Pregnancy and childbirth are two of the most amazing experiences in life. During this time, much care and attention will be placed on your baby, but it's also an opportunity to focus on your needs. That's why Woodwinds' doula program was created.
A doula is a woman who provides continuous labor support during childbirth. Working together with the mother and her partner, doulas offer emotional and physical support and promote relaxation techniques such as positioning and massage.
Contact us for more info on the doula programThe term "doula" is a Greek word meaning "to mother the mother."
Doulas are women who are passionate about birth and are dedicated to making the experience as comfortable and memorable as possible. Doulas have statistically been proven to reduce the use of epidural anesthesia and the Cesarean section rate.To find out more about using a doula at Woodwinds, call the doula referral line: 651-232-0194. Delivering at St. John's? Ask your prenatal provider about hiring a doula.
Woodwinds has several doulas who are either fully certified or are working towards certification. Because they volunteer their services at Woodwinds, we may be able to provide you with a doula at no cost.
You may also hire your own doula to support you during delivery at St. John's or Woodwinds hospitals.
Frequently asked questions about doulas
Q: What techniques are most commonly used by doulas?
A: Doulas are trained in massage, pressure point relief and positioning. Doulas provide physical and emotional support using music, aromatherapy, relaxation and visualization. The use of the birthing ball is also an important component, as movement is essential in labor.
Q: Does the doula replace my husband or support people?
A: No. The doula enhances the couple's experience by providing support as it is needed. Doulas can model these techniques for the father or partner, allowing them to support you when you're in labor.
Q: Does having a doula mean only natural childbirth?
A: No. It is your birth experience and you and your support person decides on the best choices for you. Doulas can assist with Cesarean births and in births where epidurals are used. If you wish to have a medication-free birth experience, a doula can assist you with alternative pain relief measures. They will also provide breastfeeding support, if needed.
Q: How does a doula partner with the medical staff?
A: The doula is part of the team providing physical and emotional support. The doula provides non-clinical care for you and your partner. Doulas do not perform cervical exams or fetal monitoring. Doulas use safe and gentle measures to comfort you while you are in labor. The nurse and nurse midwife or doctor monitor the clinical aspects of labor. Doulas do not make decisions for the mother or partner, but can assist in creating a birth plan.
A comment from a grateful dad
"I was amazed at how physical labor was for both myself and the doula. We could not have done this alone. With our first child I felt helpless. It was difficult to watch my wife in labor and feel like I couldn't do anything but watch or hold her hand. With our second child we contracted with an experienced doula. The doula taught me how to massage and apply counter pressure relief for my wife. I felt relieved that I could actually help. It was a remarkable experience to fully participate and be so connected to my wife at this momentous time."