These are a few of the most Frequently Asked Questions:
What is a doula?
– The word, “doula,” comes from the Greek word for the most important female slave or servant in an ancient Greek household, the woman who probably helped the lady of the house through her childbearing. The word has come to refer to “a woman experienced in childbirth who provides continuous physical, emotional, and informational support to the mother before, during and just after childbirth.”
What does a doula do?
– A doula provides physical, emotional, and informational support to women and their partners during labour and birth. A doula offers advice on comfort measures during labour and assist the women in this area. Doula’s provide constant emotional support and reassurance for labouring Moms.
A doula provides:
- emotional support
- advice during pregnancy
- exercise and physical suggestions to make pregnancy more comfortable
- help with preparation of a birth plan
- massage and other non-pharmacological pain relief measures
- positioning suggestions during labour and birth
- helps support the partner so that they can love and encourage the labouring woman
- avoid unnecessary interventions
- help with breastfeeding preparation and beginnings,
- written record of the birth
- many other possibilities that vary from doula to doula
What doesn’t a doula do?
– Doulas do not (and may not) perform clinical tasks, such as blood pressure, vaginal exams, foetal heart monitor interpretations, etc. Doulas do not make decisions on behalf of the women or family. They always advise the woman to check with her caregiver before trying alternative remedies, i.e. herbs, homeopathies etc.
Does a doula replace my partner? Will he/she still have a role to play?
– No. Doula’s and partners work together to ensure that all the labouring Mom’s needs are met. While if you don’t have a partner a doula will be able to provide you all the support you need, if you do have a partner there will still be plenty your partner can do to support and assist you. In fact the doula will be helpful and supportive of your partner too. Most partners find they are able to be more relaxed, focused, confident and competent when they are guided by a doula.
Why do a need a doula?
– Women supported by a doula during labour have been shown to have:
50% reduction of caesarean rate
25% shorter labour
60% reduction in epidural requests
30% reduction in analgesia use
40% reduction in forceps delivery
Is the cost of a doula covered by medical aid?
– At this point, no, most medical aids do not cover the services of a doula. But the good news is that they very possibly will do so in the near future. For now you will need to cover the costs of a doula yourself. Consider the fact that a doula will do whatever possible to facilitate you having the birth you wanted. You are less likely to have more costly interventions if you have a supported and active labour, not to mention the priceless and lifelong emotional component of a happy and successful labour and birth.
When should I contact a doula?
– Whenever you would like to. Any time from about 12 weeks pregnant when you know your pregnancy is viable and healthy and you would like to start preparing for your birth. Ideally you should have booked your doula by the time you are 38 weeks pregnant, but even then it is not too late to plan and have the birth of your choice. So really any time is fine, but the sooner you make contact the more a doula can inform and prepare and guide you. Plus you will be more familiar with each other if you have had some time to get to know each other in the weeks and months before birth.
We are an alternative couple, is that a problem?
– Absolutely not. We are respectful and accepting of all people, and we pass no judgement. We are happy to support any person or couple who is wanting a memorable birth experience irrespective of their colour, culture, creed or sexual orientation etc.
Please see Services Offered for more details of the Birth Buddies labour services available.
If you have any further questions or would like to book your birth buddy please Contact Us.