Submitted by Celine Laursen–I have been creating a list of doulas on the islands. The count is currently at six, mostly women from the south-end, so please contact me if you are, or if you know anyone who is a doula.
A doula can be a trusted friend or relative who is knowledgeable about birth. She is a woman who is trained formally or otherwise, to provide continuous physical, emotional, and spiritual support to a woman during labour, birth, and the immediate postpartum period. The birth process is an amazing, natural, and exciting time in a woman and her partner’s lives. A doula offers support to the couple or to a single woman, in their choices surrounding birth.
The role of a doula is invaluable to most labouring women. Studies show that having a doula in attendance can shorten labours, lessen complications, and reduce caesarean rates. Women request less pain medication, and there are fewer interventions. If you plan to birth on these islands, these indications become even more important. Babies also have better outcomes when the mother is supported by a doula. They are shown to have shorter hospital stays, breastfeed more easily, and bond more easily with mama.
How does this work? A doula takes the time to get to know the mother and her partner to build trust and to provide clarity with any concerns they may have. She is available to discuss any issues arising during pregnancy, and is with the mother continuously during her labour. She will offer methods for relaxation and comfort to allow mama to be as stress-free as possible. She can also help bring back ritual and a more spiritual aspect to pregnancy and birthing.
Bringing a doula into the birth isn’t like bringing in some new magic. She just helps keep the magic that is already there. If you would like to have more information about doulas or other birthing issues, or for a current list of doulas on-island, please contact me at the women’s center 559-4743.
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