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The word "doula" pronounced as Doo - La, comes from ancient Greek meaning "a woman who serves" . Today, this word is used to refer to a trained and experienced professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and just after birth. Essentially a doula believes in ‘mothering the mother’. This type of support allows the whole family to relax and enjoy the experience too.
There are many benefits to using a doula. Over the past few years, many studies have indicated that using a professional doula at childbirth ensures that labors are shorter with fewer complications, babies are healthier and they breastfeed more easily. Additionally a doula can ease the transition that comes with the addition of a baby to a family, improve parental satisfaction and reduce the risk of mood disorders.
However before you hire a doula, here are a few important questions to check if she is qualified and a good match for you:
Where are you qualified from?
Doulas are trained and certified by a number of international groups such as DONA International and Childbirth International. Recently in India, formal, certified doula training courses have become available at the Childbirth and Postpartum Professionals Association (CAPPA India)
How many births have you attended?
Asking a doula how many births she has attended will help you gauge her experience levels and enhance your confidence in her
Do you have any other medical training or related expertise?
Some doulas are also trained nurses, childbirth educators, lamaze instructures, yoga teachers, massage therapists, or lactation consultants.
From when will you be with me ?
It is important to ask your doula from when will she be with you. Some doulas will wait until you’re at the hospital or in active labor, while others will prefer to move in with you a few days before your due date. Similarly it is important to know how many days after your delivery will be be in your service.
Do you have references?
It’s a great idea if you can talk to the doula’s past clients to find out if they had a positive birthing experience with her.
What is your birth philosophy and approach?
It’s important to ask the doula on her birthing philisophy especially, with reference to pain relief options such as a epidural etc. and what she can do to help you avoid a C-section— barring an emergency. You can also ask her how she can help release fear, ease stress and move labor along effectively.
Here are a few doula services in Bangalore