What Is a Doula and How Do They Help With Labor?

For years, women have been hiring doulas to help them with childbirth. Even today, more mothers are looking to minimize medical involvement during labor. Rather than induce labor or use medicines to hasten the process, parents are turning to doulas for a more natural labor experience.


Are you thinking about hiring a doula? Here is what you need to know about doulas and how they can help with labor.


What Is a Doula?


A doula is a trained childbirth assistant who offers you physical, emotional, and educational support during pregnancy, labor, and after delivery. A doula is not a medical professional and does not deliver children or offer medical care.

A professional doula has gone through training and passed exams on how to support expectant mothers and their families during the pregnancy period.

There are three types of doulas, namely:


  • Birth or labor doulas give constant care during childbirth

  • Postpartum doulas support new moms for a couple of weeks after delivery. They help feed the baby and do household chores

  • Antepartum doulas help mothers who have been prescribed to stay in bed to avert preterm delivery. They help with everyday tasks and babysitting


How Does a Doula Help With Labor?


A doula’s main responsibility is to give you constant care and support during labor. Here is how your doula will help with labor.


Before Labor

A doula typically comes in when you are in your second or third trimester. A doula will teach you breathing and relaxation exercises to soothe your experience. The doula will also answer your questions about labor and help you create a delivery plan.

Apart from that, your doula will explain the birth process to acquaint you with childbirth procedures and possible complications that could occur.


During Labor

During labor, a doula will use massages and gentle touches to calm you and help you feel rested. Additionally, your doula will ensure that you are eating healthy and drinking enough water and fluids.

Part of the care also includes helping you get into comfortable labor positions and communicating your preferences to your doctor. Along with that, your doula involves your family and reassures them throughout the process.


After Labor

After delivery, a doula can support you and your family after taking your newborn home. That includes teaching you and your partner how to care for and feed your newborn.

Your doula will also help other siblings adjust to the change and explain how they can help you. In addition to that, the doula will ensure that you are eating well, staying hydrated, getting enough rest, and adjusting well.


Hiring a Doula

If you are interested in hiring a doula to assist you throughout the process, ask your doctor or labor coach for referrals. When quizzing potential doulas, ask about their training, experience, beliefs about childbirth, and the services they offer. Also, talk about the cost, partialities, and concerns you have about pregnancy and childbirth.


For more on what a doula is and how they help with labor, contact Partners in Obstetrics & Women’s Health at our office in New Lenox, Illinois. You can call (815) 240-0554 to book an appointment today.

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