Tools We Think No Doula Should Go Without
Updated: Jun 8, 2019
Are you thinking about becoming a Doula. Or, perhaps, you already are one. Either way, you’ll find some very helpful information in this post. When looking to become a Doula, there are so many different paths you can choose from. Regardless of whether or not you want to be a Doula for primarily home or birth center births or hospital births or a post partum Doula, you will still want to be as educated and prepared as possible. For whichever side of the trade is your path, you can help the laboring person with a great doula bag of tools.
First off, let’s briefly talk about what a Doula is. A Doula is a woman who may not have official medical experience who takes care of a birthing or post-partum new mother. Their main priority is to support a pregnant woman through their labor and that is a very important task. Labor can get intense and knowing the tools of the trade can come in very handy when you’re in the heat of the moment and things get hectic.
We’ve compiled a very helpful list of a few items we think no Doula should go without.
The first tool to mention is of course, a birthing ball. Birthing balls are a very popular tool to use and even when not in the presence of a Doula, many people take their own to the hospital to help them kick start or aid in their labor. You can use a birthing ball in many ways but certainly one of the most common is to progress the labor and to start it if it hasn’t already begun. When sitting on a birthing ball and downwards you are promoting the baby’s journey downward from the uterus. You can do this by placing the ball between the wall and your lower back and rolling into a squatting position. Birthing balls are typically used at the beginning of labor, not towards the end as you are helping your baby begin its movements using the birthing ball.
Another tool that is very helpful is a rebozo. A rebozo is a long, flat garment that can be used as a sling in the birthing room to give the laboring mother the support that she desires throughout the labor. She can pull and tug as she needs and it will support her all the while. A rebozo can also be used to wrap the newborn baby while still allowing the baby to be close to his or her mother.
The next tool is one that most everyone has and can actually be one of the biggest helpers during labor. Your hands! Massaging the one in labor has been shown to have significant effect on both stress and pain. A good massage to the shoulders and feet can make a world of difference as those are two places that often cramp up during labor. Creating circles with your thumbs and rolling them outwards is a great, popular technique. Be sure to apply pressure on the downstroke and knead firmly.
And finally, the last item on our list is actually very popular at the moment. Essential oils have been shown to greatly change one’s level of pain and stress, both of which are present during labor. Lavender, lemon, and many more wonderful aromas are great aids in labor and can alleviate even the roughest of symptoms like nausea and tense muscles.
So, as you can see, there are many ways for a Doula to help their charge through their labor. It’s not an easy task and certainly not one to be taken lightly. However, with these tools and techniques, any Doula can walk in and change a woman’s entire delivery.