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What is a doula? What is a doula's role?

What is a Doula?
The word "doula" is Greek in origin, and has come to mean "woman helping woman" in childbirth. A doula is a non-medical labor support assistant. She provides a birthing/laboring woman with physical, emotional and informational support at childbirth, whether the birth takes place in a home, hospitial, or childbirth center. Her main concern is the mom, although she may also support other members of the family who are present. Doctors, nurses and midwives usually are not in a position to provide this continual support. As medical professionals who may be caring for more than one patient at a time, they cannot stay in the room with the mother. They also need to concentrate on the more clinical aspects of childbirth.
A doula's presence does not make a birth partner's presence unnecessary. A doula's presence frees the partner from certain aspects of concern and allows the partner to interact more closely with the birthing woman. A doula's purpose is to aid the mother in labor and help her have the birth experience she wants, thereby leaving her with a sense of empowerment and a beautiful, positive birth memory.©Karen N. Kilson

What does a doula do?

Most doula and client relationships begin a few months before the baby is due. During this time, they establish a relationship that gives the mother complete freedom to ask questions, express fears and concerns, and take an active role in creating a birth plan. Most doulas make themselves available to the mother by phone to answer questions or explain any developments that may arise in pregnancy. Doulas do not provide any type of medical care. However, they are knowledgeable in the medical aspect of labor and delivery so they can help their clients get a better understanding of procedures and complications that may arise in late pregnancy or during delivery.

During delivery, doulas are in constant, close proximity to the mother at all times. They can provide comfort with pain relief techniques, such as breathing, relaxing, massage and laboring positions. Doulas also encourage participation from the partner and offer reassurance. A doula acts as a silent advocate for the mother, encouraging her in her desires for her birth. The goal of a doula is to help the mother have a positive and safe birth experience, whether the mother wants an un-medicated birth or is having a planned cesarean birth.

After the birth, many labor doulas will spend a short time helping mothers begin the breastfeeding process and enoucourage bonding between the new baby and family members.

Are doulas only useful if planning an un-medicated birth?

The presence of a doula can be beneficial no matter what type of birth you are planning. Many women do report needing fewer interventions when they have a doula, but the role of the doula is to help you have a safe and pleasant birth, not to choose your type of birth. For women who know they want a medicated birth, the doula still provides emotional support, informational support and comfort measures to help the women through labor and the administration of medications. Doulas can work along side medication by helping mom deal with possible side affects and filling in the gap that medication may not cover; rarely does medication take all discomfort away.

For a mother who faces a cesarean, a doula can be helpful by providing constant support and encouragement. Often a cesarean is an unexpected situation and moms are left feeling unprepared, disappointed and lonely. A doula can be with the mother at all times throughout a cesarean, explaining what is going on throughout the procedure while the partner is able to attend to the baby and accompany the newborn to the nursery if problems arise.

What about the fathers role when using a doula?

>What about the father's role when using a doula?

The role of the doula is never to take the place of the father or partner in labor, but to compliment and enhance their experience. Today, many fathers are taking a more active role in the birth process, but some partners feel that this is a huge expectation, and would rather be able to enjoy the delivery without having to stand in as labor coach. With a doula as a part of the birth team, a father can do whatever he feels comfortable with at each moment. Doulas can encourage the father to use comfort measures, and can step in when he needs a break. Having a doula allows the father to be able to support his partner emotionally during labor and birth and also enjoy it himself without the pressure to remember everything he learned in childbirth class!

What are the benefits of a Doula?

What are the benefits of having a doula?
Numerous studies have revealed the benefits of having a doula present during labor. A recent Cochrane Review, Continuous Support for Women During Childbirth, revealed a very high number of positive birth outcomes when a doula was present. When a doula was present, women were less likely to have pain relief medications administered, less likely to have a cesarean birth, and reported having a more positive childbirth experience1.
Other studies have shown that having a doula as part of the birth team decreases the overall cesarean rate by 50%, the length of labor by 25%, the use of oxytocin by 40% and the request for an epidural by 60%2.

Doulas often use the power of touch and massage to reduce stress and anxiety during labor. According to physicians Marshal Klaus and John Kennell, massage helps stimulate the production of natural oxytocin. The pituitary gland secretes natural oxytocin to the bloodstream which causes uterine contractions and also secretes it to the brain, which results in a feeling of well being, drowsiness and a raised pain threshold. Synthetic IV oxytocin can not cross into the blood stream and brain, so it increases contractions without the positive psychological effects of natural oxytocin.

About Me

Name:Caylan Wagar
Occupation:Wife, Mom, Doula, Make-up Artist,
Hobbies:Photography,making anything, cooking, exploring,anything that has to do with health and herbs I LOVE!
Contact me 541-223-3237 or caylan24@hotmail.com

Why I am a Doula? After having my first baby Nalia Rain I was in Ah of the miracle of life. One sperm and one egg, watching and feeling the baby grow and move in a womans body is something that words can't fully explain. Then at the end holding that precious baby that you longed for. I am there to help make the labor process the toughest of all a memorable experience.

Why I love being a doula? Its one of the things that make me come alive/>To sum this all up...I can't say the miracle of birth better than God can.
Psalms 139:13-16
Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
you formed me in my mother's womb.
I thank you, High God—you're breathtaking!
Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
I worship in adoration—what a creation!
You know me inside and out,
you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
before I'd even lived one day.

For a INSIDE look at who I am behinde the scenes check out our family blog-

Services and Fee's

My Services
My services are able to change depending on your needs

Typically I will meet with you and your partner for 2 prenatal visits to discuss:
*Birth Plan
*Your expectations
*Your Fears
*Breathing Technique
*Positioning for pushing
When your due date gets closer and you know labor is near I will be on call for 24 hours or more until "labor begins".
(As soon as I get your call I will be there within one hour)

After delivery I will meet with you and your partner for 2 postpartum visits to discuss:
*Your labor and delivery
*Postpartum depression
*Newborn care
*Transition to motherhood

---I also do maternity pictures---- I will do your hair and make-up, along with 11/2 hour photo-shoot. Email me for further info.

*For a extra $75.00 I will also do newborn pictures.*

Labor Classes!
I teach a series of 4 class or two 2 hour classes. We watch videos, practice hands on techniques to help ease labor. Massage, natural ways to induce, and anything specific you want to know. I am a HUGE fan of showing the dad hands on ways that he can help his wife through each contraction.

We can always discuss a payment plan, or a better rates that fits your budget. This is a passion of mine and the pay is just a added bonus. I am here to help see you through one of the most amazing things in life.