Who is a Doula?
Doula is an ancient Greek term that means ‘female slave’. While the term remains the same in medical usage the meaning of the term no longer holds any value. Doulas are men or women who provide non-medical support to a pregnant woman during her delivery.
These skilled people provide both prenatal and post natal support not only to the mother but also to the family. They are not supposed to provide technical support but encourage and guide the new mother towards a successful delivery. Doulas can be of many types. Labor Doulas are the ones who provide support during pregnancy and delivery.
Hiring a Labor Doula
There exists an International Doula site called DONA. The site has its own website. New or would be moms can contact doulas on the website. Other than the internet, you can hire a doula from references provided by experienced mothers as well as hospitals and birth centers.
Set a Meeting with Your Doula
Once you have contacted your doula, set an interview at a place where you feel comfortable. Ensure that the doula conducts two to three pre-natal visits to your place. Discuss your fears and concerns about the pregnancy and how you expect it to take place.
A doula will offer you all the latest information on pregnancy and delivery. The various birth practices that are usually adopted along with scenes of post-natal care are some other information that your Doula will provide you with.
Know the Services of Your Doula
At the time of labor, your doula will provide non technical support to comfort you. Make sure that you adhere to her guidelines and information regarding child birth for a smooth and successful child birth. A Doula is not expected to make or influence your decisions or speak to your doctors regarding your medical concerns.
Other than pre-natal support, your doula will also help you to prepare yourself for baby care. She helps you with the first feeding and provides information regarding infant care in the first few days after birth.
Sign a ‘letter of agreement’ that entails the terms and conditions for the services that the Doula will provide you with and also the conditions and payment for which the Doula will work for you. Doulas charge a fee for their services. This will include their transportation charges and their services. Settle these charges before you sign the agreement. Finally, do not forget to avail the contact details of the Doula.
When learning how to use a doula during pregnancy, understand some basic necessities that your Doula must possess. These are the most important qualities for being a doula.
Your Doula must have prior experience of child birth, be capable of providing you with valid resources and information regarding child birth, and stays and supports you till the end and a little later after delivery.