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The Role of a Doula During Natural Childbirth

written by: CamillaPeters • edited by: Lisa Lambson • updated: 10/20/2009

Natural childbirth is a beautiful experience, especially when you have the support of a birthing Doula. This article gives you a better understanding of the role of a Doula and what to expect with one.

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    What is a Doula?

    Childbirth is a natural process - although with the advance of modern day medicine, the ability to give birth the way your body intended has been often compromised. One way to assist in reaching your natural childbirth goals is to hire a Doula to assist you during your pregnancy and especially through the birth of your child.

    A birthing Doula is a trained professional that has studied the art of childbirth from a supportive view. Although a Doula does not provide medical services and cannot deliver you child, he or she will provide assistance in managing pain and also becoming an advocate for the expectant mother.

    Once common misconception is that a birthing Doula will take the place of the significant other during childbirth. A Doula is there to support both the expectant mother as well as her family. The father's place will never be taken, and in fact, the father will be allowed to spend more quality time with the mother during the event.

    The biggest benefit of having a Doula during natural childbirth is the support that is given. This support begins during pregnancy and continues after birth.

    The Role of a Doula

    Most birthing Doulas begin their service during the early months of pregnancy. Most often, the Doula will provide childbirth education as well as help the expectant mother create a birth plan to be used by their midwife or physician.

    When time comes, the Doula will assist the mother by helping her deal with the pains of labor and help her achieve the natural childbirth that she wants. With a vast knowledge in natural pain relief methods, the Doula will work with the laboring mother and assist her with pain-relieving positions and even Hynobirthing.

    After the birth, the Doula offers breastfeeding support and will help the mother adjust to her new role. There is even some Doulas that offer postpartum services such as housecleaning, cooking and babysitting.

    As you can see, the biggest benefit of having a Doula during natural childbirth is the support that is offered to the mother as well as the family.