Sep 18, 2014

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Top 5 Reasons to Consider a Labor Doula

Childbirth is an exciting time in life, but it can also be intimidating for both the mother and spouse or partner. Doctors and nurses throw all kinds of information and advice at you; it can be difficult to keep track of everything. A labor doula, also referred to as a “birth doula,” physically and emotionally assists families before, during, and after labor. Doulas also provide a variety of other benefits, the top 5 of which are listed below.

Why You Need a Labor Doula

1. Making a birth plan.

Birth plans help mothers and their spouse/partner think through their desires for the birthing process. Making decisions prior to labor will empower you and enable you to better communicate. Although some birth plans exist online for free, mothers will often have questions about specific issues and may not be able to complete the plan on their own. Labor doulas can offer you detailed information about birthing options. When you complete your birth plan, be sure to provide copies to your doctor, nurse(s), doula, hospital, and any family and friends attending the birth.

2. Constantly by your side.

While doctors and nurses will come in and out of your room during the labor process, doulas will stay by your side, providing the security and comfort you need. Whenever you have questions or concerns or need something, your doula is there to support you. Physically, doulas may provide massages, or help you maintain a support posture, etc. Emotionally, they provide encouragement, empowerment, and talk you through the process.

3. Advice on food and fluid intake.

Before, during, and after labor, doulas are experts on the type of well-balanced diet that mothers need. They will provide advice on the types and amounts of foods and fluids that you should be ingesting.

4. Assistance with breastfeeding and bonding.

Breastfeeding is so common that many new mothers assume that infants naturally know how to feed. In truth, many babies do not intuitively attach to the breast. Doulas can provide breastfeeding assistance, and can also teach you techniques to facilitate bonding between parents and baby.

5. Postpartum support.

Many doulas will also provide support in the early weeks after birth. Physically, doulas may help care for the infant, perform household chores, and prepare meals. Emotionally, doulas provide companionship and support to mothers feeling overwhelmed.

Labor doulas offer incredible benefits to expectant mothers and their families. Houston, TX particularly has a model doula support system. If you are searching for an experienced Houston doula, or interested in learning more about doulas in general, browse Houston’s Motherhood Center online.

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