After having a couple of my own children, I started to realize my passion concerning pregnancy, labor, delivery and breast-feeding. I started asking around my friends to see if any of them would allow me to be present during the birth of their child. Lucky for me, I have friends that said yes.
Then, the baby boom started in my church and I started having the opportunity more than I expected. The more I attended/assisted labor and delivery, the more passionate I became. For several years I have known that I wanted to become a doula one day. I just needed to wait for the right time.
For those of you who may be wondering, "What the heck is a doula?". I'll just give you a brief description straight from the CAPPA (Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association web site)
The following is a general description of what you might expect from a CAPPA certified labor doula. Typically, doulas meet with the parents in the second or third trimester of the pregnancy to get acquainted and to learn about prior birth experiences and the history of this pregnancy. She may help you develop a birth plan, teach relaxation, visualization, and breathing skills useful for labor. Most importantly, the doula will provide comfort, support, and information about birth options.
A doula can help the woman to determine prelabor from true labor and early labor from active labor. At a point determined by the woman in labor, the doula will come to her and assist her by:
- Helping her to rest and relax
- Providing support for the woman's partner
- Encouraging nutrition and fluids in early labor
- Assisting her in using a variety of helpful positions and comfort measures
- Constantly focus on the comfort of both the woman and her partner
- Helping the environment to be one in which the woman feels secure and confident
- Providing her with information on birth options
A doula works cooperatively with the health care team. In the event of a complication, a doula can be a great help in understanding what is happening and what options the family may have. The doula may also help with the initial breastfeeding and in preserving the privacy of the new family during the first hour after birth.I am actually very excited to start this process. I will update as things progress.