FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
The World Health Organization advises: "Avoid the systematic use of a package of interventions (“active management of labour”) to prevent possible labour delay because it is highly prescriptive and can undermine women’s choices and autonomy during care."
What is a Doula?
Doula is a greek word meaning woman who serves another woman. Alternative terms are birth companions, pregnancy and labour support person, birth coach. A doula is a non medical support person for the soon to be mother and her existing support team. They are a continuous support through pregnancy, labour and the post-natal period. They provide emotional, informational and practical support for the entire family.
What is DoLove?
DoLove is a training provider and directory service for NZ Doulas. But beyond that it is continued learning environment for Doulas and a community to share experiences to help other DoLove doulas to be the best for their clients. A community to ask questions of each other and have a team environment amongst very solo work. It is important for the support to have support also, Doula work is very emotive. DoLove is a community and family.
Why choose a DoLove Doula?
It is our aim for you to have a positive birth experience and postpartum. We do this through empowering you with informational, practical and emotional support. We can not and will not predict or guarantee any outcome, but without judgment, we will support you to a positive birth experience. We support the choices made between you and your health care professional and give you the tools to be an advocate for you and your babies health. We promise to do so for all diverse situations and free from our agenda or judgment. We will be there to assist you from a home birth with your midwife to a birth requiring an Obstetric team and intervention. We want your memories of this time to be of support, joy and pride.
What is the difference between a midwife and doula?
A midwife is there to support the pregnant person and her baby with medical needs. They are aiming for the healthiest and safest birth for you and baby. A doula is not medical, they are there to support you emotionally. They understand the medical process and can assists you to gain all information required to make an informed decision between you and your healthcare professional. They are both professionals working together to make sure you, your baby and your support team are fully supported.
What are the benefits of using a doula?
The benefits are feeling joy, supported and proud of your pregnancy and birth experience. The use of doulas is a fairly new concept in New Zealand but American statistics show that the use of a Doula lowers the occurrence of Postnatal depression and increased satisfaction. We can not promise an outcome and that the birth plan will be followed, your baby decides this. However, we will maintain an environment that feels most comfortable for you to feel in control and informed.
The often forgotten postpartum will be discussed, planned and positive.
What is the secret to a comfortable birth?
Pre-plan then go with the flow.
The hormones that help labour progress and relieve pain are naturally occurring in the body and work best in a calm, private, safe, connected, and nurtured environment. This is what a Doula does, individualises the environment to establish these feelings. By offering continuous physical and emotional support, doulas will help your labour work better.
Your body has a ‘flight or fight’ response to all situations you become uneasy or feel out of control. This is why we are teaching to become informed, practice and feel comfortable with your support team. Over prepare then go with the flow.
Will the Doula speak on my behalf?
No, A doula will teach you in your prenatals how to understand your own health and ask questions of your healthcare provider. They will teach you these skills for your labour however they are transferable to any health related concern in life. The skills learnt will be used to advocate for your children throughout parenthood. Also for you to take responsibility of your health.
Who is best suited to become a Doula?
A DoLove doula must be kind, open minded and forward thinking. Someone who is able to conform to what the client needs and is thoughtful of small pleasantries.
The nature of Doula work is flexible, on short notice and unpredictable. I envision someone for example a stay at home mum who has retired grandparents for childcare on short notice. The pay rate is generous and you select your own availabilities outside of your clients labour. We also welcome existing doulas to join the DoLove community, just send us an email.
What do the studies say?
A recent Cochrane review involving more than 15,000 women in a wide range of settings and circumstances found that "Women who received continuous labour support were more likely to give birth 'spontaneously', i.e. give birth with neither caesarean nor vacuum nor forceps. In addition, women were less likely to use pain medications, were more likely to be satisfied, and had slightly shorter labours. Their babies were less likely to have low five-minute Apgar score.”
Does using a doula decrease my length of labour?
A Doulas aim is to create a calm, relaxed, comfortable and in control feeling within the birthing space. This is very important and will be very individualised.
In control- informed, breathing coaching, comfort positions.
Comfortable- correct support people, appropriate language, positioning and pain relief. Relaxed- preplanning.
Calm- scents, lighting, movements and sounds.
With the sense of being in control, a woman will lower her catecholamine release (adrenaline and noradrenaline) sometimes known as ‘flight or fight’ response. If catecholamine release is high it slows the release of hormones such as oxytocin, estrogen and prostaglandins. These hormones are what make the cervix dilate, therefore progressing labour forward. The work a doula does is strategic and has a biochemical impact.
Can I use a doula if I am scheduled to have a C-Section?
Yes, absolutely. There will not be much that is instinctual about this process and we can help you to understand the C-section journey. You may not need the same length of time with your doula at the delivery but you will need more time in the postpartum. Whether that is initially postpartum at hospital or in the following weeks. All packages are able to be tailored and will be done according to what suits you best.