Pregnancy and childbirth are unique life-changing experiences for women. While there are commonalities in the experience of pregnancy, each mother goes through it and childbirth differently, depending on their choices, preferences, and decisions.
Pregnant women can decide and prepare for the kind of birthing experience that they want. And an increasing number of mothers to be, with the support of their partners, are opting for minimal medical intervention during pregnancy and childbirth, preferring the natural way of giving birth.
Globally, 9 out of 10 births are normal. In the US, 6% of all births are attended to by midwives with the delivery occurring most often in hospitals but there are also those who choose to deliver their babies in birthing centers and private homes.
With so many things to consider and to prepare for in the course of their pregnancy and childbirth, pregnant women may choose to have someone by their side that will provide them with the emotional and physical support that not only she, but also their partner, and the family needs.
A doula might be that someone for you.
A doula is an experienced pregnancy companion that provides emotional, physical, and informational support to mothers or parents (especially those going through the experience for the first time) during the whole cycle of pregnancy and childbirth to ensure that you have a safe, healthy, and positive experience. Although not a medical professional, a doula is an experienced pregnancy companion that will be there to help you during pregnancy, childbirth, and early post-partum.
While not required, many doulas undergo a certification program that provides training on the skills needed by a doula to provide a high standard of service for moms, parents, and families alike. This training, coupled with the wealth of experience in being a pregnancy companion to mothers and parents to be and their families, enables doulas to provide the support and care needed.
There are generally two kinds of doulas – a birth doula and post-partum doula. A birth doula provides the emotional, physical, and informational support and care that you need during pregnancy, labor, and childbirth. A post-partum doula on the other hand helps moms, parents, and families during the early weeks of having the baby home after childbirth.
What are the benefits of having a doula?
In the course of pregnancy, women see their doctors for pre-natal check-ups a minimum 15 times to ensure a healthy pregnancy for moms and babies. For the most part, pregnant women are on their own, with their partners and select families or friends as their means of care and support.
This is where a doula comes in. Doulas can provide the constant and focused attention that you need to ensure your physical comfort during pregnancy through various techniques such as touch and massage, sleeping positions as your belly grows bigger, and to aid you in proper breathing. Doulas also serve as your emotional cheerleader, offering reassurance, comfort, support and encouragement throughout the ups and downs of pregnancy.
They can also serve as a go-between with your doctor and other medical professionals in your choice of birthing place (hospital or birthing center), thus relieving you, your partner, and your family from having to attend to items in your to-do list. A doula can help you come up with your birth plan to ensure that you get the birth experience that you want for yourself and your baby and family.
While research on the benefit of doulas during pregnancy and childbirth is still limited, the available studies so far have shown that having a doula accompany and provide you with constant and continuous support is associated with less reliance on pain medications during childbirth, decreased caesarian delivery, shortened labor time, and more positive childbirth experience.
Choosing the right doula that matches your needs
Having a doula accompany you and your family throughout the duration of your pregnancy and possibly until the early weeks of having your baby home is a personal decision based on your needs, preferences, and pregnancy goals.
There are certain things to keep in mind in choosing the right doula for you. You may want to look for a doula that has been trained and certified. You may also want to consider the length and breadth of their experience as a doula including how many pregnancies and births they have provided support for. You can also ask your doctor for a referral for a doula with a solid reputation. Also, the resources that you have available to hire a doula also matters. You would also want to know what services are included in the fee charged by a doula.
When you have narrowed down the list say to around 3, you may want to meet with your prospective doula to see how well they relate with you and your family. Before making a decision, you would want to know if you feel comfortable and have chemistry with any of the doulas you meet and that they support your pregnancy and childbirth goals.
Finding a doula near you
Naturally, you would like to find a doula that is near you for the pre-natal visits, accompaniment support during active labor, and post-partum visit. You should also find a doula that is accessible at any time through phone calls, messages, and email support for any concerns you may have.
The best place to start looking for a doula is through your doctor. Ask your doctor for a referral for doula services in the area. Make sure that you make it clear with your doctor your objective in looking for a doula so you can get the best referral possible.
One downside of not having a federal certification system for doulas in the US is that there is no central listing of all existing doulas in the US. However, there are online resources that will help you in your search for a doula in Westchester County. A good place to start would be browsing through an international doula training, certification, and education organization’s site or doula directories that have listings in your State.
Deciding on your doula
When it comes to acquiring the services of a doula in Westchester County, NY, the best place to search outside of your doctor’s referral is through online local doula registries. Just make sure that you keep in mind the checklist of the things that matter to you in making that final decision to hire the services of a doula.
You may also want to check out other social media platforms and online listings that provide information on available doulas. Make sure to read through reviews on doula services to lead you towards the best trained and most experienced doula.
And if you are looking for a deeply personal quality and standard of service and care, go for us at Northeast Doulas. We have a team of well-trained and highly experienced doulas that has served couples for nearly two decades towards a rewarding birthing experience.
Contact us today and let us know what you need. We look forward to giving you the support that you need in this special moment in your life.