Some mothers wonder what a doula does if the baby’s father is going to be there for the birth. A good doula provides the knowledge/expertise that will help him to support you far better than he could on his own! He can provide the expressions of love that you need during labor, while your doula provides:
- her knowledge of comfort measures,
- good positions to help move things along,
- exceptional massage skills,
- understanding the emotional side of labor and your fundamental needs,
- and more!
Together, they make the perfect team to help you! Here is a summary of the tools Morielle as a doula brings to your birth:
- Using touches, such as massage, polarity massage, acupressure, or counterpressure
- Helping the mother to regain control of her breathing if she loses it
- Suggesting and supporting different labor positions for physical comfort
- Calming the environment, like dimming lights or asking for quiet
- Helping with water therapy (shower, tub)
- Applying cold or warmth
- Helping the mother to walk to and from the bathroom
- Providing food, drinks, ice chips, etc.
- Prenatal counseling to uncover expectations about birth (perhaps some unconscious) and process toward a more positive mindset
- Continual presence
- Helping the mother see a positive side to what her body is doing and her situation
- Being good company
- Mirroring—using calm words to describe what the mother is experiencing
- Accepting what the mother wants
- Assisting the parents in working through self-doubt and fears
- Debriefing after the birth—listening to the mother with empathy
- Guiding the parents through labor
- Using techniques in labor such as breathing, relaxation, movement, visualization, massage, and positioning (positions are important whether or not you have an epidural)
- Assisting parents in finding evidence-informed information about different choices in pregnancy and childbirth
- Helping explain medical procedures before or as they occur
- Helping the husband understand what’s going on (for example, interpreting the different sounds the mother makes)
- Encouraging the parents to ask questions and speak up about their preferences
- Asking the mother what she wants
- Supporting the mother’s choices
- Amplifying the mother’s voice if she is not being heard, “Excuse me, she’s trying to say something. I wanted to make sure you heard.”
- Making space and time for the birthing family so that they can ask questions, gather information, and make decisions without pressure
- Assisting communication between the parents and care providers
- Teaching the parents positive communication techniques
- If a mother is not aware that a provider is about to perform an intervention, the doula could point out what she sees happening and ask the mother if she has any questions. For example, if it looks like the provider is about to perform an episiotomy without the person’s consent: “Dr. Smith has scissors in his hand. Do you have any questions about what he wants to do with the scissors?” (Evidence-Based Birth)
Support Before and After Labor
- Ideally, you would meet your doula 2 times before 36 weeks to get to know one another, practice breathing and visualization, and talk about your expectations and preferences for your birth. It would also be ideal if your baby’s father could be present at one of those meetings to discuss his expectations for the birth.
- Your doula would call within 3 days after your birth (you are free to call her sooner!) to check in on how things are going and schedule another visit sometime 7-14 days after the birth. At that visit, you could either make a plan for postpartum services or finish your care.
Optional Spiritual Support
- If you would like, Morielle can pray with you during your prenatal meetings and during your birth.
- She can help you learn about what it would mean for your birth to be an experience that draws you closer to God and to pray and prepare for this.
- She can read Scriptures to you, either your choice or hers, whichever you prefer.
- She can sing psalms of Christian worship and/or and songs of the Christian life to you or with you.
- She can play the music of your choice for you.
Call now for FREE answers to all of your questions!
Not really sure you want to interview her, but still have some questions? Text your first question now (maybe something like, “What’s your training and experience as a doula?” or “What is your philosophy of birth?” or “I’m planning an _____ birth, how could you help me?”)