Welcome to Love Lotus Doula — working with parents to-be to create empowering birth experiences.
“What the heck does a doula even do?”
Great question! A doula can play many roles during the birth experience, and depending on what you are looking for, can include any or all of the following:
Providing prenatal education – During prenatal visit a doula can offer nutritional counselling; facilitate an open and honest discussion with birther and partner about the stages of the birthing (labour) process; discuss your many options for a peaceful birth either within the medical system or at home (I can work with doctors and midwives alike); and ultimately help you create a birth plan based on your unique set of ideals and requirements.
Emotional support during the birthing process – We are human, and sometimes in times of great challenge, we begin to doubt our abilities or choices. A doula will be right there by your side to remind you that this birth experience is within your innate ability and to let go of your fears and hesitations. She will coach the partner to ensure that he/she also has confidence in the process and can then provide you with unwavering support. Trust the process, trust the body. Breathe.
Physical comfort measures during the birthing process – In case you hadn’t already heard, birth can get INTENSE! Some birthing people prefer not to be touched, while others may benefit from someone squeezing their hips or having someone’s shoulders to hang off of during a sensation. Doulas come prepared with several tools in their bags, such as a birth ball, massaging tools, Rebozo scarf, and hot packs. Physical comfort also involves offering birthing person snacks and keeping them hydrated, braiding their hair, reminding their partner to eat something and relax, and making sure your care provider (doctor/midwife) is in the loop.
Postpartum support – A doula will ensure that you have your support network in place, offer breastfeeding support, and provide further nutritional information. There are doulas who specialize in postpartum care if you would like more support in the postpartum period.
A doula is not … a medical professional. She will not perform medical exams or checks, offer medical advice or prescriptions, or do any tests.
An informed birth is an empowering birth!
Research has shown that “compared with those who had usual care (no labour support), individuals who labored with continuous support had shorter labors and were more likely to have a “spontaneous” birth (with neither cesarean section nor vacuum extraction, nor forceps). People with continuous labor support were also less likely to:
- Have an epidural or other “regional” analgesia to manage pain.
- Use any type of pain medication (including narcotics).
- Give birth by C-section.
- Give birth with vacuum extraction or forceps.
- Give birth to a baby with a low Apgar score (a rating of the baby’s wellbeing five minutes after birth).
- Be dissatisfied with or negatively rate their childbirth experience.”