Hospital Birth with a Doula
In a hospital, the medical staff typically does not stay with you throughout your labor. Nurses and doctors come and go, and they usually have other patients to assist. A doula stays with you and your partner throughout your labor to give you continuous support.
Some couples like for their doula to come to their house to provide early labor support and help them decide when to go to the hospital. Others prefer to spend early labor alone together as a couple. They’ll keep in touch with the doula over the phone and have her meet them at the hospital.
At the hospital, the doula will help you cope with pain by using comforting touch. She will suggest positions for you to use during labor that will keep you more comfortable. She will rub your back with hot or cold packs, fetch food and ice or anything else you need, and give you the constant encouragement you’ll need to keep going. She’ll have essential oils like lavender and peppermint to create a soothing birth environment. She’ll also bring a birth ball (a large inflatable yoga ball that you can sit or lean on). If needed, she’ll use her extensive training in comfort and relaxation to help your partner discover ways to keep you focused.
When it’s time to push, your partner will be on one side and the doula will be on the other. Together they’ll help you lift your legs during contractions and rest and relax between contractions. They’ll cheer you on and help you welcome your baby into a supportive, loving environment.
Once the baby is born, the doula can take pictures of the three of you together. She’ll assist you get with breastfeeding by helping you figure out how to position the baby and how to get a good latch. She can pack all your things for you when it’s time to transfer to a postpartum room, so that you and your partner can continue to focus on loving the baby. The doula will leave once you’re settled in your new room, or about an hour or two after the birth.