A Doula is:
- A Doula is trained in the normal process of labor and birth.
- A Doula provides information about the labor and birth process, medications, and techniques used to assist during labor and birth, as well as helping develop a birth plan.
- A Doula provides emotional support with reassurance, encouragement, and empowerment.
- A Doula provides physical support such as back rubs, breathing techniques, suggestions on position, or helping to create a relaxed environment.
- A Doula also provides support for the partner and family.
Research studies have found that having a Doula assisting at birth:
- reduces the desire for pain medications and epidurals for those wanting a medication free birth.
- reduces the incidences of cesarean sections.
- could result in shorter labors with few complications.
- increased positive birth experiences.
Research also hows that long term benefits of having a Doula are:
- decreases in postpartum depression.
- better mother-baby bonding.
- greater self-confidence in the mother
What does the placenta do?
Nutrients and oxygen are pass through your blood to the placenta. The umbilical cord transports nutrition and oxygen to your baby. The baby's waste, such as carbon dioxide, transfer through the umbilical cord back to the placenta, into your bloodstream, for your body to dispose of them along with your own bodies waste.
The placenta produces hormones that your baby needs to grow and develop.
The placenta protects your baby against most bacteria, but not viruses.
At the end of pregnancy the placenta transports your virus antibodies to your baby. This helps increase your baby's immunity for the first few months after birth.
The placenta is full of beneficial hormones, chemicals, iron, and proteins. It may help with:
- Restoring your body to its natural "homeostasis" balance.
- Replacing iron that is lost during childbirth.
- Increasing natural energy.
- Balancing hormones.
- Increased milk production.
- Returning the uterus to pre-pregnancy size.
- Protection from infection and/or bleeding due to retained placenta tissue or membranes.
- Keeping the “baby blues” at bay, preventing and/or lessening the risk of postpartum depression.
The placenta is composed of beneficial hormones, chemicals, iron, and proteins. These healing substances include:
- Estrogen, Progesterone, Testosterone: Contributes to mammary gland development in preparation for lactation; stabilizes postpartum mood; regulates post-birth uterine cramping; decreases depression; normalizes and stimulates libido.
- Prolactin: Promotes lactation; increases milk supply; enhances the mothering instinct.
- Oxytocin: Decreases pain and increases bonding in mother and infant; counteracts the production of stress hormones such as Cortisol; greatly reduces postpartum bleeding; enhances the breastfeeding let-down reflex.
- Placental Opioid-Enhancing Factor (POEF): Stimulates the production of your body’s natural opioids, including endorphins; reduces pain; increases well-being.
- Thyroid Stimulating Hormone: Regulates the thyroid gland; boosts energy and supports recovery from stressful events.
- Corticotropin Releasing Hormone (CRH): Low levels of CRH are implicated in postpartum depression. Regulation of CRH helps prevent depression.
- Cortisone: Reduces inflammation and swelling; promotes healing.
- Interferon: Triggers the protective defenses of the immune system to fight infection.
- Prostaglandins: Regulates contractions in the uterus after birth; helps uterus return to its pre-pregnancy size. Anti-inflammatory effects.
- Iron: Replenishes maternal iron stores to combat anemia, a common postpartum condition. Increases energy; decreases fatigue and depression.
- Hemoglobin: Oxygen-carrying molecule which provides a boost in energy.
- Urokinase Inhibiting Factor and Factor XIII: stops bleeding and enhances wound healing.
- Immunoglobulin G (IgG): Antibody molecules which support the immune system.
- Human Placental Lactogen (hPL): This hormone has lactogenic and growth-promoting properties; promotes mammary gland growth in preparation for lactation in the mother. It also regulates maternal glucose, protein, and fat levels.