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Fertility & Birth

Fertility & Birth


As an expecting mother, you want the best for your baby, and that includes a positive and empowering birth experience. This is where a doula can come in to help. A doula is a trained professional who provides emotional, physical, and informational support during pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum.

Who a Doula Helps and What They Do?
Doulas are trained to support mothers and their families through every stage of pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum. They provide emotional and physical support to help mothers feel empowered and confident throughout their birth experience. This includes massage, positioning, and breathing techniques to help manage pain and reduce stress. Doulas also offer emotional support to help mothers feel calm, focused, and confident during childbirth. They also offer childbirth education, prenatal support, newborn care, and breastfeeding support.

Doulas understand that every pregnancy and birth experience is unique. They provide non-judgmental support and empathy to help mothers feel heard and understood. They work closely with mothers to create a birth plan that meets their individual needs and preferences.

What are the Benefits?
Hiring a doula has been shown to have many benefits, including a reduction in the need for pain medication, shorter labour times, and a decrease in the likelihood of needing a caesarean section.

Doulas can provide breastfeeding support in the early days and weeks after birth. They can help with positioning and latching techniques, offer advice on milk supply and pumping, and provide emotional support during the ups and downs of breastfeeding.

Even if you are planning to have a medicated birth, a doula can still provide valuable support during labour and delivery. Doulas can help you understand the risks and benefits of medication, provide emotional support during the process, and help you advocate for your preferences and wishes.

There are very similar practices such as calm birth. Calm birth and Hypnobirthing are both methods of childbirth preparation that aim to reduce fear of childbirth and share a common goal of helping mothers have a positive and empowering childbirth experience.

What to Expect?
When you hire a doula, your first session will likely involve getting to know each other and discussing your preferences and goals for your birth experience. During this session, your doula will want to learn more about your medical history, any concerns or fears you may have, and your plans for pain management and other aspects of labour and delivery. They may also provide education on childbirth and postpartum care, and offer suggestions for creating a birth plan that aligns with your values and preferences. Additionally, your doula will discuss their role in supporting you during labour and delivery, and answer any questions you may have. This is also an opportunity to get to know each other and see if the doula is a good fit for you and your family. By the end of the session, you should feel more informed and empowered to make decisions about your birth experience, and have a clear understanding of how your doula can support you throughout the process. However, it depends on your family’s needs as to what a doula will assist with during your prenatal and postpartum experience.

During labour, a doula can provide guidance to your partner on how to support the mother, offer breaks them to rest or eat, and help partners feel more involved and confident during the birth experience.

Doulas undergo many training and certification programs to learn about childbirth, postpartum care, and breastfeeding support. These certification programs vary in length and requirements, but a certified doula has completed a comprehensive training program and has a proven level of knowledge and skill.

There are several organisations in Australia that offer doula training and certification programs, including the Australian Doula College, and the International Doula Institute. These programs typically include both online and in-person training, covering topics such as childbirth education, breastfeeding support, comfort measures during labour, and postpartum care.

Certification requirements vary between organisations, but generally include completion of a training program, attendance at a certain number of births as a doula, and submission of written evaluations from clients and healthcare providers.

Cost of Hiring a Doula
The cost of hiring a doula varies depending on where you live and the level of experience of the doula. The fee usually includes prenatal meetings, labour support, postpartum visits, and sometimes additional services such as childbirth education or newborn care. On average, a doula can cost as much as $2,500 although complete packages with birth and postpartum support can be as much as $4,000.

Finding a Doula in Your Area
To find a doula in your area, you can ask for referrals from your midwife or doctor, search online, or contact a doula organisation in your area. It's important to interview potential doulas to find someone who is a good fit for you and your family. You can attain more information from:
  • The Australian Doula College provides you with some options of Doulas whilst contributing a little more information on their roles.
  • Bodhi Holistic Hub provides a few options for Doulas, they are all carefully vetted and verified, giving you peace of mind you’ll be in good hands.

"Birth is not only about making babies. Birth is about making mothers - strong, competent, capable who trust themselves and their inner strenght."

Barbara Katz Rothman, PhD

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