~The Purpose and Value of Birth Support ~
The importance of labor support during childbirth has been proven to be highly beneficial for the mother and family. The doula provides information on the course of labor and options before, during and after birth. This allows the family to be more educated in their birth options and more confidant with medical professionals. The presence of a doula can contribute to more positive obstetric outcomes, lowered caesarean rates, and less intervention with pain medications.
Having labor support also provides the family with continuous emotional and physical support, allowing for the overall experience to be more relaxed and reassuring. With this kind of support it can strengthen the bond between mother, family, and baby. The support of a labor professional can allow for the overall experience of childbirth to be more positive.
The continuous support of a birth doula helps with pain management using a variety of techniques to reduce pain. Touch, movement, breath, and voice all aid in easing the laboring process.
The purpose of providing labor support for women and families during such an important event is to foster strong relationships between mother, baby and family. Birth has a tremendous long lasting impact on the overall health and well-being of the mother, family, and child. Those positive interactions at the very beginning of each families’ growth fundamentally determines our future as a society at large. As a whole we can function with a better understanding of the sacredness of life if it starts at birth.
Doulas contributing to the modern maternity care are striving to improve the psychosocial outcomes of childbirth along with the vast advancements of safety in childbirth. The doulas responsibility is primarily to her client. Practicing always with an obligation to serve also fosters self determination on the part of her clients while maintaining respect for the clients confidentiality and privacy. Doulas as birth professionals should always be striving to advance and uphold the values, ethics, and knowledge of the mission. Always encouraging themselves and other doulas to stand by “A Doula for Every Woman Who Wants One” is important in assisting the vision of DONA as a whole.
Promoting the general wellness and health of women and their babies is also a great responsibility carried out by a doula. The role of the doula is to provide physical and emotional support and aide in collecting information for women and their partners and family during labor and birth. The doula offers techniques of comfort, breathing, relaxation, movement and positioning during labor. Doulas do not offer medical advice, skills, or tasks to the client, instead they are a continuous emotional and physical support. The role a doula is trained for is to assist the woman in being informed through the course of birthing and to attend each woman in having a safe and satisfying experience as she defines it. Coming from a neutral place the doula does not impose her beliefs or opinions on the situation, instead she is supportive and empowering for the mother.
The doula is there to support the partner and family as well, coaching them on how to guide their loved ones during labor. The doula can facilitate active support from family and partners to the laboring mother. This is greatly beneficial for fathers and friends so they too are feeling appreciated and involved in the enhancement of the experience.
The overall goal is to be sincerely serving the birthing mother at all times and her vision of the birth as a rite of passage. ~
Written By Theresa Anne (2012)