As a prenatal chiropractor
we partner with, and recommend, many different types of birth providers to our practice members in Jacksonville. Of course, each expecting family will need to select an OB/GYN, a pediatrician, maybe a midwife and a lactation consultant, but what about a doula? Doula’s can be an integral part of your birth journey and we highly recommend pairing yourself with an experienced, professional provider.
What is a doula?
According to DONA:
a trained professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to a mother before, during and shortly after childbirth to help her achieve the healthiest, most satisfying experience possible.
What do doula’s do?
Doulas nurture and support the birthing family throughout labor and birth.
Their primary role is to provide continuous labor support to the birthing family, no matter what decisions the mother makes or how she gives birth. The doula’s role is tied solely to the birthing family’s needs & agenda. In other words, a doula’s primary responsibility is to them—not to a hospital administrator, nurse, midwife, or doctor.
Doulas provide a wide array of support to the birthing person including:
- Physical Support
- Emotional Support
- Partner Support
- Evidence-Based Information and Advocacy
Benefits of doulas
According to one of our birth-provider partners, Mumda:
The many benefits of hiring a certified birth doula are recognized by the World Health Organization and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
Several studies show that a doula’s continuous support, practical knowledge, and labor enhancing techniques help to reduce pain and anxiety in laboring women. When a laboring woman is less frightened and feels less pain, her labor is more likely to progress without the need for interventions.
Research shows that a doula’s presence during labor and birth results in the following positive outcomes:
- reduction in the rate of cesareans
- reduction in epidural requests
- reduction in the use of Pitocin (a contraction induction method)
- shorter labors
- an increase in successful breastfeeding and bonding
- a reduction in “baby blues” and postpartum depression
Research shows that postpartum doula care results in the following positive outcomes for families:
- parents feel more secure and cared for
- more successful in adapting to new family dynamics
- greater success with breastfeeding
- greater self-confidence
- less postpartum depression
Bottom line: a doula is an advocate, support partner, educator, and provider of physical and emotional support throughout your pregnancy and beyond.
If you are local to Jacksonville Florida, you can check out our list of recommended providers HERE