If you are pregnant, no matter how far along you are, no matter where you plan to birth your precious baby, consider having a Doula by your side. The word ‘doula’ has really only
become familiar in South Africa in the last 10 years but what are doulas? How do they fit into the support team for expected parents? There has been extensive research done on the positive affects doulas can have. When women do have doulas supporting them, the intervention rates are reduced on all levels. Researchers have found that the support of the doulas have been able to reduce: short labours by 25%; reduction in request for epidural anaesthesia by 60%; a reduction in caesarean rate by 50%; oxytocin use by 40% & analgesia use by 30% There has also been reports of a decrease in post-partum depression and more success with breastfeeding. In fact these statistics are so positive that Dr. John H. Kennell is known to have said: “If a doula was a drug, it would be unethical not to use it.”
What is a Doula? Pronounced (doo-la), directly translated from Greek, means ‘Woman’s Servant’, a woman who serves other women. A Doula, also known as a Birth Companion & Supporter, is a non-medical person who is trained to assist a woman before, during and/or after childbirth, alongside her spouse; her family by providing physical and emotional support. The concept of the Doula is an ancient tradition across the globe where the matter of birthing a baby fell upon the capable hands of the women within a community. Those who already had babies would support others who were new to it. By their experiential knowledge, these women transmitted a certain confidence and ease to the woman giving birth. They understood the intensity of labour, the anxieties that can go with pregnancy and the unknown of what it would be like to be a parent. Ultimately this makes them suitable candidates to comfort and encourage expecting mother. A far-cry todays impersonal and alienating treatment where the babies is even referred to as a “the product” such as in some European hospitals. What do Doulas do?
Doulas “mother the mother. She is trained in understanding the physical and emotional journey of pregnancy. She provides emotional support. Uses comfort measures: breathing, relaxation,  ovement,
positioning. Readily gives information when needed. Continuously reassures and comforts the mother in pregnancy, labour and once the baby is born.

She is able to take the mother through various birth choices, advocates on her behalf, and is there to listen and wait on you as a lady in waiting would do. The Doula also revisits you after child birth and assists you as you transition into motherhood.
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