Preparing for Childbirth – Doula Support
As a mom-of-three, experienced doula and prenatal yoga teacher, I thoroughly understand the importance of preparing mentally, emotionally and physically for childbirth. Pregnancy is a joyful and exciting time but it can also bring lots of confusion and uncertainty. There are many practical preparations and choices to make and a myriad of physical and emotional changes to cope with.
For most, the biggest uncertainty and stress relates to the anticipated birth and knowing what to do when you go into labour! You may feel fearful as you have no idea what to expect, how you are going to cope or what decisions to make during labour.
Perhaps you just have very specific ideas about how you would like the birth process to unfold but you are not sure how to achieve such an experience.
Quite possibly, you fall into both categories – you are fearful and you have very definite ideas about what you would or wouldn’t like to happen. Or you could be someone who likes to let things take their natural course and so you are reluctant to make too many plans except for deciding who your doctor is and where you will give birth (these are BIG decisions by the way as they could be a game-changer in terms of your experience of childbirth!)
Ultimately, the experience of birth is unique to every woman but understanding your options in advance, deciding on your preferences, being aware of your strengths and weaknesses, and having someone to guide you through the ups and downs before, during and after birth, can make all the difference!
By choosing your primary care providers and support persons carefully you can increase your chances of having a positive, uncomplicated birth experience where you and your husband or partner feel relaxed, supported and empowered and your baby can be brought into this world in a calm and joyful manner.
The Role of a Doula
Whether you are planning a homebirth, or hospital birth, natural birth or caesarean, doulas provide you with emotional and physical support and help you to make informed decisions regarding your birth process. Worldwide studies have shown that women labouring with the support of a doula were the ones with:
40% shorter labour, 50 % fewer caesareans, 60% less epidural requests and 40% reduction in use of forceps.
The benefits don’t stop there!
As a result of the positive effects a doula has on those involved in the childbirth process,
the following increases:
- Attachment and bonding between parents and baby
- Positive feelings about giving birth
- Mother and baby well-being
- Successful breastfeeding
the following decreases:
- Perception of pain during labour
- Incidence of post partum depression
- Need for medical intervention
W.O.M.B.S Doula’s are mother’s themselves and are trained to:
- Recognise birth as a key life-experience for the parents (mother and husband/partner)
- Understand the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of a woman in labour
- Assist the woman and her partner with carrying out their birth plan
- Provide emotional support, physical comfort measures and an objective viewpoint
- Help facilitate access to unbiased information in order to make informed decisions
- Nurture and protects the woman’s memory of the birth
- Help the mother find effective non-medical ways to cope with labour
- Give soothing and comforting verbal support
What do doulas charge?
R3,400 (R1,600 booking fee + R1,800 balance due after the birth)
- Consists of:– 1-2 prenatal visits* – we get to know each other and discuss your choices/questions/concerns;
– Availability (over a four week period covering your due date);
– 24/7 support via email or phone;
– Support during labour and birth
– Help with initial breastfeeding;
– 1 postnatal visit*;
– Contacts for health practitioners/specialists/products as required.* If you would like further support, extra visits can be arranged at a cost of R260 per hour.