What is a Doula?

What is a Doula

      A Doula is a woman who assists women during labor and after childbirth. Some Doulas assist mothers at home-births, but as an RN, I prefer to bring the Doula's care into the safety of the hospital setting.
     As a former Labor and Delivery nurse for 25 years, I bring to my Doula practice a thorough knowledge of the ebb and flow of OB units, medical and nursing protocols, and the rationales that underlie them. Thus, I am uniquely qualified to act as a patient educator, as well as a liaison with the physician and staff.
     A Doula cares for the mother for the duration of labor and through the first hours after birth. The only focus of the Doula is the comfort and well-being of the mother in her most difficult hours. The Doula is not involved with the workings of the OB unit, as she is hired separately by her client. She is free to look to the comfort of her patient long after the nurse's shift ends. A Doula is able to give the personalized labor support that  the frequently overworked nurses cannot.
      The Doula does not check the progress of labor. She responds to the mother's cues, giving personal comfort care, and engaging in specific strategies to help labor progress. The Doula works with both the mother's partner and the medical and nursing professionals to facilitate labor and birth as easily and seamlessly as possible.     
     While there are no guarantees in Obstetrics, a Doula can smooth the transition for mother, child, and family through the wonderful miracle that is childbirth.

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