Doulas – a help for mums

December 10, 2009 at 4:26 pm Leave a comment

Commenting on BMJ.com, a doctor today says that the presence of doulas during labour may alter the doctor-patient dynamic and can compromise communication and therefore patient care.

Furthermore, the need for doulas implies a failing of medical and midwifery services and also the support provided by family and friends, says Dr Abhijoy Chakladar who was working at Worthing Hospital in West Sussex when he first encountered a doula.

Background

There are two types of doula – birth and postnatal – and some cover both areas. A birth doula is there to offer physical and emotional support to you (and your partner) during labour and for your birth. They don’t do anything medical but are a continuous, reassuring presence.

Most (but not all) doulas are mothers themselves and may or may not have done additional training. Those recognised by Doula UK will have completed an approved training course and will have de-briefed and reflected on what birth means for them. A birth doula will usually cost between £200 and £600. Postnatal doulas are there to support you at home after the birth – ‘mothering the mother’ so you can mother your baby.

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Entry filed under: Early parenthood, England, Northern Ireland, Pregnancy and birth, Scotland, Wales.

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