by: Mary Bratcher, Retail Manager
What does a Labor Doula do? What doesn’t she? These are common questions from Mamas to be.
A Labor Doula provides continuous labor support, this includes but is not limited to; therapeutic touch, guided visualization, guided breathing for labor, helping Mom into different laboring positions, educating Mom on her options in childbirth and being an advocate for the type of birth experience Mom has requested to have. Many Doulas also have specialized training as part of their continuing education, or have extensive experience working with particular birth situations such as C-section, or VBAC. I always tell people that a Doula is like an encouraging Midwife for the waist up; she offers coaching, is knowledgeable about birth, and helps guide you through what can seem like foreign territory.
It sometimes seems like Labor Doulas do it all, but there are some things that are relegated to other members of your birth team. First of all, Doulas do not help you deliver your baby, that is the arena of the midwife or OB/GYN. Also, Doulas do not do vaginal exams to check cervical dilation or any other medical readings. They do not provide prenatal medical care or exams of any kind. There are so many helpful things they can assist with though, we will leave these tasks to your caregiver.
If you would like to learn more about what doula does, click here!