What is a doula?

“a woman who serves”

a trained and experienced professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and just after birth”

Studies have shown that when doulas attend birth, labors are shorter with fewer complications, babies are healthier and they breastfeed more easily.

A Birth Doula

  • Recognizes birth as a key experience the mother will remember all her life
  • Understands the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of a woman in labor
  • Assists the woman in preparing for and carrying out her plans for birth
  • Stays with the woman throughout the labor
  • Provides emotional support, physical comfort measures and an objective viewpoint, as well as helping the woman get the information she needs to make informed decision
  • Facilitates communication between the laboring woman, her partner and her clinical care providers
  • Perceives her role as nurturing and protecting the woman’s memory of the birth experience
  • Allows the woman’s partner to participate at his/her comfort level

I love this…

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If you Google “antidote to fear”, you’ll come up with many suggestions

Self-help guru’s would say “to love more, to fear less”. Or to “stay in the present” (as fears are often projections of terrible things that could happen in the future).

Or to “arm yourself with information”.

Or to “rationalise risks”.

All of those are right – they all do help to alleviate fear.

I would say the antidote to fear when it comes to pregnancy, birth and the first few weeks of parenthood is simple; hire a doula. Not just any doula mind – the doula that is right for you.

A doula is a bastion of knowledge, wisdom, encouragement, a great listener and comforter, offering suggestions but never advice, always without judgement.

A doula never promotes a product or service unless she truly believes that it is right for the parent. She never uses fear to “sell” her own services. She tries to work through a mother’s own fears surrounding the birth. And when fears start to rise, she’ll try to alleviate those fears through practical and emotional support, sage words and encouragement.

And sure enough, with the right doula, those fears magically disappear. And yes, then you really can start to love more and fear less.

If only doulas were available every time you have any kind of fear throughout your life. Wouldn’t it be great if you could hire a doula to take with you to see a scary movie? To hold your hand on a roller-coaster ride? Or when you go for a job interview? Or when you have to speak in public? Or when you launch a new business?

That would make life much less scary. But then again, having fears and conquering those fears is all part of the complex amazing journey of life. Don’t you think?

So be afraid. Be very afraid. Then go hire a doula!

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