Doulas are definitely on the rise in the prenatal and postpartum world. Women are learning that they can benefit greatly from having the extra support and education. You might be wondering what a doula is and what they do exactly? Let's jump into the types of doulas.
There are birth doulas and postpartum doulas. (There are other types of doulas , such as antepartum doulas, pregnancy loss doulas and more, but I will not focus on these in this blog) A birth doula is someone trained to give support to expectant women and their partners during their birthing experience. They are there to reassure and encourage their clients, helping them keep positive attitudes and good spirits. They can provide information and educational materials so that clients are in the know and can make informed decisions.
Postpartum doulas are there to assist new moms and their families while they adjust to life with a new member. They help new moms who need assistance with feeding, soothing, and recovery. Some postpartum doulas help with house cleaning and sibling care, they can even prepare meals for the home if need be. More and more women are finding that having a doula with them is very helpful. So what are the benefits?
Covered by your health insurance plan
When doulas first became a thing, many people stayed away from the idea because they figured the out of pocket expense could be a bit much. While each doula has their own set price, many people are seeing the value in having a doula for pregnant women and new moms, so more and more insurance companies are starting to cover the cost. So look into it if you're interested in having a doula assist you and your life changing event!
Helps build confidence
Pregnancy is a time of many questions and concerns. Having a doula can help you feel confident in your ability to deliver a healthy baby. Doulas support women in many ways by educating them and answering questions. By the time you go into the delivery room you're armed with everything you need to give birth with confidence. For new moms, doulas can help you learn to bond with your baby, how to properly feed your baby, and any other essential new mom tasks. Once you get these things down you will definitely be more confident in your ability to be the mom you want to be.
Educating your partner
You learning to take care of yourself and your baby during and after pregnancy is one thing. Now add trying to educate your partner to that equation and things can get a bit hectic! Hiring a doula can help with this task. Not only will you learn the necessary things needed for this journey, your partner will be learning right along with you. This is a HUGE help!The feel more capable when it comes to assisting in the delivery room and at home.
10 to 20% of women are diagnosed with postpartum depression during the first year after giving birth. (This percent is only for moms who had live births, this does not include moms who have had miscarriages or still born deliveries) Doulas help expectant and new moms anticipate what she will need from support to everything else. Doulas are there after the birth to continue doing everything they were doing from day one and this can help lessen postpartum depression, guide moms who are currently experiencing it, or help mothers reveal that they may need more help than they are willing to admit. Some mom are afraid that if they do express the fact that they are depressed after delivery. They feel embarrassed or like they aren't good mothers. Some even fear that they can lose their babies if they speak up. Having a doula can help with all of these doubts and fears.
Sometimes moms can feel stressed out during labor. Stress hormones can decrease oxytocin production (the hormone that starts those beautiful contractions). If contractions stop or come less often, labor can last a long time! Having a doula can make a mom feel more relaxed and less stressed which can speed up the labor process.
Did you have a doula or know someone that did? What was their experience like? Please share! Until next time, sending you peace, love, and light.
Certified Health Coach - Prenatal Consultant - Pregnancy & Postpartum Support