We work in tandem with Chicago Family Doulas, a full-service doula agency that was created to provide families with the most professional, compassionate and personalized support. Chicago Family Doulas sincerely understands the importance of birth and postpartum support. We know that the transition to becoming a family or adding to your family is such a precious time and we want your family to be able to enjoy this experience.
Whether you are seeking a birth doula, postpartum doula, childbirth classes, support groups or placenta encapsulation services, you can depend on Chicago Family Doulas to provide the most high quality support.
What is a doula?
Doula is a Greek word meaning “a woman who serves.” The doula is there to attune to the mother and meet her spoken and unspoken needs during childbirth. While midwives and obstetricians provide medical support to ensure the physical safety of the mother and baby, doulas provide the nonclinical emotional support needed to have a satisfying birth. Childbirth is more than the act of delivering a baby; it is a rite of passage that involves major emotional hurdles.
The presence of a doula can make the mother feel more confident in her abilities, and ultimately leads to a stronger bond between the mother and baby. In addition, the presence of a doula in the delivery room led to better obstetric outcomes and dramatically less interventions. A 2011 study of 15,000 women found that doula-supported women were 28% less likely to have a Caesarean section, 31% less likely to use Pitocin augmentation and 9% less likely to use pain medication.
A doula has no agenda. She is not there to talk the woman out of pain medications. Her job is to help the woman have a safe and satisfying birth as she defines it. Rather than making decision for the mother, the doula empowers the parents-to-be by helping them gather information to make an informed decision. She acts as an advocate for the woman, and a liaison of communication between the parents-to-be and the hospital staff.
Together the doula and the partner make the perfect support team for the woman. A doula can gauge how involved the partner wishes to be and guide them to get involved within their comfort level. Partners often feel reassured that the pressure to support the mother is not solely on them, and they can more fully enjoy the birth experience.
How does doula support work?
In preparation for the birth, the doula may help design a birth plan, discuss choices in childbirth, comfort measures and coping methods, risks/benefits of various choices and procedures, and discuss post-partum adjustment and expectations. The doula is available through the pregnancy to answer questions that may arise. Once labor begins, the doula provides continuous labor support and may meet the mother at her home or at the hospital, depending on her preference. The doula provides continuous labor support, and in the case of very long labors, the back-up doula may be called in.
During labor, the doula can suggest comfort measures such as different positions, breathing techniques, cold/hot compresses, warm baths and showers and guided visualization. As questions come up, the doula can offer information and help the couple become aware of all their options. When the going gets tough, the doula can reassure and encourage the mother, guide her through the experience and tell her what to expect next. Post-partum, the doula will help the baby to secure a latch, and help with breastfeeding.
Who would benefit?
Any laboring woman could benefit from doula support, especially first-time mothers, women who aren’t fully comfortable with their providers, women with a spouse or partner attending the birth, victims of sexual abuse, women over 40, and women prone to long labors. Doula support isn’t just for women who want natural births; however Chicago Family Doulas can help you educate yourself about various procedures and interventions.
Read testimonials from Chicago Family Doulas