Following are the ways a labor companion can be helpful:
- Sit with the laboring mother
- Help with labor position changes
- Assist with relaxation and massage
- Reinforce (or Coach with) Breathing/Focus/Various other comfort measures
- Provide constant reassurance and support
- Read to or talk with the mother and partner
- Answer the telephone
- Write down questions for the doctor and answers for the family
- Help with getting the mother in and out of bed, with nurse’s approval
- Help with walking in halls
- Help mother to the bathroom, with nurse’s approval
- Support mother in advocating her birth plan before delivery
- Limit the distractions in the birthing room to create a calming environment
- Get ice, snacks and refreshments for mom and partner
- Keep other family members and friends informed of the mother’s progress, according to the mother’s request and permission
- Offer explanation and support of the necessity of a medical intervention outside of the mother’s wishes.
Following are the things a labor companion may never do:
- Perform vaginal exams
- Adjust or tamper with IV lines, fetal or maternal monitors, any clinical equipment or epidural catheters
- Administer any medication — including herbal, tinctures, etc.
- Hinder the medical team from proceeding with a medically necessary intervention
We encourage you to speak with your care provider or one of our certified childbirth educators when taking one of our classes to learn more about how a Doula may participate in your birth.