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.