1. Comfort Measures and Emotional Support
This is where the Doula magic is. A highly trained Doula brings knowledge, skills, support, and comfort for mothers and fathers. A Doula should have proficient skills and ample techniques to aid the laboring mother in feeling more confident during pregnancy, the birthing process, and the postpartum phase. These specific techniques encompass hands-on comfort measures, counter pressure, ideas for relaxation, comforting touch, and emotional support.
A knowledgeable Doula should be well versed in a sequence of positioning tools that are commonly known as “Spinning Babies” routines. This specific method of instruction should be given during pregnancy to encourage the baby into an ideal position before labor begins. However, if it is discovered during labor that the baby is mal-positioned, then she will be ready to guide the mother in the specific positions needed to try and help the baby navigate into a more ideal position in the pelvis.
2. Continuous Labor & Immediate Postpartum Support
In early labor, the support you receive is usually done by conversations with guided instruction on what to do during your individual early labor phase. During active labor through delivery, this “hands-on support” is usually provided at your home first and then continued accordingly at the home, birth center or hospital, as labor progresses.
During the “golden hour” after birth is when she will assist both you and your baby’s first breastfeeding endeavors before leaving to allow for private family time.
3. Dads and Doulas
The birth process is normal to birthing professionals, but asking a father to become a birthing professional can be overwhelming. The benefits of a Birth Doula are that a Dad can provide love and emotional support without the heavy baggage of having to “know it all.”
Dads be reassured a Doula could never take your place. A doula that has clarity of her scope of practice and wisdom brings nurturing attention and knowledge of skills to your birth experience.
4. Prenatal & Postpartum Support
Doulas meet with you for one or two home visits before and after birth which are typically called prenatal and postpartum visits. Prenatal visits are used to get to know you and your family, educate you, and support you. During the postpartum visits, your Doula will be a wonderful and reliable resource for breastfeeding, postpartum and newborn care. Breastfeeding help is invaluable!
5. Evidence-Based Guidance and Information
Throughout your pregnancy, labor and postpartum your Doula will provide you with evidence-based information and instruction. This priceless guidance will help you have more communicative prenatal appointments with your care provider during pregnancy and birth and a more positive postpartum experience.
At Grapevine Birthing Center we love working with trusted doulas like Debbie Van Campen of http://debbiethedoula.com.