Relax! I’m a Doula!

Hi I’m Jess and if you haven’t heard, I’m a Doula.

{You’re a “who-la”?!}

Yeah… I get that a lot. I’ve actually had someone ask these exact words…
{“Sooo… do you like do good juju witchdoctor-y type stuff to hypnotize someone in labor?”}

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{Yeah… no.}

So… with that being said, I wanted to share with you some of the most common questions I’m asked about being a doula. And at the end of this post, if your question hasn’t been answered, email Me and I’ll add it to our Q & A Corner!

Are you ready? Here we go!

*What is a Doula?
– The word “doula” is actually a greek word that means “woman servant or caregiver”.
As the term is used now in the birthing world, a doula is a woman who is trained to provide assistance to woman in childbirth. The doula meets the need of the birthing mother through physical and emotional support and assists the family in this exciting time. While my priority at a birth is always the needs of the mother, I make it a point to include the mother’s birth partner as much as possible to maximize the experience for both of them.

*How did you become a Doula?
– There a few different certifying programs available for doula’s. I am certified through Aviva College as a Perinatal Health Professional (PHP). This particular certification encompasses Labor and Postpartum Doula Care and includes a Childbirth Educator certificate as well as limited training in lactation support and education. There are other programs that offer doula training’s as well. If you’d like more information about how to become a doula email Jess. I am always happy to answer questions and get more people excited about this amazing work!

*Why would I need to pay for a doula if my husband, mom, sister, and cousin are going to be at my birth?
– That’s a GREAT question! First of all, I will say that I think it’s wonderful that you have such a supportive team of people around you that are ready and willing to help you through your birth. I love seeing women supported by their families. Having a doula in addition to your family can absolutely enhance your birth. A doula comes in as a trained birth professional with skills to aid you along in your labor and birth process.

   **On a personal note: Mom’s are GREAT for having present at your birth. However, it is very difficult for mother’s to see their own child in pain and not be able to stop it. Having a doula there to bring relaxation and comfort to you AS WELL as reassure your own Mama that her baby is doing great can bring everyone together in a really special way!**

*I want an epidural. What good would a doula be for me?!
– I am SO glad you asked!! :) While a doula has an obvious place in a unmedicated “natural birth” I would go so far as to say that a doula has an even MORE obvious place in a birth assisted by Pitocin and an epidural. Say what?! I know… crazy!
When interventions are brought into a birth, anxiety can get high and focus can get LOW! Nerves about how the medicine will make you feel and all the horror stories women have shared about how Pitocin wrenched their bodies into an unbearable labor so they had to get pain medication and…
{See all of that happens and you’ve completely lost focus of the fact that YOU are in labor… NOW.}
A doula who has been trained to meet the needs of not just natural birthers but all women will be able to assist you through the discomforts and changes that come with labor augmentation and anesthetics. Once your epidural is placed, you likely will be confined to your nice, comfy hospital bed. That may sound awesome, but you’ll need help moving. Along with your medical team, your doula can be of GREAT assistance during this time.
Then comes the pushin’… Here’s where your doula will make a huge difference with your epidural assisted labor. With your lower half numb, it can be difficult to focus the right amount of pressure to the right places to get that baby out. A doula is there to coach you through that process and provide the knowledgeable encouragement that you need to accomplish your goal… a BABY!

*What if I have to have a Cesarean Delivery (C-Section)?
– In a surgical setting I like to consider the doula an extra set of eyes and ears {and hands!} for the childbearing couple. A lot goes on during a cesarean delivery and sometimes it sounds like they’re speaking a martian language. A doula can be a great translator as to what’s happening during the process. Also, once baby is born your doula can help to ensure that mom’s wishes are being met by the medical staff (i.e.: Quiet at time of birth, gender announcements, skin on skin (if allowed by your facility), etc.) In a cesarean delivery the baby is born usually within the first 5-10 minutes of the surgery.
{FAST, I know!}
After that, Mama’s birth partner typically leaves the room with baby while the surgery is completed (which can often take up to an hour!) and Mama is left alone in the operating room. Having a doula present during this time can be very reassuring for the new new mama who just wants to hold her baby.
And for the important part… pictures!! Having a doula present for your cesarean delivery is like having your own personal photographer 🙂

*Does having a doula actually make a difference or is just a placebo effect?
– Studies have shown that doula assisted births tend to be shorter with fewer complications, require less intervention (pitocin, forceps, and cesarean deliveries), and often have fewer request from the mother for pain medication and epidurals.

*Are you some kind of birth junkie?
– Plain and simple? Yes! There is something absolutely life changing about being part of a birth. The newness and love and wonder that fills every bit of the room… ahhhhh… it’s just. so. good.

These are just some of the more common things that pop up when talking about “what does a doula… do-la?”
If you have any more questions that are just burning, please ask! I love questions… and as I always say…
If I don’t have an answer for you… I’ll figure it out and get back to you QUICK!

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aka Mini Witchdoctor 😉 witch_doctor_chibi___encore_by_0x4fffwhite-d52nd7p

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