Many women these days have a desire to at least try to go unmedicated for all or most of their labor, and we love supporting that goal as doulas! If you are wondering just how in the world you are going to make it through, here are five ways that a doula can come alongside you and help you reach your goal when it is possible:
Hands-On Comfort Techniques
Doula and hands-on massage: the two go hand-in-hand! Doulas are professionally trained and familiar in a variety of hands-on techniques for relaxation, comfort, and pain relief during labor, including general massage, counter-pressure, and rebozo techniques. We also love to get your partner involved, and will pull him or her in as desired to show them exactly where and how to apply the pressure or give the massage.
Your Birth Class In Your Pocket
Did you take a birth class, or maybe read some books to prepare for labor? A doula is like having the cliff notes version right in your pocket, only better. Your doula will attune to what is happening to you in the moment, and offer you and your partner reminders and suggestions about various positions to increase comfort and promote progress. No Googling needed.
Use of Other Types of Therapies
A professional doula is familiar with many other tools and tips to work through labor. Whether you want to use essential oils (we recommend planning this ahead of time with a professional aromatherapist), water therapy such as the tub or shower, or hot and cold, we can watch what is happening in labor, and know when some of these other therapies just might be the next best thing for your relief during labor!
Doulas Set the Tone
During labor, all of your senses are heightened. Most people don't think about it, but slight tweaking of your space can totally change the mood and tone of your labor. In turn, this will promote the release of oxytocin, which is the labor hormone! Doulas create your space, by keeping the lights low, encouraging quiet voices or soft music, reminding you to stay hydrated and eat small bites if permitted, and engaging your sense of touch to increase comfort. We have lots of suggestions for things to pack in your bag ahead of time, and can also macgyver a more peaceful setting in just about any situation!
Doulas Specialize in Communication
When things get tough, sometimes you need more than just physical support. Almost every laboring woman hits a wall at some point (thank you hormones!) Professional doulas are trained in communication techniques to work through difficult points of labor, which often help to get you past your stuck point. A professional doula will also offer unbiased and non-judgemental guidance in understanding the benefits, risks, and possible alternatives when making decisions about medical pain relief options, or other interventions during labor, so that you always feel confident about whatever happens next!
For the best doula support in the greater Cincinnati and Dayton region, get in touch with us today! We love supporting the individual goals of all of our clients, including natural birth.