Doulas Do It Anywhere, pt 5

Doulas help women give birth anywhere. We offer support in a home birth setting, hospital birth setting, birth center birth setting, medicated birth setting, and even cesareans.

Again, the definition of a doula:
A doula is not a midwife (unless, of course, she’s certified as both), in that she has no authority to make medical decisions, nor is she credentialed to deliver a baby. She’s not considered on the level of a nurse, either; doulas cannot administer or regulate medicine, operate monitoring devices, et cetera. In fact, a reputable doula will tell you that she doesn’t even have the authority to speak on behalf of the mother should a complication or other medical surprise surface.

But sometimes it’s the unnameable, intangible aspects of the conclusion of a pregnancy that require the most help and planning. And that’s where a doula is indispensable. In addition to the priceless knowledge and experience she brings to the laboring phase and to newborn-care assistance, she’s a wellspring of intimate emotional and physical support. A doula educates the family ahead of time; keeps the laboring mama focused and lucid; instinctively retrieves things she needs, like water or compresses; supports her body while walking through contractions; suggests different laboring positions; initiates massage and breathing patterns; reassures other labor partners; works alongside hospital staff; advocates for the mother; and, afterward, ensures that the new mommy is getting enough rest, is recovering well, and is bonding with the baby.  - Divine Caroline

That said, a doula is definitely a soothing presence in all birth settings, including PLANNED CESAREAN BIRTH.

During home visits, your doula can help you know what options you have for a cesarean birth, options to make your birth experience as mother- and baby-friendly as possible. Doulas also help women to talk with their provider about these options, which is an important step since many of these options are not common-place or commonly requested. In addition, we are helpful assurance during your birthing time:
  • We labor with you: If you plan on waiting for baby to decide his/her birthday, we will do the early labor part with you at your home, earlier than we normally would.We will then move with you to the hospital. 
  • We 'labor' with you: Even if you aren't planning on letting labor begin before your cesarean, we can meet with you at the hospital before surgery to do last minute emotional mapping, get all postpartum plans in order, and more.
  • We can be there for...: Oftentimes, we can be in the OR if it has been cleared with the obstetrician and anesthesiologist. This can be such a benefit because, once baby is born, someone normally can go and be with baby (if it's in the nursery or on the other side of the room) while someone else can stay with mom during repairs.  We also have lots of doula-y tricks up our sleeves to make the experience very personalized and mother-centric.
  • We can make memories: Or should I say lasting memories? Oftentimes the medications used during a cesarean can make it difficult for mom to remember all of the details of a cesarean birth. We can use a voice recorder, a video recorder, and/or a camera to take it all, or some of it (the parts you want us to), in. This can be an invaluable thumbprint for your memory of your baby's birth day. 
  • We stay late: We wait until you are out of surgery, to help you to nurse, to answer any questions you have, and to help you make a 'be sure to ask later' list for when the medications wear off and you and baby have had some time to rest. If your baby has any extended nursery time, we will wait until you and your partner feel settled in and comfortable letting the 'extra pair of hands' go.
  • We refer out: if you need a postpartum doula or a lactation consultant, two very helpful options for postpartum, we can definitely give our recommended and personal best to you.
Women still have many options and needs for a cesarean birth. Whether those needs are emotional or physical, a doula can help a cesarean to be as empowering and mother-centered as possible.

Doulas do it at planned cesarean births!


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