Need a Professional?
There are many reasons a family may choose to hire a professional labor support person (doula). For starters, women who have continuous professional support during their labor are less likely to need pain medications, less likely to need a cesarean and less likely to complications during labor. Professional support also provides the physical and emotional care to the entire family, not just the mother. This can help families in many different situations.
Solo Mother: A mother planning to labor without a partner either by choice or circumstance can benefit from the assistance of a professional in labor. A professional is able to provide the care the mother needs without making judgments, interfering with family issues or diminishing the importance of absent loved ones. In some cases, such as a partner on active military duty, doulas are able to provide free services.
First Child: For families expecting their first child, the work of labor can seem overwhelming and frightening. The presence of a professional labor support person gives them someone to ask questions, share concerns and ideas and is a source of encouragement.
VBAC: Mother's planning to give birth vaginally after a cesarean surgery can face many hurdles in labor. A doula not only gives the mother an extra set of hands, but can also be a source of information and ideas to help the mother move through the mental and physical work needed to overcome the unique fears and challenges of a VBAC.
Nervous Partner: When a mother's first choice for labor support is nervous or unsure about the quality of care they are able to provide, a doula can work with the partner in labor. This allows the partner to successfully provide support. In fact, when women are attended by continuous support, their partner's are more involved in the birth.
Hospital Birth: A family planning to give birth in a hospital may find a doula gives them more options. Many doulas will join the family before they move to the hospital, allowing them to stay home longer. Doula's are also able to answer questions about common hospital procedures, know what tools are available to help the family reach their goals and provide the continuous support that is difficult to get in a hospital environment.
Especially Fearful or Anxious: Mothers who are terrified at the thought of giving birth can benefit greatly from the one on one time with a doula before labor begins. The individual attention of the private classes a doula can provide give mothers time to work through specific issues while gaining valuable skills.