WHAT’S THE DOULA’S ROLE DURING CHILDBIRTH?
Recently giving birth with a doula has become all the rage. It might seem like something new but in fact, doulas have been around for centuries. It’s not a coincidence that many paintings of women giving birth depict a few other women, helping the mother. The word “doula” comes from Greek and means “a woman who serves”.
The doula is a companion who has undergone the required training. They are not doctors or midwifes and they do not examine the pregnant woman or give her medication. Hiring a doula doesn’t exempt you from going to your OB/GYN appointments.
Doulas can help before, during or after childbirth. When you need them the most, is up to you. You can discuss this with your doula at your first meeting, which is usually around the third trimester.
HOW CAN THE DOULA HELP?
The job of the doula is to prepare future parents for the birth and initial upbringing of the child, as well as to offer emotional support. They are the people you can always look for when you need advice.
As already mentioned, doulas are not medical professionals. They work in collaboration with the medical team. However, each doula is aware of the childbirth process. To facilitate childbirth, they can offer various breathing techniques and non-medication analgesia. These include walks, massages, warm showers or changes in the position of the body.
Doulas are mediators between doctors and women during the delivery. They can explain to the woman the upcoming manipulations so she can make an informed decision. Doulas do not impose their opinion and do not question medical decisions.
DOULAS IN BULGARIA
The association of Bulgarian Doulas has existed for several years now. It consists of about 20 women and one man who are qualified to practice this profession. Unfortunately, they do not have members from Plovdiv, but they will be happy to answer your questions.
Studies have shown that women who give birth with a doula are more relaxed and less likely to suffer complications or need analgesia. Doula-assisted childbirth can definitely be a unique experience, but remember that you should always inform the hospital you’ve chosen beforehand.