Q & A
WHAT IS A DOULA?
A doula is a trained professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to a mother before, during and shortly after childbirth to help her achieve her own definition of the healthiest, most satisfying experience possible. A doula does not perform any medical tasks, such as vaginal exams and receiving the infant at birth, as the midwife or OBGYN would do.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF HAVING A DOULA?
There is incredible evidence that shows how birth doulas improve birth outcomes! Compared to women who had no continuous support, women with companions who were neither on the hospital staff nor in the woman's social network were:
25% decrease in the risk of Cesarean; the largest effect was seen with a doula (39% decrease when support person was not hospital staff and was outside the mother's immediate social network)
8% increase in the likelihood of a spontaneous vaginal birth; the largest effect was seen with a doula (15% increase when support person was not hospital staff and was outside the mother's immediate social network)
10% decrease in the use of any medications for pain relief; the type of person providing continuous support did not make a difference
Shorter labors by 41 minutes on average; there is no data on if the type of person providing continuous support makes a difference
38% decrease in the baby’s risk of a low five minute Apgar score; there is no data on if the type of person providing continuous support makes a difference
31% decrease in the risk of being dissatisfied with the birth experience; mothers’ risk of being dissatisfied with the birth experience was reduced with continuous support provided by a doula or someone in their social network (family or friend), but not hospital staff
The doula plays a unique role not only in positively affecting the woman's satisfaction with the birth experience, but also in limiting the amount of medical interventions a woman will utilize and increasing the health of the newborn. A doula's support goes beyond what friends and family can offer. Our training and experience provides greater well-being for both mother and baby.
MY PARTNER IS SUPPORTIVE...WHY DO I NEED A DOULA?
Some people think that they do not need a doula because their partner will be with them continuously throughout labor. It is true that the birth partner is an essential support person for a birthing person to have by their side. However, the birth partner will need to eat and use the bathroom at times, and they are having their own emotional journey that requires support. Also, many partners have limited knowledge about birth, medical procedures, or what goes on in a hospital, while doulas have knowledge and experience about all of these things that they can use to inform and support both the partner and birthing person. Ideally, doulas and partners can work together to make up a labor support team.
DO YOU ONLY SUPPORT NATURAL HOMEBIRTHS?
No. As your doula, my goal is to support you in whatever birth you desire. No matter the location, care provider, or degree of medical intervention you choose, my goal remains to help you achieve your best birth. Emotional, physical, and informational support are necessary in all sorts of birth environments.
WHAT IS MATRESCENSE LIFE COACHING?
Matrescence is the developmental transition into motherhood and the process of you becoming a mother. Matrescense Life Coaching is a continuum of care service that consisits of six session package where you receive one on one support. These sessions are structured to assist you in identifying your maternal identity and developing confidence in your parenting style. Each package is individualized and especially designed with a detailed coaching plan and tools for you.