“If there was a machine that cost $200,000.00, reduced the cesarean rate by half, cut the length of labor by 2½ hours and decreased other interventions, hospitals would have 2, 3, or 4 of the machines. It’s hard for us to believe that human support can have such a profound effect on a medical outcome.”
Dr. Marshall Klaus M.D., co-author of “Mothering the Mother”, talking about Doulas.
What exactly is a Doula?
The word comes from the Greek “servant” and that is what a Doula does, she serves you, attends to your every need, provides companionship, guides you during labour and after. Paramana means “with woman” and she will be your emotional port and will guide you through the eyes of someone who has not only seeing many births before but believes that you can absolutely do it!
A Paramana Doula, like me, follows the principles learned directly from Michel Odent of minimal interference during labour and profound respect for the woman wishes. Although I do the have the skills and knowledge – trained and experienced in Spinning Babies, Rebozo, Optimal Foetal Positioning etc – to assist when needed.
What is the benefit of having a Doula?
Having the continuous support of a Doula has proved to cause:
- 31% decrease in the use of Pitocin- Synthetic Oxytocin
- 28% decrease in the risk of C-section
- 12% increase in the likelihood of a spontaneous vaginal birth
- 9% decrease in the use of any medications for pain relief
- 14% decrease in the risk of newborns being admitted to a special care nursery
- 34% decrease in the risk of being dissatisfied with the birth experience
What is my partner’s role if a doula is present?
A Doula will never replace your partner, she will be there to encourage and support both of you. Studies have shown that partners do participate more actively during labour if there is a Doula present than without one. Your partner remains your primary support person. The Doula complements your partner’s efforts by providing emotional and physical support to both you and your partner.
I will hold space allowing that person to be with you emotionally and physically without being overwhelmed, overworked or worrying unnecessarily.
Does a Doula replace the midwife or hospital staff?
Never. As a non-medical support the Doula works for you and your partner to enhance your birth experience. The hospital staff, midwives, doctors and nurses are the main responsible for the clinical part of the birth. Medical staff and midwives will explain and discuss childbirth procedures and practices with you, if you would like.
Does a Doula make decisions for me?
The Doula will answer your questions to help you make your decisions, but she does not make them for you. I will provide you with all the actual evidence based information for the questions you have so you can take charge of your birth.
When the Doula comes?
I will come when you need me. It doesn’t matter if it is very early stages, you call me when you need me and I will stay after the birth till you are settled, comfortable and enjoying the new person in your family.
Evidence Based Resources on Doulas
“I think one of the best things we could do would be to help women/parents/families discover their own birth power, from within themselves. And to let them know it’s always been there, they just needed to tap into it.” – John H. Kennell, MD
“Asking your husband to be your sole guide through labor is like asking him to lead the way on a climb of Mt Everest. He may be smart and trustworthy, you may love him, but in the Himalayas you’d both be a lot better off with a Sherpa!” – Pam England