In days gone by women were surrounded by other women, usually family and close friends, during childbirth. Her companions would give continuous encouragement, love and support during the intensity of labour and birth. With the shift towards a medicalized system, women lost their birthing companions, and in hospital environments are now often left alone, feeling unsure, afraid and without loving support.
Many women are turning to Doulas to make their birth experience positive. The name doula comes from the ancient Greek meaning “handmaiden”. Doulas are trained to support and assist a woman during the most important experience of a woman’s life. A doula understands how to keep a labouring woman as comfortable as possible, how to help a mother move and open for birth, and encourage baby to rotate to optimal positions for easier passage. A doula stays with her labouring mother from beginning to post birth, giving emotional and physical support, helping with difficult decisions by offering objective viewpoints, and smoothing communication between all parties in the birth room.
Research done with thousands of women shows that the presence of a Doula (regardless of whether there is another support person there or not):
As a doula I offer CranioSacral Biodynamics for a newborn that needs some help to release any residual birth trauma during postnatal visits. Our relationship continues well after birth and into the postpartum healing period as the new mother returns to her yoga practice.