What is a Doula you ask? In short, a Doula, or birth attendant, is a woman offering non-medical support and information to parents in pregnancy, childbirth and the postnatal period.
Doula is a Greek word that has come to mean “womans servant”.
A doula – Mothers the mother!
Traditionally, Doulas have been assisting women in birth for centuries. The word Doula was coined in America over two decades ago and professional Doulas work all over the world and have been in Australia for over a decade.
Doulas work along side your Obstetrian or Midwife and of course the birthing woman’s partner. We inform, support and can offer a variety of resources.
Doulas are skilled in assisting couples to navigate the hospital system and to meet the challenges of labour and then help build confidence for both parents in the immediate post natal period.
Doulas are a respected part of the birthing team in other countries around the worlld and the research and satattics on the difference we can make are higly significant.
Studies have proven the benefits of having a trained Doula are:
- 50% reduction in the caesarean rate
- 25% shorter labour
- 60% reduction in epidural requests
- 40% reduction in induction or augmentation of labour
- 30% reduction in analgesia use
- 40% reduction in forceps delivery
- Improved breast feeding
- Decreased incidence of post partum depression
- Greater maternal satisfaction
- Better mother-infant interaction
Information obtained from Mothering the Mother: How a Doula Can Help You Have a Shorter Easier and Healthier Birth, Klaus, Kennell, and Klaus (1993).
Feeling confident that your Doula has been comprehensively trained and is receiving support in her practice is important. Women and their partners should request the Doulas certificate and sign an agreement.
Unfortunately, Doulas are not yet a regulated body in Australia and so some people are working in the industry that have not received any training or have only completed a short online program.
Your potential Doula should be happy to attend an obligation free interview with you and should be on call for you two weeks either side of your estimated due date.
Fees will vary according to the Doulas experience.
Finding a Doula that is just right for you and your family is as simple as contacting the Australian Doula College, Australia’s premier Doula Organisation. As we comprehensively train our Doulas and offer them on going support, you know you are getting a doula you can trust.
Whether you are planning a home, birth centre, labour ward or caesarean birth your doula will offer non-judgemental information and support.
www.australindoulacollege.com.au Phone – 02 9569 8020