Generally speaking, a doula assists the mother and her family both physically and emotionally during the childbirth process. An informed doula will give the mother all the options available and supports the mother in those choices. Many times, a doula will be able to give the family information that is not found in many birthing books. I have asked women who have had a doula during their childbirth if they thought it was a wise decision to spend the money for that service. Their answers were all the same: they couldn’t have done it without them!
There are 3 different types of doulas, for the different phases of child birth: prenatal, childbirth and postnatal doulas. Many times the doula will be with the family in their home taking care of chores and helping the mother have valuable bonding time with her child. The postpartum doula will also help the mom with breastfeeding advice. Doulas teach how to employ healing modalities that facilitate self-direction in mothers and families. The extra help will take the pressure off of the support people so they can be there for the mom emotionally, without the fear of making wrong decisions based on lack of knowledge.
Doulas look out for the needs of the mother-to-be and their families in both hospital and home births. They are trained in controversial topics and procedures and help provide a nurturing environment in which the mother is comfortable. Many times doctors will want to “facilitate” the process though at times it is not the best option for the mom to be. Doulas can provide a collaborative solution between doctors, midwives and the family when things don’t go as planned. They are there to keep everyone’s nerves calm and to help the mother navigate a smooth birth.
Having a background in massage therapy will be extremely beneficial to those moms who choose The Muscle Relaxers for their doula. Guided meditation and qigong techniques will help the mother focus healing energy inwards and provide strength when needed. When the time is right, pressing on reflexology points on the feet are known to provide a safe induction for the uterus to begin contracting. The knowledge of relaxation and breathing techniques will undoubtedly be invaluable for a smooth transition to motherhood.