Doula Penny Simkin discusses the positive impact that doulas have on birth outcomes. They provide a unique form of labor support that is different from that of other caregivers involved in the birth process–but complements the roles of others. Simkins describes why this is so.
We’ve also all heard expressions of exhaustion and relief from the mother and seen a temporary lack of interest in her baby. The exclamations might sound more like these: “It’s over! I can’t believe it’s over!” “Can I just lie here for a minute?” “I can’t hold the baby right now. You take it.” ”Please just leave me alone right now.” “I’m so glad it’s over.” “We’re never doing this again!” Sometimes it takes a while before the mother can turn her attention from the intensity of the birth to her baby.
One of the authors of the pathbreaking book, When Survivors Give Birth: Understanding and Healing the Effects of Early Sexual Abuse on Childbearing Women, describes many of the ways early abuse or trauma may negatively affect the survivors’ later experiences with childbearing and offers some tips for midwives for providing sensitive and effective care and support.