ADoula is a person who provides emotional and physical support to you during your pregnancy and childbirth. Doulas are not medical professionals. They don't deliver babies or provide medical care. A doula doesn't replace nursing or other medical staff. She doesn't examine you, take measurements, or do other clinical tasks. Doulas help pregnant women and their families during this exciting but challenging experience. Doulas can perform different roles, depending on your needs. Labor or birth doulas provide continuous care during labor.Antepartum doulassupport women who are put on bed rest to prevent preterm labor. They help with household tasks and childcare. Postpartum doulas support the new mom during the first few weeks after birth. They help with care and feeding of the baby and household tasks. Before childbirth, a birth doula will typically meet with you to get acquainted, teach you relaxation and breathing skills, answer your questions about the birthing process, help you understand labor and delivery procedures and possible complications, help you develop a birth plan. During labor, the doula will stay with you constantly to provide comfort and support. This is important because of the different and changing shifts of providers and hospital staff. Your Doula will use massage and touch to help you relax and rest, help you get into comfortable positions, help suggest and implement comfort measures, help you get adequate nutrition and fluids, and involve and reassure the dad-to-be. After delivery a Doula can help by providing support and encouragement to both you and dad after bringing your baby home assist with initial breastfeeding help and education, support dad and other siblings and teach them how to help you. A doula can help you and the dad-to-be have a positive and safe birth experience. Studies show that women who use a doula have shorter labors, are less likely to need a C-section, request less pain medication, have good experiences with breastfeeding, and have a more positive childbirth experience! WebMD (modified)
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