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What Is a Doula?

A doula is a trained labor companion who helps you and your partner through pregnancy, delivery, and the early postpartum period. The primary responsibility of a doula is to increase a pregnant woman's sense of calm and control throughout labor. To achieve this goal, a doula provides pregnant women with educational resources and physical and emotional support throughout their pregnancies and postpartum periods. A doula's care may include the application of massage and other touch therapies, coaching on breathing methods, and providing emotional support such as reassurance and encouragement (Cancelmo, 2021). As a bonus, they can help the expecting mother communicate with the medical personnel by explaining what to expect throughout labor and postpartum. Even so, doulas provide breastfeeding support, information, and family members' resources.

Doulas typically provide postpartum support for families in the days and weeks following the birth of their child. Doulas are welcome at any birth, from at-home deliveries to elective cesarean sections. Their lack of clinical training is a significant drawback, however. This means they cannot perform or interpret diagnostic tests or scans, make medical diagnoses, or provide treatment recommendations. Doulas assist the doctor or midwife during childbirth. Doulas can be pretty helpful throughout pregnancy, and it is essential to let your obstetrician or midwife know about them.

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