Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Types of Doulas

As more couples are choosing natural childbirth, the practice of using various types of doulas is becoming popular. The word doula is a Greek word and means to be a woman's servant. A doula is educated and trained to deal with different aspects of pregnancy and childbirth. There are three different types of doulas; antepartum, labor (birth) and postpartum. Each type of doula specializes in a different stage of pregnancy and/or birth.
The role of an antepartum doula is to provide assistance in the months preceding the birth of a child. For mothers-to-be who are put on bed rest or having a high risk pregnancy, an antepartum doula can provide invaluable services. The antepartum doula provides much needed practical help. The antepartum doula can assist with errands, laundry, cooking and everyday chores that the pregnant mother can no longer do. She also provides much needed emotional support. Having been trained in all aspects of pregnancy she can answer questions and calm the fears of an already stressed mother-to-be.
A labor doula's job is to assist once labor begins. She will usually meet with the couple several times prior to labor to discuss what they want during labor and help them create a birth plan. She establishes a relationship with the couple and answers questions during the months prior to giving birth. She does not provide medical care but can be a great source of information. Once contractions begin, the labor doula begins her work in earnest. Once it is established that the mother is in true labor, the labor doula will be her constant companion. The labor doula is trained in relaxation and comfort techniques to assist in both labor and delivery. Her job is to try and ensure that the couple has the best birth experience possible.
The last type of doula is a postpartum doula. A postpartum doula's job is to assist in the weeks following the birth of a baby. Her education and training in breastfeeding and newborn growth and development allows her to expertly assist the new mother. She provides physical help with things such as laundry, cooking and cleaning. She provides emotional support and gives the mother time to rest and relax knowing everything is under control.
If you are considering hiring doula for any aspect of your pregnancy, make sure you find one that you are confident in using. Consult with several if need be to find the one that you feel most comfortable with. Confidence in your doula is highly important so interview as many as you need. Most doulas will not charge for the initial consultation. Hiring one of the three types of doulas is an important decision so take your time and find one that meets your requirements.

No comments:

Post a Comment