Doulas are more and more becoming an integral part of a family’s birth experience. The field has grown with each year. There is now an incredible number of doulas available in many niche areas and with priceless expertise that can benefit your labor. There are doulas who specialize in working with high-risk pregnancies, with LGBTQ+ families, with mothers who want a natural birth, with families of color, and more. Would you like to find a doula in your area to support you while you bring the next member of your family into the world? Join Phoebe and meet our wonderful doulas.
How do I find a doula near me, and do I need one?
A brief description of a doula is a birth professional who provides non-medical support for a birthing parent and their family. An enormous amount of research has been done that shows how effective having a doula can be for avoiding interventions, making a birth happier, reducing the amount of pain a mother feels, and executing a birth plan. Here are some specific ways the presence of a doula accomplishes all of this:
A doula can act as the middle man
It is not the role of a doula to speak for you to medical professionals. However, they can encourage you and your partner to ask questions and provide insight into what questions to ask. This can be invaluable when you are experiencing discomfort and fatigue or are a first-time parent. A doula will also ask questions along the way about what you want and help to communicate your wishes to those around you.
Also important is the support that a doula can provide to your partner. It can sometimes be challenging for a partner to know where they fit in or how they can be involved. Your doula will discuss this with you ahead of time and then provide help for making sure their desires are fulfilled as well. Keep in mind that a partner needs their own type of support during labor and delivery. Enter your birth doula.
Help with pain management
Some studies indicate that the mere presence of a doula can reduce the pain that a birthing parent experiences during labor. This is because having ongoing support and cheerleading can boost confidence and made the intensity easier to bear.
Besides the positive effects of having the doula’s presence, a major aspect of a doula’s training is in coping methods. They will come prepared to help you manage the intensity of each contraction in a variety of ways. If something doesn’t work for you, they will be prepared with something else to try.
Helps you execute your birth plan
You will have the chance to have multiple meetings with your birth doula prior to the big day. These meetings will involve discussing or creating your birth preferences and talking about options. From your preferred playlist to who you want in the delivery room, a large part of your doula’s role will be to make sure all of the many parts are in place for your labor experience.
Creates a calm environment
Giving birth is an intense experience with an incredible amount of physical sensations and emotions. This can be amplified by birthing in a hospital. A doula is highly trained in working in the various settings available to today’s mothers and how to create a calm environment in each. When a mother and her partner are relaxed the chances of a positive experience are increased.
To sum it up, a doula can make your birth better.
Doulaing: The act of educating, loving, respecting, listening, embracing, advocating for and assisting a woman prenatally, during labor, childbirth and after.
Want more help preparing for your birth? Grab our guide: How do I choose the best online birth class for me?
How do I find a doula near me?
You can find a doula by searching online or by searching the directories of doula training agencies. Or you can sign up for Phoebe for access to doulas and much more. Phoebe connects families with the best support available for pregnancy, birth, and beyond. We have doulas in our network with all sorts of backgrounds and approaches.
Want ideas on how to interview a doula? Head to our guide here: Preparing for birth: how a doula can help.