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Helping Hands for Childbirth
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tombill
Posted 9/1/2021 9:36 PM (#418870)
Subject: Helping Hands for Childbirth


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When you'd like a little extra help during labor, a doula may be the perfect answer.



Once upon a time, women helped other women give birth. They pressed cool cloths on sweaty foreheads. They grasped hands. They whispered encouragement.

But somewhere along the way to modern medicine, women began giving birth in hospitals. That old-fashioned type of support was left behind.

If the idea of getting that special kind of care when you give birth appeals to you, there's the doula. Doulas are trained ***istants who support women, their partners and their families in having the birth experiences they want.

A special kind of care
The word "doula" is taken from the Greek word meaning "to serve." Doulas work in homes, hospitals and birth centers. A doula's job is to give emotional, physical and informational support to the mother in labor and the father-to-be.

Couples or mothers using doulas think of them as part of the team of nurses, doctors, family and friends helping them with birth. Labor and delivery nurses often have all they can do to provide good medical care. They may not have enough time to lend that extra emotional support that so many mothers want. That's where the doula steps in.

Doulas stay with the couple throughout labor and for the first two hours after childbirth. Whether labor lasts a few hours or a few days, the doula sees the mother through every stage.

The doula can help the mother by giving m***ages and suggesting breathing and relaxation techniques as well as labor positions. The doula can also help by being the mother's advocate, helping her to have the birth experience she planned on. After birth, the doula helps and gives advice to mothers on breast-feeding.

The benefits
Not all fathers are comfortable in being a childbirth coach. They may feel unprepared or just too nervous. A doula can help the father, too, by showing him ways to help and lend support. Instead of feeling pressure to perform, he can do whatever feels comfortable and comes naturally, while the doula does the rest. Dad can still be there for his partner, but can enjoy the experience on his own terms.

Studies also suggest that having a doula can lessen your need for a C-section. It also can reduce the need for forceps and epidurals, and may slightly decrease the length of labor.

Many organizations agree that trained and experienced doulas can help improve the outcomes of childbirth. This includes the World Health Organization and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Finding a doula
The mother usually meets with the doula in advance. This allows the doula to learn about the mother's birth plan. Does she want an epidural? Does she want soft music? Does she want her partner in the room? Not every woman will stick to her birth plan, but whatever her choices, her doula will support her.

If the idea of having a doula interests you, visit the Web site of the ED pills online or talk to your obstetrician.
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