Alternative Choices During Pregnancy
Whether delivering at home, a birthing center, or the hospital, more women are seeking wellness alternatives during pregnancy and childbirth to avoid medical interventions and are more aware to trust their own bodies.There is a growing rise in the number of women seeking alternative wellness options, verses the “traditional” hospital birthing experience. With this trend, the role and use of a certified professional Doula has become a more common component of the typical pregnancy process.
Selecting An Alternative Certified Doula Coach
- There are many kinds of Doulas and each one has several different roles. There are Birth/Labor Doulas, Antepartum Doulas, Postpartum Doulas, etc. Many Doulas are certified in more than one area and will offer their clients combined services.
- The use of a doula during pregnancy and labor is actually one of the oldest alternative traditions in several cultures. The word is of Greek origin and means female servant or slave. In current context, the definition of a Birth Doula is often generalized as that of a labor coach.
- It is important to understand that a Doula is NOT a nurse or midwife and will not perform any medical type procedures or exams.
The main focus of a Doula is to provide support to the birth mother, partners and the baby.Alternative Birth Support Techniques
A Birth Doula is trained in different alternative techniques to help a woman feel empowered while in control of the pregnancy and through labor with the use of different birthing techniques, such as position changes, massages, exercises, breathing, and even just positive verbal reinforcement.
Contrary to some beliefs, a Doula’s job is not to impose his/her beliefs. The key role and training is to provide support and to empower the experience of pregnancy and birthing.
More women are realizing that in a hospital setting it is common to surrender the control to the “experts”. The truth is there is no better expert than your own body. While the number of homebirths has increased in the last few years, many still argue that it is putting the mother and child at risk due to possible complications that may arise during labor or delivery that could be life threatening. In actuality, Doulas are trained with alternative techniques to help avoid many of these complications.
Studies show that traditional and common medical practices have been linked to, more difficult and longer labor, premature births, emergency C-sections, infections and other delivery complications for both the newborn and mother.
- laying on the backside during labor and delivery
- the use of monitors
- internal check-ups
- inductions, rupturing of membranes (breaking the waters by the doctor)
- epidural and other medications
Alternatives For First Time Moms
The support of a Doula has many benefits.
- Reduce the risk of C-section by up to 50%.
- Reduce the rate of epidural and other medication use
- Lower the numbers of induced labor and lower the length of labor
- Breast feeding success has also proven to be more affective
For a first-time mothers, not knowing what to expect can play into fears, that in turn can cause labor and contractions to be more intense. This stress can be projected onto the baby. A Doula will help ease that emotional distress.
Participating partners, family members and friends can benefit as well. An experienced, trained Doula is an alternative approach for easing and dealing with over excitement, concerns and anxieties. Bringing a calming professional quality, lightens the load and allows all members to enjoy the personal experience of child birth.
Several studies have shown that disappointment in the birth experience may very well be related and perhaps even classified as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. The use of a Doula during pregnancy and labor has shown to significantly reduce the rates of Postpartum Depression.
First time parents-to-be are faced with so many decisions that it can be more than overwhelming. However, the majority of new moms never even realize the options until it is too late. This has been directly linked to causes of postpartum depression in many women.
To find statistics and read more about the alternative wellness benefits of working with a Doula during labor, birth and postpartum, please read the following reference articles.