High Risk Pregnancy? Doulas can help
Facing a high-risk birth could mean a physically challenging labor. It also often means an emotionally challenging labor. Being high-risk can be scary, stressful, and even traumatic.
While a doula may not be able to change the health circumstances, they can help with the physical, emotional, and stressful challenges. Having continuous professional support during a high-risk birth can mean being reassured often.
The continuous support focuses on your mental wellness and helps support your birth partner as well. When a birthing person faces a high-risk birth, it can be a stressful moment for the partner. Having a doula ensures you are both receiving adequate support to reduce potential emotional trauma.
Benefits of a doula for a high-risk birth include:
- Knowledge of comfort measures and positioning even with epidural and monitoring wires
- Continuous emotional support
- Physical support safe for the medical situation
- Practical support, grabbing beverages for you or partner, giving partner a break, etc.
- Helping to explain what to expect and what is happening
- A doula can offer support for the mother if the partner needs to go with the newly born baby
- Provide updates about baby to mom in the event of separation
- Help with initiating breastfeeding or pumping
- Physical support in the immediate postpartum hours
- Emotional support and processing after birth
Using A Doula After A High-Risk Birth
While birth doulas spend the bulk of their support at your birth, they provide invaluable prenatal and postpartum support. Following a high-risk birth, postpartum support can be vital.
Whether you have a c-section, vaginal birth, or assisted vaginal birth, you will need time to heal. A birth doula can help you plan for postpartum healing, provide some practical support, and might provide postpartum doula services (as a separate service).
For women who initially hoped for an unmedicated birth, especially an out-of-hospital birth, processing a high-risk birth can be challenging. A doula can help in many ways with this including:
- Being an ear and offering support
- Referring to a professional counselor familiar with the reproductive years as needed
- Help you with bonding such as through rebirthing ceremonies, herbal baths, milk baths, and more
- Support you in creating a safe space to heal from birth
- Help you understand postpartum healing
- Support you in navigating postpartum medical complications, NICU stays, etc.
- Help you understand typical newborn behavior
A doula becomes your guide into a potentially challenging birth. They offer you support, encouragement, help you know what to expect, and help your process after. Regardless of where you give birth and your risk level, a doula provides invaluable support.