Whether you’re a first time mom or 5th time mom, doulas can be a welcome addition to your birth space. Samantha, a professional doula from Roots of Wellness Birth Services, was kind enough to answer some common questions about how doulas help support laboring mothers. For moms who are based in South Korea, you are in luck as Samantha is currently serving the Osan area.
A birth doula is a companion who supports you during labor and birth. Birth doulas provide continuous, one-on-one care, as well as information, physical and emotional support to you and your partner. There are different types of doulas: Birth, Postpartum, Bereavement, or a mixture. I joke that I need certifications in everything, but really, I want to be able to provide knowledge and encouragement. If I can make someone’s transition to mom life easier than that’s what I will do!
I am certified through Birth Arts International as a Birth Doula. Currently, I am working on my Breastfeeding Educator and Childbirth Educator certifications through Birth Arts International. I am certified as a Personal Trainer and Pre/Postnatal Fitness Specialist through American Fitness Professionals & Associates and then my Health Certification is through Dr. Sears Wellness Institute. I believe that a healthy pregnancy involves Nutrition, Fitness, and Birth support. I am also a certified Hypno-Doula which focuses on techniques through Hypnobabies. This technique was super beneficial with both of my births.
Overall, mamas who received continuous support were more likely to have spontaneous vaginal births and less likely to have any pain medication, epidurals, negative feelings about childbirth, vacuum or forceps-assisted births, and Cesareans.
In addition, their labors were shorter by about 40 minutes and their babies were less likely to have low Apgar scores at birth. There is a smaller amount of evidence that doula support in labor can lower postpartum depression in mothers. There is no evidence for negative consequences to continuous labor support.
My personal belief (as a Doula) is to get the spouse involved in as much of the birth process as they want. Prenatal visits allow me to teach your spouse how to provide physical support so that in times like COVID, they can be prepared. Now if I am physically at a birth, I provide support to both parents. If your spouse is doing a great job at physically supporting you, then I will tend to your emotional needs.
If you want alone time, I will step out and grab something for the spouse to eat. Having a doula there helps the spouse and allows them to step out to update family or get some rest while knowing that you are fully supported. I have noticed in my 8+ births that the spouse has looked to me for guidance and assurance of what is “common” within a birth. They can adjust their reactions to birth situations and remain calm because as a Doula I am calm. The parents are able to have a sounding board for decisions and a chance to breathe if needed.
Yes! I also provide virtual support for your birth. I can be on facetime, text, or calls to support you during your birth. Just like in person, I can give guidance to your spouse on what can be done for positions and comfort measures.
Currently, I provide in-person prenatal visits where I teach your spouse how to physically support you in birth. I provide handouts of statements the partner can say during the birth, and other resources to provide care that is similar to a doula. We are a team, and I will do my best to support you.
Thank you Samantha for sharing your experience!! Mamas if you are in the market for a doula be sure to visit Samatha’s website.