Career Tips: Information On Midwife Or Doula

An article describing what a doula is and what s/he does.How to get into the birthing business.

A Doula is a person, usually a woman, who assists another woman shortly before, during, and after labor. The word Doula comes from a Greek word and loosely translates to, "caretaker of women."

The decision to become a Doula is a personal one. It is one chosen out of love for other human beings, to help them in what is probably the most vulnerable time of their lives. Giving birth.

No matter how much research a woman does about the birth process, nothing can prepare a woman for the actual event. Though birth is a natural process, it remains to be scary for many women. It is a time when a woman can feel virtually helpless, and needs someone there on her side to look out for her.

I am not saying that the doctors, and nurses are not there to help the woman, but that these people have a greater job to do, than comfort the patient. They not only have to see to the care of the laboring woman, but also the shortly emerging baby.

This is where the Doula comes in. She is there for the mom-to-be. That is the Doula's main concern. She is aware of many of the things that go on during birth, but her main concern is to make the woman as comfortable as possible during labor.

Many fathers are concerned that having a Doula will leave them out of the birthing process. Quite the contrary, the Doula wants the father to be as involved as possible. Men who have voiced this concern before the birth, have come back after the birth, and said just how much they appreciated the Doula being there. They felt less pressure on them, to do or say the right thing. The Doula lets them know that what they need to be doing. The Doula is there to help the mother when the father needs a break. Most fathers say that they would prefer a Doula at a future birth.

A Doula typically visits a couple of times before the baby is due to talk to the parents and answer any questions they may have about the birth. The Doula finds out what the mother expects from the birth (for example, if the mother wants to move around during labor, what kinds of measures the mother is comfortable with, etc.).

The Doula questions the mother about preferences she may have. A big question is whether the mother will want any type of medications for the labor, and if so, at what point she may want them.

The Doula does not tell the woman what she should do, but rather lets the mother/father be aware of options they may have. The Doula lets the mother make all the decisions she needs for her own birth and will support whatever decision the mother makes.

After the birth of the baby, the Doula helps the mother with breastfeeding if this is what the mother has chosen. She will stay after the birth as long as the mother needs or wants.

About a week or so after the baby arrives, the Doula meets with the mother/father to answer any questions they may have about the birth. Sometimes during labor, a laboring woman's perceptions of time, or what was said, or what happened is slightly off due to the amount of concentration she had put into the birth. The mother/father and Doula can talk about what was done and why.

Mostly, the Doula reassures the woman that her birth experience was perfect for her. That she did what she thought was right for both her and her baby. Sometimes the birth doesn't go exactly as planned in the beginning, and the mother feels as if she did something wrong. The Doula lets the woman know that the choices she made were correct and that her birth was a wonderful experience.

If you choose to be a Doula, you won't become financially rich, but you will become rich in every other way that counts. Being a Doula has to be one of the most fulfilling jobs there can be. How many miracles in life do you usually get to see? When you are a Doula, you get to see as many miracles as the births you attend.

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