The thought of going into labor is often scary to women who are going to give birth for the first time. Many hospitals promote a comforting atmosphere, but the women who are admitted may be on their own for the majority of the labor phase. Of course, nurses will check in on patients periodically, but this may not bring the reassurance that one craves. If you are due to give birth in a few months, consider utilizing doula program services.
What Is A Doula?
A doula can be considered a companion or caregiver during labor and after the birth of a baby. A doula isn't required to receive formal obstetric training, but has been educated about the physical and psychological changes that a woman will undergo during and after pregnancy.
Some doulas will use comfort aids to assist a woman who is in labor. These may include warm compresses and pillows. A doula will also assist with aftercare. Many women feel frazzled after giving birth and may have difficulty adapting to the new routine that they need to follow.
For instance, if a woman has chosen to breastfeed her newborn, she may not think that she is receiving the emotional support that she needs or may be having difficulty expressing milk for her baby.
A doula's reassuring words and patient demeanor can assist with keeping a mother's mood elevated. By having someone to speak to about issues that are impeding the care of a newborn, a solution to a problem may be uncovered and a mother may begin to adjust to her new routine.
How Does One Sign Up?
Your doctor should be able to direct you toward a doula program that offers the services that interest you. You will not be required to meet with a doula after the birth of your baby, unless you think that this would be beneficial for you. Some women rely on a doula solely through the labor phase. A doula will remind you to breathe slowly when you are feeling contractions and will help you take your mind off of the discomfort that you are experiencing.
After your child is born, you can request that the doula performs aftercare sessions. These can include meeting you at your home and assisting you with your basic needs. You can also receive some help with caring for your baby, which will allow you to transition smoothly into the role of being a mother.