Doulas and Pregnancy

Dr. Heather Jenkins, MD, CCFP, discusses Doulas and Pregnancy

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Dr. Heather Jenkins, MD, CCFP, discusses Doulas and Pregnancy
Video transcript

Featuring Dr. Heather Jenkins, MD, CCFP
Video Title : Doulas and Pregnancy
Duration: 2 minutes, 17 seconds

Doulas are really great. A lot of people don't know what they are though.

So a doula is actually a higher trained woman, usually, who has a lot of experience around supporting women and their partners during pregnancy. And they often have a lot of tricks up their sleeves about how to relax people, and get them calm so they can deal and cope well with the stresses of their labor.

Well, it's really sensible to have a calming support person with you in labor; clearly women do well with that. Now doulas are a bit of like icing on the cake. They're very helpful, and the research literature clearly shows that women who have doulas in labor do better.

Their satisfaction with their labor is higher, they actually use less medications, and there's less interventions that happen to them. So there's lots of advantages to having a doula with you during your labor.

Doulas are generally an out-of-pocket expense, and women and their partners are encouraged if they're thinking about hiring a doula for their labor, to start thinking about it early actually. It's quite helpful to interview or perhaps ask word-of-mouth for a doula resource during your second trimester.

So that's somewhere between 20 to 30 weeks, and the reason for that is often times you can actually get a lot of information, and helpful ideas by talking to your doula well in advance of your labor. Definitely, doulas all want you to call them, and early in their labor because their role specifically is really excellent in the early parts of labor.

Often they come to your home, often they'll help with back massages or basically getting you relaxed in an environment that is normally more relaxing for you than in a hospital. Doulas usually transfer with you to a facility if you're going to have your baby in a hospital, so they'll come with you there, and they'll continue to support you during your labor at the hospital.

After you've had your baby, the doula can really help you with transitioning back to home, and settling into life with your baby. They're often useful for helping you with guidance and advice around baby care, as well as support around breast feeding which can include challenges that new moms might face around latching and feeding your baby.

If you're interested in having a doula help you with your labor, certainly you can ask your doctor or your midwife or resources and ideas about how to connect with one.

Presenter: Dr. Heather Jenkins, Family Doctor, Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: Family Doctor

This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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