Mar 3, 2017

Preparing Parents to Work with a Doula

Expectant parents who’ve made the decision to engage doula support need a solid understanding of what to expect from this partnership. Below are tips you can provide to your patients about how they can establish a successful relationship with their doula and work together to ensure the best results on the day of birth.

Select a doula who’s right for you

Parents should interview a few doulas in order to find someone who’s professional, reliable and the best fit for them. Doulas should willingly provide references, as well as a contract outlining their services.

Encourage parents to find out each doula’s professional strengths. For example, does she know specialized massage techniques or have training in a certain birthing method? Parents may not realize what questions they need to ask to ensure they get the support they need. Here are some great questions parents can use when interviewing prospective doulas.

Understand the doula’s role

Parents need to understand the differences between doulas and midwives and OBGYNs and nurses.

Doulas provide non-medical support during pregnancy, birth, and postpartum experiences. This includes childbirth preparation; educational resources throughout pregnancy; and emotional, logistical, and physical support during labor.

Doulas do not perform medical tasks such as taking blood pressure, performing vaginal exams, or offering medical treatment to moms and babies.

Understand their own role

Working with a doula is a two-way street and parents must understand their own roles during pregnancy and labor. Discussing expectations with the doula and learning what their responsibilities are can help avoid unnecessary confusion and conflicts.

Working with a doula can be a wonderful enhancement to pregnancy and birth. When parents take the time to select the right doula for their needs and realize they have an active role in working with the doula, everyone can benefit from the experience.

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