What is a Doula?
The word "doula" comes from the ancient Greek meaning "a woman who serves" and is now used to refer to a trained and experienced professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and just after birth; or who provides emotional and practical support during the postpartum period.
Studies have shown that when doulas attend birth, labors are shorter with fewer complications, babies are healthier and they breastfeed more easily.
Benefits of Having a Massage Doula
Shortens Labor time
Increases the likelihood of natural birth
Reduces requests for epidurals
Reduces need for cesarean section
Reduces the use of forceps Prepares the mother for delivery
Provides a drug free method to ease aches & pains
Reduces physical/mental fatigue & stress
Increases joint flexibility & alleviates stress on weight bearing joints
Prepares the body for delivery
Reduces blood pressure
Promotes better sleep
Creates a sense of well being
Releases toxins from the muscles
Mothers expereinced several benefits: they report that they bonded much more quickly with the baby, could take their babies home sooner, and had fewer maternal fevers when supported by a doula.
Penny Simkin writes in Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn that relaxation in labor will 1)conserve energy and reduce fatigue; 2) calm and reduce stress; and 3) reduce pain