So I am really excited about this. For those of you that don't know what a doula is, here is information from the DONA International site.
What is a doula?
The word "doula" comes from the ancient Greek meaning "a woman who serves" and is now used to refer to a trained and experienced professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and just after birth; or who provides emotional and practical support during the postpartum period.
Studies have shown that when doulas attend birth, labors are shorter with fewer complications, babies are healthier and they breastfeed more easily.
A Birth Doula
*Recognizes birth as a key experience the mother will remember all her life
*Understands the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of a woman in labor
*Assists the woman in preparing for and carrying out her plans for birth
*Stays with the woman throughout the labor
*Provides emotional support, physical comfort measures and an objective viewpoint, as well as helping the woman get the information she needs to make informed decision
*Facilitates communication between the laboring woman, her partner and her clinical care providers
*Perceives her role as nurturing and protecting the woman's memory of the birth experience
*Allows the woman's partner to participate at his/her comfort level
The doula I am using is finishing her Doula Certification and so I am getting the service for free. I feel like this is really a GOD thing because I really feel like a Doula will help me achieve my goal of having a VBAC, however, we weren't sure we could afford one. I am meeting with her soon to develop my birth plan.
Everyone I have talked to that has used a Doula, has highly recommended using one. So I will keep everyone updated on my thoughts, but I am expecting them to be great!!