“To Doula” or “Not to Doula”
Let’s View Some Facts On The Matter
By Sister Nintu Xi Gilmore-Bey
The word Doula (Doo-La) is a Greek word meaning Women’s Servant. Women have been serving women in childbirth for many centuries and have proven that support from another woman has a positive impact on the labor process. Most doulas go through academic training with the option to become certified. Doulas assist women in various settings including homebirths, hospitals, and birthing centers. Doulas provide support in the nonmedical aspect of labor and birth. Doulas give continuous emotional support, physical comfort and assistance to our clients while obtaining and sharing information supportive of informed consent before, during and after childbirth. Doulas understand the Physiology and Spiritual connection of birth remaining by the side of the laboring woman. Doulas encourage communication and presence of the father. Doulas also nurture and protect the woman’s memory of her birth experience.
As a Women’s Servant, we give continuous support to the mother and family. Most Doulas advocate for nature’s-way of the birth process.
What is Support?
- Listening, never telling own story
- Offering a hug, touch, handkerchief….caring, i.e. Not offering advice
- Helping women discover and empower their feelings, Never negating them
- Supporting and Helping woman identify options, Never telling the client which to choose
- Discussing steps available to the client –Not take steps for her
- Helping client Discover she can help herself, empowering her strengths –Not take responsibility for her, nor to rescue her and leave still vulnerable
- Help women learn to make difficult choices-Not to make it unnecessary for her to make difficult choices
What services does a Doula offer?
During Pregnancy: Helps client prepare for birth and create their own unique “Birth Plan.” Provide emotional support as well as reliable information. Help client to access community resources, offering two or more prenatal visits.
During Labor and Birth: Maintain a continual, encouraging presence at the place of birth. Provide hands-on comfort measures. Help client navigate the medical setting and ensure her wishes are respected.
After Labor: Create or assist with your very own “Birth Story” Memoir. Visit you in your home within days of delivery assisting and answering questions about newborn care. Suggest comfort measures to help postpartum recovery, offering two or more postpartum visits.
In the Know……….
Numerous studies have shown the benefits of doula-supported births. As you consider a doula-supported birth, consider these few findings:
Effects on birth outcomes:
- Labors are 25% shorter. There are fewer complications.
- Cesarean rates are reduced by 50%.
- There is 40% less need for Pitocin (the artificial form of Oxytocin) to speed up labor.
- Need for forceps is reduced by 40%.
- Women request 30% less pain medication and 60% fewer epidurals.
Effects on the mother:
- Greater satisfaction with their birth experience.
- More positive assessments of their babies.
- Less postpartum depression.
Effects on the baby:
- Babies have shorter hospital stays with fewer admissions to special care.
- Babies breastfeed more easily.
- Mothers are more affectionate to their babies postpartum.
Effects on the healthcare system:
- The cost of obstetrical care is dramatically reduced.
- Women are pleased with the personalized care doulas offer.
- The benefit of continuous support in labor is recognized by:
- The World Health Organization,
- The Medical Leadership Council (An Organization of over 1200 U.S. Hospitals),
- The Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently changed their regulations stating that states can reimburse for “preventive services” recommended by a physician or a licensed practitioner…within the scope of their practice under State law. More Doulas are being trained to work in a medical setting and are adapting to more of a medical perspective to which that Spiritual, nurturing, protection and informed consent aspect are slowly giving way.
Doulas Save Costs For Medicaid Recipients.
Islam Moabites and Moabitesses,
Please allow me to share a little about myself and my journey. I am Nintu Xi(she) Gilmore-Bey and domicile in the Wayne County Michigan Republic with my three children. My Sun sign is Cancer which supports my nurturing Spirit and love for children.
My journey into the service of humanity started in 1995 in the medical profession. I trained and worked as a Certified Nurse Assistant, Medical Assistant, and Phlebotomist with a degree in Science. I’ve worked in the clinical and the administrative setting of the medical profession for over 20 years now in various settings. Also, I was once self-employed as a Servsafe Food Safety Managers Instructor and Registered Exam Proctor training restaurant staff, owners, and managers. Working for Matrix Human Services gave me an opportunity to work as a Data Analyst Associate qualifying and enrolling poverty-stricken families into Matrix community programs and their children into head start. I currently work as an Administrative Assistant to the CEO of a Long Term Acute Care Hospital (LTACH). In 2006, I transitioned into the Wholistic aspect of well-being, curing ailments of my children and helping family and friends. I have been a doula since February 2012 and attended The Center for Childbearing Years in Ann Arbor, Michigan for my academics. I love the work and the families I serviced. After a 2-year hiatus, I am eagerly making my way back into my service as a doula bringing my innovative creativity, courage, Divine Spirit and humility to be of service to women in childbirth. Some of my gifts that I bring as a doula: my innate nurturing Spirit, knowledge in health, food preparation and diet, herbalogy, the ancient art of Tapology, Yoni Steaming, the science of how the mind, body, and hormones work in favor of labor and birth, acupressure and breathing techniques, aromatherapy, imagery and music therapy, Orgasmic Birthing, rebozo cloth techniques, and various comfort measures for pain management and labor progression. My passion leads to my innate desire to become a Midwife with a vision to open a birthing center. I have been journaling this vision for the past 5 years now and I can’t wait to share it with you all, Inshallah.
Peace and Well-Being!