Eden's Garden Birth

Birth Education and Doula Support by Amy Rollogas

I offer doula support for your labor and private childbirth education in your home in the Richmond, Va metro area and west to Charlottesville, Va. I also offer instruction in acupressure for labor and moxibustion for breech. 

The Role of the Doula

 

Doula: δούλη From the ancient Koine Greek 

Definition: a slave, bondman, person of servile condition; devoted to another to the disregard of one's own interests;  a servant, attendant

Today we use the word “doula” to refer to one who assists women (and families) around the time of birth. For the purposes of this post, I will be referring to the labor doula.

We can look at the evidence and see the obvious benefits of hiring a doula.

http://evidencebasedbirth.com/the-evidence-for-doulas/

  • 31% decrease in the use of Pitocin*
  • 28% decrease in the risk of C-section*
  • 12% increase in the likelihood of a spontaneous vaginal birth*
  • 9% decrease in the use of any medications for pain relief
  • 14% decrease in the risk of newborns being admitted to a special care nursery
  • 34% decrease in the risk of being dissatisfied with the birth experience*

 

But, what does a doula *do*?

The answer to this question can different for every woman and in every labor, but here are a few things she will do:

  • offer some education about birth and labor
  • be a guide through your labor, birth and the first hours after your baby is born
  • help your partner be present and active in the labor
  • come to your house to labor with you there (if you want her there)
  • stay with you for your entire labor (we do have to pee sometimes, though)
  • use your birth plan as a tool to remind you of your wishes
  • suggest positions that can assist progress of labor
  • help you work toward optimal fetal positioning
  • use her expertise to help you manage your pain (massage, accupressure, aromatherapy, relaxation techniques and so much more)
  • work with hospital staff to meet your needs
  • act as your DJ (keep your music going)
  • pick up your camera and take photos
  • translate medical terms into layman terms for you
  • help you get started breastfeeding
  • help you talk through/ process your birth in the first hours and days postpartum

 

Because, when I tell people I am a doula, I often hear, "So you are like a midwife?" I want to clarify that a doula is not a midwife (though some midwives are doulas).  A midwife is a medical care provider. She is trained to do clinical, medical tasks.

Here are a few things you doula will not do:

  • make decisions about your care
  • speak to the staff on your behalf regarding medical decisions
  • take your partner's place
  • take your physician or midwife's place 
  • do clinical tasks such as blood pressure, cervical checks, etc