Doula Myths
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1. Myth : A doula won't let a labouring woman take any pain relief drugs.
Truth: A doula is there to help support a labouring woman to help ensure a safe and satisfying childbirth as the woman defines it.

2. Myth: A doula will interfere with medical advice.
Truth: A doula will not interfere with medical advice. She facilitates communication between all involved and encourages her client to ask relevant questions so she can make informed choices. Doulas do not make decisions for their clients.

3. Myth: A doula will "take over."
Truth: A doula is there to enhance the relationships between the hospital staff, the labouring woman's partner and others present. Often times the partner will become more involved with a doula present.

4. Myth: A doula will take away "the best part of a nurse's job."
Truth: A labouring woman can never have too much support. A doula strives to work as a team with the nursing staff and welcomes any suggestions and physical support that the nurse may provide.

5. Myth: A doula has a negative opinion about a hospital setting.
Truth: A doula has the utmost respect for the lifesaving technology available for unexpected circumstances in a hospital.

6. Myth: Doulas are not necessary because the nurse (partner, family member, friend, fill in the blank) is there.
Truth: A doula does not perform clinical skills. She is the only member of the maternity care team who is focused completely on the mother's well being. A doula is not emotionally involved with the labouring woman, as are other family members and close friends. The doula knows what to expect and remains calm and objective when she sees the labouring woman in pain.

7. Myth: A doula will leave if the mother gets an epidural.
Truth: There seems to be an urban legend of sorts about the doula who left as soon as the mom got an epidural. This is not usual. A doula is there to support the labouring woman with any decisions she makes. She still needs continuous support even with an epidural. The doula can give dad/partner a break to go get something to eat or to take a nap if it's been a particularly long labor. She can take pictures, get ice-chips, do hand massage or just sit quietly while the woman rests.

8. Myth: Doulas secretly want to catch the baby.
Truth: A doula does not have the clinical skills or the knowledge to want to receive the baby on her own. Trying to deliver the baby on her own is a foolish notion.

9. Myth: Doulas only attend home births.
  Truth: Doulas attend births at home, at the hospital and at birth centers. She will remain at home with the labouring woman until it is time to go to the hospital/birth center (where applicable).

10. Myth: All doulas are "patchouli-wearing, tree-hugging, earthy birthy mamas!"
Truth: The majority of doulas are professional, well-educated women. The key is to find a doula who suits your individual needs and personality.

Tracey L. Stein, CD - Calgary, Alberta; Photo & Layout - Connie Banack, CLD CPD - Lloydminster, Alberta

Copyright 1997-2007 Mother Care. All photos Mother Care & Terri McKinney Photography. All rights reserved.