Studies: Why Hire a Doula? 

Many studies have been conducted regarding the continuous support of a trained doula during labour and birth and how it enhances the experience for the woman and affects the outcome of birth. These studies shows that women who brought along a doula, whom they had built a relationship with during pregnancy, and who stayed with the woman until a few hours after baby was born, as a group had:

  • Reduced chances of getting a C-section (1-7)
  • Reduced epidural or other painkiller use (1-4,7,8)
  • Reduced use of oxytocin (Pitocin) (1,2,4,6,7)
  • Reduced duration of labour (1-6)
  • Reduced use of forceps and vacuum extractions (1,2,4,5)
  • Reduced chances of health complications and hospitalisations of baby (2,3)
  • Reduced chances of maternal fever and infection (2)
  • Reduced maternal bleeding following birth (5)
  • Increased chances of successful breastfeeding (4,9-12)
  • Reduced incidence of post-partum depression (4,10)
  • Reduced levels of anxiety (4)
  • Result in a more positive birth experience (4,8,13)
  • Mothers feel more in control (9,13)
  • Increased chance of spontaneous vaginal birth (6)
  • Mothers have higher regard and increased sensitivity towards babies (4,10)
  • Mothers feel more secure (14)
(Source: The Australian Doula College)

BIRTH DOULA SERVICES

Professional labour and birth support, known as a doula, brings an amazing energy and insight into your birth experience. Birth doulas do not take the place of the husband, partner, midwife, nurses, or doctors, but rather work with all birth attendants in accordance with the mother's birth vision to help her have the most optimal labour and birthing experience she can.


Research has shown that hiring a doula can cut the chances of medical interventions such as inductions, epidurals, instrumental births and caesareans by almost half. Women are less likely to request pain relief, tend to have shorter labours and have a more positive outlook of their birthing experience. So what are doulas and what do they do?


Doulas are women specially trained to offer continuous emotional, practical and informational support before, during and after childbirth to encourage the most satisfying and empowering experience for the mother and her family.


I am able to bring to your birthing journey my knowledge and experience as an Acupuncturist. Acupuncture is a powerful modality that compliments birth perfectly. There are many tools I can use to aid your labour naturally and this helps avoid any medical intervention. In your initial consultation I will asses your general health and devise a treatment plan. In my experience having acupuncture throughout your pregnancy greatly assists in having minimal complications in pregnancy and birth. 


Here is a brief summary of the main benefits of doula support : 

  • Emotional support
  • Health support
  • A comprehensive individualised birth plan
  • Reduced fear and anxiety
  • Personalised care
  • Holistic monitoring of your health using Acupuncture + TCM
  • Regulate the effects of stress on the body
  • Help with sleep patterns
  • Support for the family as a whole
  • Learn how to make informed decisions that are right for you
  • Care without agenda, judgement or expectation
  • Less likely to have an induction or augmentation of labour
  • Less likely to feel the need to request pain relief
  • Shorter labours
  • Less likely to have an instrumental birth
  • Less likely to need a Caesarean
  • More positive outlook of birth
  • Less likely to suffer from postnatal depression
  • Smoother transition into parenthood
  • Support with breastfeeding
  • Higher self-esteem and sense of empowerment


Before the birth

I'll meet you and your partner (if you have one, they aren't compulsory!) at least twice. More often if you require acupuncture on a regular basis. These are usually 30mins to two hour sessions - depending on what needs to be discussed. 

Topics often include:
  • debriefing previous births
  • learning about the physiological process of birth: what helps and what hinders
  • finding out what makes the woman feel relaxed and safe in everyday situations
  • discussing techniques to cope with the sensations of labour
  • thinking about how your partner can support you
  • working through any anxieties and talking through your hopes
  • exploring your birth preferences
  • learning about how to communicate with and get good information from your midwives or doctors
  • practicalities
    
I'm also available by phone and email at any time during your pregnancy and have a library of books, CDs and DVDs that I am happy to lend.

During your birth

I'll join you whenever you feel you need me and will usually accompany you from home to hospital or arrive before you call the midwives to a homebirth.

My role will depend on how you feel on the day. I'll fill whatever gap exists at the time be it on the practical side (getting bags together, reminding you to eat and drink, calling taxis, filling birth pools, letting midwives in), directly supporting you with unobtrusive encouragement, physical support, breathing with you and/or reassuring your partner, giving them suggestions and reminding them to take a breather every now and then.

I'll stay with you until after your baby is born, helping promote a safe and undisturbed space for you to bond, encouraging you during your first feeding session, helping you have the best shower/bath of your life, making tea and snacks and generally making sure you are happy, comfortable and confident before I leave.

After your birth

I'll return at least twice to see you. These visits are useful to talk through your birth, discuss feeding and sleeping, try out slings, get help with any bits and bobs you aren't sure of, moan about your relatives/visitors and most importantly have someone make you a sandwich and a cuppa.

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Simone Stolmack  - Qualified Doula  - Eastern Suburbs, Sydney