‘Pregnancy and birth are precious miracles of life. This time deserves to be appreciated with joyous enthusiasm and respect. Love, patience and gentle care encourages this time of your life with the compassion that is needed…’
What is a Doula or a Birth Companion?
‘Doula’ is the Greek word, meaning ‘in the service of women’. A doula-birth companion offers continuous support to the mother, her partner and her baby before, during and after birth.
An expectant mother knows she needs to birth. It is for this reason that she and her partner need to prepare themselves throughout the pregnancy and for the birthing experience.
In a study done for her Master’s degree in 2013, Carly Abramovitz, a Clinical Psychologist in Cape Town, concluded the role of a doula clearly:
“The medical world defines doula services a non-medical. A doula offers emotional and physical support, that does not replace the midwife or father.”
30 Years of studies are available in South Africa, which have already clinically proven the benefits of doula work:
- shortened labour
- less interventions during birth, e.g. synthetic oxytocin (inductions/augmentation), use of pain medication and the use of instruments
- caesarian birth rate is reduced
The medical world also acknowledges that emergency caesarian births and the use of intervention can be traumatic, which contributes to post natal depression. Medical procedures based on birth as a pathological condition contributes to lower infant mortality, but also less satisfied moms. Doula support can help address this issue.”
The role as a Doula is to:
- encourage objectivity and a positive outlook during pregnancy and the birth experience (birth plan)
- appreciate and respect your individuality and serve your needs
- encourage the holistic approach of lifestyle choices (diet, exercise, stress, relaxation) so that you can grow in responsibility towards your own health and wellbeing
- respect and facilitate emotional stress release with previous trauma, including previous traumatic birth experiences.
The role of the expectant mother and father is to engage into pregnancy and natural birth by:
- trusting the care givers involved
- applying their intent, knowledge and wisdom
- learning experiences towards objectivity in pregnancy and birth
- making good informed choices and preferences for themselves and their preferred birthing environment
Please note that we do not have Doula’s at our practice but can give you a list of doula’s who we know have experience and accreditation to accompany you to your birth venue of choice (if not at home).