How to Use a Doula During Pregnancy

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Hire a birth doula.,
Meet with your doula in the way she suggest.,
Ask your doula about research and evidence based information on birth practices and scenarios that may come up.

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Follow your doula’s guidelines about when to call her and how to reach her for the big event.,
During the big event your doula will support you, as the laboring mom, as well as your partner.,
Expect that your doula will stay with you until the end of your labor and birth and awhile after to help with first feeding.

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Pay.,
Seek support.,
Expect your doula to be an important part of your birth team.

Do this by going on a the international doula site DONA, asking other new moms who they used, or finding one through a childbirth education class, hospital, birth center or midwife.;
, This will usually be a brief interview and then two or three prenatal visits. Be prepared to tell her, in detail, what your expectations, plans and fears are for your coming birth. After the birth your doula will see you an additional one to three times.

,, Recognize that your doula charges a fee that not only covers her time with you, but inconveniences she faces while being on call for one month, expenses with transportation, paperwork, continuing education, childcare and much more.

, Use her for ideas on comfort, information on procedures, giving a break to partners, and much more. Do not expect her to speak for you to medical staff. Do not expect her to make decisions for you.

,, Depending on the doula’s policies, she will be expecting payment when the job is over. This is usually spelled out clearly in your “Letter Of Agreement ” you both signed when you started service with her. Be considerate if her time with you was significantly over what might seem like a normal labor time frame. In other words, over 20 hours or so of her being with you, she would appreciate a financial acknowledgment. This may already be spelled out in her contract.

, Your doula will be the first source for breastfeeding support. Expect her to be able to help you get started , however, if there are challenges she cannot help with, ask for referrals to someone who can.

, She should not be the center but the one who helped strengthen your experience with your partner, helped you find your voice in advocating for yourself and your baby, and gave resources and education for all of the decisions you needed to make.

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