Pregnancy and Birthing Q&A

Why would I want a doula at my birth?

     A doula is a wonderful person to have at your birth in addition to your birth partner, or alone if you can't find a good birth partner. A doula is a birth and labor support professional well trained in the birth process, and will provide continuous support and advocacy to you while you are in labor. You will never be left alone when you have a doula.
     Doulas cannot replace the role of your birth partner if you have one, they cannot provide the personal, loving support that you get from a loved one. What they do provide is experience in birth, the process, and how to make it go smoothly.
     Numerous clinical studies have found that the presence of a doula during labor and birth significantly reduces the risk of complications, interventions, need for medicinal pain relief and health complications in mothers and infants after birth. Furthermore, women who have had doulas attend their births report feeling more positively about their birth experience, have easier times nursing, and have quicker, easier recovery periods. To learn more about doulas, visit the Doulas of North America website at www.dona.org.
     Average cost for a doula varies greatly depending on your location and her services offered (a doula who is also a massage therapist will charge more, for example), but often doulas offer special rates or volunteer their services to those in financial need. Doulas in the process of certifying also offer services for cheap or free. You can find them by looking on Craigslist, checking local pregnancy and parenting forums, checking local doula or midwife associations, or contacting DONA or CAPPA. The website DoulaMatch.net can also help you to find and compare doulas in your local area.

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