As you prepare for your birth you may be asking yourself “do I need a doula”? The short answer is no, you don’t need one, BUT here are a few reasons why you may want one!
First off, let’s talk about what a doula is and what they are not.
A doula is someone who is a trained and experienced professional who provides continuous emotional and informational support. Full spectrum doulas provide support through the entirety of reproduction while some doulas only provide prenatal, labour or postpartum support. If you would like a doula, make sure you ask the person who may be supporting you what their scope of practice is.
Provide physical and emotional support
Provide evidence based research based education and information to their client and family
Provide advocacy** such as making client aware of their rights
Use massage, positioning, relaxation and other comfort measure techniques related to birth and postpartum
Maintain privacy of the client and their community
** There is some debate as to whether doulas should advocate for their clients or not.
If advocacy is something you would like to have from your doula ask them if advocacy is apart of their scope of practice.
Doulas Do NOT:
Provide medical care