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  • Writer's pictureHands and Hearts Birth

What is Professional Labor Support...and why do you need it

There are two types of recognized professional labor assistants - doula and monitrice - who are filling the role of continuous caregiver for the laboring mother.

The word doula comes from the Greek meaning “in service of” and monitrice coming from the French meaning “to watch over attentively”.

While both provide slightly different services, they both offer support for the laboring mother.

The doula provides continuous emotional and physical support, but does no assessment of fetal or maternal well-being.

The monitrice combines the nurturing tasks with clinical skills as she provides continuous care to the laboring mother.

Both of these labor support professionals are aware that

~ labor and birth are significant life events for the mother and are normal physiological processes

~ understand the emotional needs of a woman in labor and provide emotional support to the mother

~ are knowledgeable about the anatomy and physiology of labor and birth ~ stay with the laboring woman continuously during labor and birth

provide an objective viewpoint

~ act as a liaison and facilitate communication with other health care professionals

~ have expertise in comfort measures and coping skills necessary during the birth process

~ help strengthen the relationship between the mother and her partner

~ help create positive birth memories

~ support the decisions of the mother and her partner

~ respect the mother’s individuality and uniqueness

~ believe that women are strong and capable

~ understand that birth is a life altering event for a woman

Professional labor assistants are being recognized for their expertise at providing labor support to the woman and her partner. Their skills combined with the expertise of physicians, midwives, and nurses are improving the birth experience and perinatal outcomes for both mothers and their infants.

Women who experience childbirth can remember details about that birth for a lifetime. She will talk about that experience over and over again, and will likely share her thoughts on birth to future generations. All women would like their story of the birth of their child to be one that is fulfilling and moving.

Birth is not something you should fear. Birth can and should be empowering, life altering and an experience you will always treasure.

A doula recognizes the significance of birth in a women’s life.

As a trained doula, she is well versed in the physiology of birth, and the emotional needs of a women and her partner before, during and after labor. She encourages the couple to explore their birth options, develop a birth preference plan and aids in establishing goals to help them achieve their wishes. She does not take the place of the partner, unless partner is unavailable. The doula completes the team by answering questions, giving suggestions and providing additional supportive care to the care the partner provides. Her goal is to make this an experience for the expectant mom as well as her partner, a very positive, inspiring experience.

~ she will not perform any medical procedures

~ she will provide emotional and physical support only

~ she will not transport the client due to liabilities

~ she will not make decisions for you

~ she will assist you to get the evidence-based information necessary to make an informed decision

~ she will not speak to hospital staff on your behalf

~ she will remain with you once active labor has begun and provide continuous support, staying for up to 2 hours after the baby is born

~ she will utilize non-medical support techniques for labor and birth

~ she will strive to maintain a calm and peaceful birth environment.

Hands and Hearts Birth Services can help you turn your vision of birth into reality. Contact today and schedule your consultation. We would be blessed to use our hands and our hearts to serve your family as it grows!

Labor Support Forms, 3rd edition,Cheri Grant RN, ICCE, CLC, ICD, CLD, BDT(DONA) and Paulina Perez BSN, RN, CD

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