Who Could Be My Labor Support?
Labor support can come from one of two places:
- A labor support professional: Today's labor support professionals are called doulas (pronounced DOO-lahs). Trained in the field of childbirth, doulas understand both the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of a woman in labor, and recognize labor as a natural and beautiful experience. One of the benefits of choosing a doula is that, as a childbirth professional, she can effectively facilitate communication between the woman in labor, her partner, and the medical professionals, to make sure that the soon-to-be mom is getting what she wants out of the labor experience. She can explain what is happening or interpret what the hospital staff said. A doula's experience also allows her to remain calm and make rational decisions (based on your desires, of course), should any complications occur.
- A family member or close friend: Many women in labor choose to have their partner, a family member, or a close friend serve as their labor support. While some partners find the thought of being in the delivery room somewhat disconcerting, most say that watching their child's birth was one of the most wonderful experiences of their lives. If your partner isn't what you deem "labor support material," consider asking your mother, sister, or best friend to be there with you. No one knows you better or can keep you feeling more relaxed than your immediate family. After all, that's the way it was throughout history!