Birth Doula Information

Studies, Partners and Choices

The Cochrane Review

Cochrane Reviews are internationally recognized as the highest standard in evidence-based health care resources. So what does the Cochrane review on continuous support in labour have to say?

“Supportive care during labour may involve emotional support, comfort measures, information and advocacy. These may enhance physiologic labour processes as well as women’s feelings of control and competence, and thus reduce the need for obstetric intervention. The review of studies included 23 trials (22 providing data), from 16 countries, involving more than 15,000 women in a wide range of settings and circumstances.

Women who received continuous labour support were more likely to give birth ‘spontaneously’, i.e. give birth with neither caesarean nor vacuum nor forceps. In addition, women were less likely to use pain medications, were more likely to be satisfied, and had slightly shorter labours. Their babies were less likely to have low five-minute Apgar scores. No adverse effects were identified. We conclude that all women should have continuous support during labour. Continuous support from a person who is present solely to provide support, is not a member of the woman’s social network, is experienced in providing labour support, and has at least a modest amount of training, appears to be most beneficial.” Cochrane Review

 

My partner will be there, isn't that enough?

Partners can be amazing supporters.  In fact we feel that we see the best of the best.  A partner that is interested in seeing extra support for the birthing mama, has to be pretty awesome to begin with.

The support of a Doula isn’t instead of, or better than that of a partner’s.  It is different support, and it complements the partner in a way that has to be felt.  There is nothing like having two sets of hands, two minds, and two hearts focused on the labouring woman as she births her child. As Doulas, we are grateful to be part of a team working together to support the labouring woman.

Additionally, we feel that the primary support partners have been put into a tough spot over the last few decades.  For a long time they weren’t invited into the birth space, and when that started to change pressure was put on them to earn their place in the birthing room. Suddenly they were given the job of coach!  Why should partners be asked to assume a ‘job’, on a day when they too are becoming a parent, or meeting their next child? What about their emotional experience?  We view the experience of birth to be a family event, and each person involved should be supported and cared for as that family transforms and welcomes new life into it.

Birth is a big experience that takes all your strength and heart energy, why wouldn’t you have a team with you?  Strong on our own, stronger together. 

Aren't Doulas just for 'Natural' Births?

We don’t even really like the phrase ‘natural birth’, but the answer is no.

Doulas should not have an agenda for you and your family’s birth choices.  It is the Doula’s job to offer you balanced and evidence based information so that you can make the decisions that are right for your family.  We know that birth is unpredictable and often presents twists and turns that can not be planned for.  With this knowledge in mind we encourage our clients to be informed and ready to adapt to the path as it unfolds.  Our goal is to help you have access to broad information in an effort to allow you the opportunity to truly give informed consent when matters of consent arise.  Even if the path to birth does not flow as you hoped, it is important to us to try to support you in being confident and satisfied that you made solid choices that you are comfortable with for the long term. We refer to this as the path of least regret.

Sometimes, even with access to information and education, partner support, doula support and respectful medical care providers, the path can be rocky. Having a doula does not guarantee you will be blissfully happy about your birth experience, but it does increase the odds.  And in the times when, despite everything, a family still feels the effect of traumatic or unexpected happenings, your doula will be there to help you process and work through that experience.  If you choose to access her for this, she can be a valuable tool for healing, as she will have walked that path with you.

The Doula role is one of support. We want to see a happy and content family at the end of the birth experience, a strong team that is ready to tackle their new life as parents.

What is a Doula?

The word Doula has its origins in the Greek language translated as a “servant-woman”.  This servant was assigned to the tasks related to caring for the pregnant, labouring and mothering, lady of the household.

In modern times the word doula is defined this way from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A woman who assists another woman during labor and provides support to her, the infant, and the family after childbirth.

Collaboratively we define the role of the doula to be that of educating, listening, supporting and nurturing.  Our intention is to support you in having the most positive birth experience possible, as you define it, and so in our own unique ways we approach each birth with open hearts and minds.

Doulas and Partners

A common concern for birth partners is how they will be able to provide the best support they can, and how to avoid being pushed aside during the birth experience.  Doulas are familiar and comfortable with the process of birth, how it looks, how it sounds, how it feels.  They are also experienced with the various venues that birth happens in, home, birth centre or hospital.  This gives the Doula the opportunity to facilitate, and amplify the partner’s ability to give best quality support.  The Doula and the partner become a team during the labour journey, providing twin pillars of support to the birthing mother.  We know how very important it can be for a birth couple to come together in a new, deeper bond during the birth experience.  A strong birth team becomes a strong parenting team!

Offerings

Each of the listed Doulas will strive to meet the unique needs of each family that they support, so if you don’t see something that feels like it fits for you, just reach out and we will see what we can .  Different services and packages are available  It is our intention to provide the support that is right for you.

We always offer a free consultation to give you an opportunity to go over the birth doula agreement details in person, and to meet (in person or virtually) so we can get a sense of each other, to know if we are a good fit. Choosing your Doula wisely is important because Birth is a forever experience. You will always remember the people who were by your side. 

“Birth is as safe as life gets.” – Harriette Hartigan

 

About Us!

Direct email addresses for each individual collaborator are available on their personal info pages.

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We would love to connect with you on social media. The links below are for the Foundations pages. Many of our collaborators also list their personal accounts in their info pages if you would like to follow them too.

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