- • The use of syntocinon for labour
- • The risk of caesarean surgery
- • The use of pain medication and epidurals during labour
- • The length of labour
- • The risk of newborns needing to be admitted to special care
- • The risk of the mother being dissatisfied with the birth experience.
Doulas also increase:
- • The likelihood of a spontaneous vaginal birth
- • The breastfeeding success
- • The mother’s confidence and well being after birth.
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“On the night of the actual birth she was amazingly adaptable and flexible, taking on an entirely different role to the one we had initially discussed! I went into labour unexpectedly early, and unfortunately my husband was overseas and wasn't able to be there in person. Lynda took on the role of keeping him informed and connected to what was happening by sending updates by phone and taking pictures, which we were both so grateful for. She really helped him to feel part of what was happening and keep me positive and motivated knowing he was in contact.” ~ Meg
One of the key attributes of a doula is not only to listen to the needs a client verbalises, but also to help them explore ways in which they can grow from their experience and to be flexible as the journey shifts and changes. For some women, I may provide support for the transition from a couple to a family of three; for others it could be learning to find their voice and confidence in advocating for themselves. Sometimes labour doesn't go to plan and I can help the mother feel confident in her decisions, while responding to her changing circumstances. For some, it comes unexpectedly after labour when they find that their little one doesn't quite fit with our cultural expected norms of “good baby”.
One of the joys of my work is seeing a woman and her partner grow on their journey – even if it’s subtle and something that isn't quite recognised at the time.
There are benefits to having a doula that can be researched and quantified – but there are other benefits that are often surprises!