously through your labor and birth, until the baby is born, and provide help and support in the early care of your newborn.

She will also provide support and encouragement to your partner and help him to participate in the birth to the extent the two of you feel comfortable. See Dads and doulas

Benefits and findings

Whether a mother experiences the birth of her baby positively or negatively depends on how well supported she feels. The use of a doula has clear benefits for families during childbirth and the postnatal period.

Numerous scientific trials have compared birth outcomes of women who had doulas and who did not:

These trials have found that a doula’s presence at birth

tends to result in shorter labors with fewer complications

reduces the need for pitocin (a labor-inducing drug) by 40%, as women who employed a doula often seek out natural methods to induce labour

reduces the need for forceps or vacuum extraction by 40%, as woman who choose to have a doula are encouraged to stay active and relaxed during the labour, using gravity to help the baby to move down through the birth path.

Reduces the need for cesareans by 50%

reduces the mother’s request for epidurals by 60% as the doula will help woman to stay very relaxed and calm, and her close contact and massage stimulates oxytocin production. Naturally secreted oxytocin produces feeling of well- being and a raised pain threshold.

Women who use a doula are more satisfied with their birth experiences, however they birth their babies. This is because a doula’s role is to ensure that the woman is the central active participant in her birth experience, enabling her to give birth in her own way, whatever challenges present themselves along the path.

Lower incidence of postnatal depression

Have a greater success with breastfeeding and breastfeed longer


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