The Birth Center recognizes and values the important contribution doulas make in improving the birth experience for laboring women and their partners. Just over three years ago, we launched The Birth Center Doulas. Across the United States, doulas attend only a very small percentage of births. This holds true for the state of Delaware as a whole and even here at The Birth Center. If you are currently pregnant, we want to encourage you to consider having a Birth Center Doula attend your birth!
What is A Doula?
“A trained professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to a mother before, during and shortly after childbirth to help her achieve the healthiest, most satisfying experience possible.” ~ DONA International
What Do Doulas Actually Do?
Our doulas support laboring women:
- Physically (through the use of massage, effleurage, counterpressure, hot and cold compresses, assistance with eating and drinking, and suggestions for position changes and other ideas for labor progress)
- Emotionally (with their continuous presence, praise, reassurance, sharing perspective, help with working through fears and doubts)
- Informationally (by suggesting relaxation techniques, explaining medical procedures, helping partners understand what is happening, and facilitating conversations with nurses, midwives and doctors)
But I have a midwife! Doulas and midwives work as a team to support you emotionally and physically. The doula is able to completely focus on supporting you even at times when the midwife is focusing on tasks and support related to you and your baby’s clinical well-being.
What Does the Evidence About Doulas Say?
Doula support has been shown to be beneficial in many ways. Having a doula decreases a laboring mother’s likelihood of needing a cesarean birth by 39 percent, decreases her chances of needing a vacuum or forceps delivery, decreases the likelihood she will request pain medications, shortens the overall length of labor and improves her feelings of satisfaction with the birth experience. There are no negative effects to having a doula present.
Why A Birth Center Doula?
All of our doulas have trained with DONA International, one of the most well-known and respected doula certifying organizations. They have also each passed a criminal background check and follow the philosophies and standards of The Birth Center. You can read all of the details about what is included with our program here, read more about our individual doulas here or sign up for a live, virtual meet-and-greet here.
Here is what some recent families have said about our doulas:
“Lynne’s support before and during labor was incredibly helpful. Knowing I would have her support gave me the confidence I needed to go into the birth feeling like I could handle it, and her support and comfort helped me and my husband through both delivery and recovery. When latching didn’t go so well after birth, she helped me get in touch with a lactation consultant immediately. I highly recommend TBC’s doula program!”
“Jessica Ladin was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G during the labor of my son. She was right there for the whole labor process and knew what I needed, even when I didn’t. She was so positive, supportive, and made me feel that she truly cared about what was best for me.”
“Sarah is very kind and most of all, patient and careful to intervene and offer assistance and guidance at just the right moments without getting in the way or being intrusive. I also really appreciated the constant, kind and gentle but effective encouragement during the birthing process as she carefully read my emotions and status.”