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What is a Doula and do I need one?

There’s so much information to take in when you are pregnant for the first time. You want to do the best for yourself and the baby… but how do you know what that is? For extra labour support, many women are now turning to a doula to help them on the day. But what is a Doula, and do you need one?

Experienced and knowledgeable in labour and birth, a doula is a non-medical labour assistant who offers one-to-one continuous care throughout the birth. She is there to keep your environment calm and to provide strategies and emotional support to help you through labour, as well as communicate your wishes to the medical team.

A doula can also provide the partner with support and reassurance, helping him/her to participate better in the labour. You will usually meet with a doula once or twice prior to the birth and then they will be present for the duration of the birth.

Some doulas also offer postnatal care, with breastfeeding support, sleep and settling help and general support for new mums.

Having a doula present may:

  • reduce the use of drugs
  • decrease the rate of intervention
  • lead to higher satisfaction with birth
  • lower the chance of c-section

A doula can help a woman feel more empowered and supported to make decisions. She doesn’t take the place of your birthing partner or midwife, rather she becomes a gentle guide to support the connection between yourself and your partner. However, she is not there to provide medical advice or support in a medical role, and she has no medical training.

For more information about pregnancy and birth, check out Is pregnancy glow a myth?5 simple tips for a (mostly) comfortable pregnancy, and Why every mama should have maternity photography

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By Claire Gilligan
WITH A FIFO HUSBAND WHO WORKS AWAY WEEKS AT A TIME, CLAIRE ENJOYS FINDING FUN, LOCAL THINGS TO DO AND PLACES TO VISIT TO OCCUPY HER AND HER TWO GIRLS' TIME. ORIGINALLY FROM SYDNEY, CLAIRE AND HER FAMILY LOVE ALL THE THINGS THE SUNSHINE COAST HAS TO OFFER AND ENJOY SHOWING IT OFF TO VISITING FAMILY AND FRIENDS. Kids on the Coast is a free family magazine whats on guide for Kids: things to do, school holiday fun and free activities for kids... Fun attractions, family food & travel, kids health & wellbeing, kids parties venues, parenting, pregnancy & babies, guide for parents. Servicing Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and beyond, Kids on the Coast is an online guide for parents with kids things to do with kids, schools and education and lifestyle news located on Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast & Brisbane, QLD.

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