photo courtesy of Burning Silver Photography
Doula \ˈdü-lə\ – a woman experienced in childbirth who provides advice, information, emotional support, and physical comfort to a mother before, during, and just after childbirth. (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)
Wanda Sundermann is a certified doula, ICD, through ICEA. She has been a practicing doula in the triangle area since 1990. She has attended over 600 births, in hospitals, homes and birth centers. In combining her skills as a massage therapist and birth doula she offers birthing couples comprehensive support for their birth.
Wanda is no longer accepting new doula clients.
THE BENEFITS OF HAVING A DOULA AT YOUR BIRTH
Research shows that having a doula at births can reduce the length of labor, decrease the use of epidurals, pitocin, c-section and forceps delivery. (Kennell, et al, 1991)
Also, having a doula at your birth can improve your relationship with your partner in the months after the birth. (Hofmeyer, et al, 1991: Wolman, 1993).
Having a doula at a birth can help the woman and her partner in a variety of ways. Some of those are:
- Help the woman find positions that can be more comfortable for labor.
- Help the woman and her partner establish relaxation-inducing breathing patterns.
- Reassure the couple that the intensity of labor is normal.
- Help them stay at home as long as possible where the mother feels most relaxed and comfortable.
- Offer massage and counter pressure to relieve pain and discomfort.
- Give the partner a chance to take a break.
- Give the partner ideas on how he or she can support the mother.
- Help the couple decide when it is time to leave for the birth center or hospital.
- Help the couple get the information they need to make decisions about interventions that might be suggested.
- Be a trained observer in the birthing room.
- Help with the first breastfeeding experience.
- Take pictures.
- Bring food and drinks to the mother and partner.