That first moment when a mother receives her newborn baby into her arms is one of the most special moments in a woman’s life. To see the wonder of a brand new baby, the innocence, the dependance is simply amazing. This short time period should be protected, embraced and cherished since it will be remembered for a lifetime, but this is not always the case.
Labor can be long, difficult and discouraging at times and husbands do not always understand what his wife needs or how she is feeling. Medical staff buzz around taking vitals and offering medical help and sometimes leave the laboring woman feeling nervous, powerless and confused. Husbands do not always understand what helps are necessary from medical staff and just desire their wives to be comfortable and happy again.
Many woman go into labor with no idea of the normal procedures that take place in hospitals and can take the slippery slope offered to her by medical staff. The feelings of fear, anxiety and stress can prolong labor can create the need for more interventions changing that moment of bliss into a feeling of I-am-so-glad-I-made-it-alive.
Sometimes interventions are necessary, but having an informed person with a laboring woman can change that helpless situation of making uninformed decisions into a labor of patience and security.
This is where a doula comes in.
A doula is a trained, or experienced, woman in the art of labor. She is available to help the new mommy feel comfortable and teach her about options of ease in childbirth. Doulas are up to date on common hospital procedures, and should be familiar with medical terms surrounding labor and delivery to help a laboring woman (and her husband) understand the buzz going on around them.
Doulas exist to protect mommy, baby and that sacred moment of introduction.
Why a doula, and not a sister, mother or husband? — Good question ;) Natural labor is not common anymore, and the average person is no longer knowledgeable about how to handle a laboring woman. Hospitals try their best, but most of their policies are in place to ensure the hospitals run smoothly and efficiently. Mommies need a mediator to understand both parties involved in labor; someone who understands that labor is not a procedure and every labor should be handled uniquely.
Birth is a wonderful miracle. A woman’s body was created by God, and labor and delivery is one of its many functions. A woman needs someone in the room with her who is informed; someone who is not afraid, someone who believes she is capable of delivering a child.
There are some exceptions to the rule, some woman NEED help. That is okay too, doulas are educated in many areas to be a help to any kind of delivery with encouragement and help.
Since the birth of my 2 children (one drug free hospital birth, one natural birthing center birth) I have decided that labor and delivery is a passion of mine. I struggled for a few months about what to do about this passion. God has called me into the ministry and our family is working on moving to Namibia where we will be sharing the message of salvation. Where does delivery fit into this picture? After months of praying I realized that the birth rate in Africa is high, and delivery is a place of need for them. Undoubtedly I will meet and befriend many pregnant mothers, many of which will have no supporting husband or partner attending their births. I do no know their birth culture yet, but I will be getting my certification and find my place in their culture. I cannot wait to get started!
- Interviewing Your Doula (joyfulpregnancystl.com)
- Benefits of a Birth Doula before and after (birthritedoula.org)
- Building Your Birth Team (choicesinchildbirth.wordpress.com)
- Why I Hired a Doula (thebump.com)
- What is the evidence for doulas? (kaliforbabies.wordpress.com)
- Selecting A Doula 101 (beautifulwisdom.com)
- Interviewing Your Doula (kaliforbabies.wordpress.com)
- PALS, it’s a wrap (melissagmillerphotography.wordpress.com)
- Doula’s Role (kaliforbabies.wordpress.com)
I did (mamaraw.com)