Thursday, January 7, 2010

What is a Doula?

So this is a question that my best friend, Elizabeth asked on the blog, and I was just going to comment back to her, but I figured that a few other people may have the same question.
According to the website DONA International a doula is described as follows:

The word "doula" comes from the ancient Greek meaning "a woman who serves" and is now used to refer to a trained and experienced professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and just after birth; or who provides emotional and practical support during the postpartum period.
Studies have shown that when doulas attend birth, labors are shorter with fewer complications, babies are healthier and they breastfeed more easily.

According to my doctor a Doula is "the best bang for your buck." No matter how long your labor is, they stay the whole time (unlike doctors and nurses who are in and out), and their fees range from $200-$600. Quite a bargain for someone with the experience that most well-trained doulas have.

Why are you using a doula? Can't Jeremy or your mom be your Doula?

In my opinion, Jeremy is my husband, and my mom is my mom. And as much as I love these two people, they are way too emotionally involved in this situation to offer the same services that a doula offers. I mean, Jeremy had a minor freak out when the dishwasher fell on me. These two people just don't like to see me in pain. Plus, I probably won't give a damn what they say while I'm in labor.

The best way to explain it (as I explained it to my husband), is that a doula is like a wedding coordinator. You tell them ahead of time what your wishes are for the events of the day, and they take care of it. When it's time to cut the cake, they let you know, when it time to toast, they bring you champagne. See what I'm saying.

Now, I'm not assuming that a doula will make my birthing process as care free as my wedding day, but a doula will help me to focus on the main event- getting this thing out! Then, I won't have to worry about all of the other stuff, and neither will Jeremy.

So, that's a pretty long explanation, and there is more to it in terms of Jeremy and I's beliefs on vaccinations, etc., but I hope you get the gist of it.

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