We celebrating pregnant women this month at The Finder, giving you all you need to know about giving birth in Singapore. One area of prenatal care and delivery gaining more and more popularity is the use of a doula. Many expats who become pregnant and give birth in Singapore are eager to have a doula by their side. Is a doula right for you? And where can you find one in Singapore?
What is a doula?
A doula is a cross between an encouraging friend, a positive coach and a knowledgeable nurse. Doulas are certified but not medical professionals. They are advocates for the mother and help to communicate her needs and make her comfortable.
Unlike a husband or partner, the doula understands the physical and mental aspects of labor and can provide a rational, calming influence. Doulas can also help husbands and partners with the best ways to help during delivery. Whereas nurses have to tend to other patients, the doula is with the mother from the first contraction to the birth, and in some cases, in the first few weeks with the new baby.
A doula is not however, a midwife. A midwife is a trained medical professional who can prescribe some medications and deliver your baby. A doula is present to support you during your delivery. A doula can provide homeopathic techniques (massage, breathing exercises, etc.) to help you manage your pain.
There are also post-partum doulas who can assist you at home in the first few weeks after birth as you adjust and get settled to your new routine. They can provide a reassuring presence and positive voice if you are finding the transition to life with a newborn difficult. Again, as expats without family and friends nearby, a post-partum doula can be especially comforting.
How do I know if a doula is right for me?
The decision whether to have a doula present during delivery is very personal. Many expats like the idea of having an extra support system in place when family or close friends from home cannot be present. Other women are more comfortable just having their husband or partner with them and do not see a doula as necessary.
It is essential you find someone with whom you are completely comfortable. Doulas can help throughout your pregnancy so by the time of delivery, she knows and understands you as well as anyone. Doulas will help you create a birth plan and can be invaluable when things don’t go as planned. Many women want the extra security of having a doula should there be complications.
Where can I find one in Singapore?
One of the best ways to find a doula is through personal recommendation so do ask friends, ask on expat forums, parenting forums and at the hospital where you plan to give birth.
Agencies and organizations that can help you find a doula:
Be sure to ask about the doula’s:
- Services – What she will provide?