Doulas on the rise

Filed under: Your Pregnancy, Health & Safety: Babies

doula at workFrom the tipline: A doula trainer and mentor, writes that as 2006 begins, she is "seeing more young mothers (and some men!) seeking training and certification as doulas so they can give back to their community. These women will be volunteering some of their time and talents supporting teens and low income women who labor and give birth.  This is a very positive thing in a very me-oriented society!"  As some who used doulas with both of my births—one certified doula with the first and two midwifery students with the second—I find this very encouraging. I strongly support the concept of doulas. I credit my doulas with helping to facilitate two, relatively quick, drug-free births.

The word doula is Greek for "woman who supports or serves."  A doula is someone who accompanies a woman in labor. She "mothers the mother," taking care of her emotional needs throughout childbirth.  My doulas also ran interference between myself and the nurses helping to ensure that I stuck to my (very loose) birth plan. A doula also provides support and suggestions for partners that can enhance their experiences of birth. My doulas all offered laboring and pain-coping advice. The fact that more people are interested in serving laboring women hopefully means only good things for those women and the families they are creating or expanding. For more info on doulas click here or here.

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.