Labor and Delivery with a Doula
I am amazed by the number of New Grads that have chosen Labor and Delivery as their chosen field of expertise. I am also surprised at their interest in Doula Techniques.
The word “doula” means “a woman who serves” and is now used to refer to the 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 a birth, labor is shorter with fewer complications, babies are healthier, and they breastfeed more easily.
A Birth Doula:
- Recognizes birth as a key experience the mother will remember all her life.
- Understands the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of a woman in labor.
- Assists the woman in preparing for and carrying out her plans for birth.
- Stay with the woman throughout the labor.
- Provides emotional support, physical comfort measures and an objective viewpoint, as well as helping the woman get the information she needs to make informed decisions.
- Facilitates communication between the laboring woman, her partner and her clinical care providers.
- Perceives her role as nurturing and protecting the woman’s memory of the birth experience.
- Allows the woman’s partner to participate at his/her comfort level.
A Postpartum Doula:
- Offers education and nonjudgmental support during the postpartum period.
- Assists with newborn care, family adjustment, and light household tidying.
- Offers evidence-based information on infant feeding, emotional and physical recovery from birth, infant soothing and coping skills for the new parent, and makes appropriate referrals when necessary.
There is a lot that can be learned from a doula that would enhance the skills of a labor/delivery nurse. The New Grad will enjoy this class. She will take away new concepts in the labor of a gravid woman. Seasoned nurses seem to have blinders on and are unwilling to accept new theories. It is the bright and enthusiastic New Grad that will bring a spark of energy into this birthing process.