Birth Doula Series: Labor and Delivery

November 3, 2022
by Alex Barr
Birth Doula Series: Labor and Delivery

How does a birth doula help you in labor and delivery?

Our second topic in this series is how a doula helps you during labor!

Here’s my disclaimer: all doulas offer different things so this may change depending on who you hire and this is something you could ask about when you first meet a doula!

First, a doula can help you mentally and physically prepare for labor in the prenatal period!

Then a doula can help you figure out if you’re even in labor. 

“Did my water break or did I just pee my pants?”

Doulas aren’t medical professionals but they can be another set of ears and support.

A doula can also suggest what things may encourage labor if you’re stuck in the early labor phase. Such as: acupressure points, position changes, and different movements.

Doulas can offer support and explain what’s normal and tell you what you can do to support each stage of labor.

Each doula typically has a different opinion on when they should show up to support you so this is something else you can talk to them about when you meet them!

But once a doula is with you in person they can provide comfort, encourage things to help labor move along or baby to move downward. They can also tell you to take a nap which is important during early labor!

They can also help you decide when to go to the birthing location! (your provider’s suggestion of when to arrive should be taken into account!)

Once in active labor and pushing stage they can provide more physical comfort measures, emotional support (affirmations, talking you through breathing exercises, hand holding).

Once at your birthing location they can help you and your support advocate for your wishes and preferences. They can help with translating medical jargon or making sure you and your support have time to discuss your options. 

Ultimately how a doula supports you will differ depending on the doula and how you want them to support you! So lot's of conversation beforehand should help you both decide how they can support you!

This is the second post in my Birth Doula Series, the first post is about how a birth doula supports you in pregnancy, and the final post will be about how your birth doula can help you in the postpartum period!