From the Greek Doula (Dula) is translated as “maid”. She really is: during the birth, Doula serves a woman, literally anticipating her every desire.
This is not a midwife, she does not provide medical support for the process. Its main task is to support the future mother: to regret, massage the lower back, feet, remind you how to breathe correctly, breathe through the contractions with her, squeeze together, bring water, take to the toilet, wipe the sweat – in a word, do everything possible to give birth Naturally, the woman received maximum satisfaction from them.
Doule can not intervene to challenge the doctor’s prescription. But she can explain to the woman in labor what to do, what will happen if the expectant mother signs consent to this or that manipulation or abandons her.
Whatever decision a woman takes, doula will always support her, and in the first minutes after the birth of the baby, she will surely tell you how to properly hold and put the baby to the breast.
Usually, doctors welcome the presence of doula at childbirth. They see that there is a person who does not allow a woman to become hysterical or panicked, who can translate medical terms into simple language and therefore the woman gives birth to him more than doctors.
And, importantly, the presence of such an assistant favorably affects the condition of the woman.
More recently, another profession has appeared in Russia – the postpartum doula. She comes to the family after childbirth, and it can be like the same woman that accompanied the young mother in labor, and a completely different person.
A postpartum doula always wonders how it can help, how young parents relate to these or those methods and whether they want to know more about something.
She does not teach anything, she simply discusses the problems and issues that the family considers most important to him at the moment. For example, after the birth of a baby, young parents have to communicate with many doctors, their recommendations may not be the same, and even contradict each other.
Dole can explain certain points, because qualified assistants work a lot with databases of scientific research in the field of obstetrics, maternity, and newborn care.
Doule will also help to establish breastfeeding, find a comfortable position for mother and baby, discuss the difficulties encountered and suggest ways to overcome them. She will inform parents about different points of view on the existing problem, but the decision will be made, of course, by the parents. Doula can also recommend a breastfeeding counselor.
Take advantage of her recommendation or not – the personal business of the mother.
Such an assistant will tell you how to wear a baby in a sling, how to put him to sleep, and discuss the problems of sleeping and sharing with your baby. If any method will interest parents and they want to know more about it, dole will prompt the contacts of proven experts.
But all this will be done only at the request of young mothers and fathers.
Often, doules also help a woman in everyday life: an assistant can fold things, make porridge, sweep the floor, wash dishes, play or walk with older children so that mom can rest or sleep. In a word, if in the births, Doule provides psychological support, then after the birth of the baby, she becomes a “walking” reference book and an assistant in everyday life.
And comes to the family when the family needs its help and support.
Unlike the dole, the midwife had completely different responsibilities. She prepared a woman for childbirth, and took birth, and in many cases looked after the newborn and his mother immediately after the birth.
They were approached for help until the middle of the 20th century, especially in the villages.
In Russia, the midwives did not have a special education, but possessed knowledge and skills that were passed down from generation to generation. And there was not only “professional”, but also “status” selection of such women.
The midwives were giving birth, but already “clean” ladies, that is, not having sex, widows, or in the postmenstrual age. And a prerequisite: all her children had to stay alive.
Otherwise, as it was believed, the babies who were worn by her would not survive.
The birth of the child was surrounded by many rituals, fights and attempts were accompanied by certain conspiracies. The midwife “straightened” the newborn – stroked him, stretched out his arms and legs, straightened the head (in newly born babies, it was slightly elongated).
Thus, she conducted the first inspection of the baby. Under the vigilant attention and with the direct participation of the midwife passed and the postpartum period. The midwife watched for the placenta to be born on time, then massaging the woman.
This was called “straighten the spool and navel”, “put the belly in place.” And after giving birth, for several more days, or even weeks, I lived in the house of my ward, monitoring the condition of the mother and baby.
“If a doula cares mainly about a woman, then a midwife helps both mother and child,” said Yulia Shelepina, a mother of many children and a midwife with many years of experience, a psychologist by training. – Modern midwives in 90% of cases involved in postpartum recovery, and both mothers and babies. In Russia, it was believed that after childbirth a woman is best to be in the bath.
It was there that the woman was soared, she was given a postpartum massage. Here and modern midwives, many of their procedures are also carried out in the bath. After childbirth, a woman should sweat properly, so we do warming up using all available methods, including steaming.
In the bath, thoroughly steam the newly born woman is better several times, but definitely – on the 9th day after birth. With that, the hormone “cocktail”, which was formed in the blood before birth, is removed from the body.
In the same way, relaxin leaves the body – a hormone that is produced by the ovaries and placenta at the end of pregnancy and which is needed to soften the ligaments, cartilage, bones and muscles, as well as to open the cervix. Removing the hormones of pregnancy, we help a woman to quickly return to its former form. “
In addition, with the help of a special massage, the midwife helps the internal organs that have shifted during pregnancy to get into place.
Another indispensable rite, which is carried out by the midwives – twisting, or tying. It occurs not earlier than the 40th day after birth.
“A midwife must, first of all,“ close ”childbirth,” explains Yulia Shelepina. – Give a woman to live through them and leave all the emotions associated with childbirth in the past. The indicator that everything is done correctly is that the woman no longer has a desire to talk about it.
The memory of childbirth has remained, but it is not emotionally colored in any way, and the young mother remembers them completely neutral. One of my wards was called on the 40th day after birth:
– Well, tell me how it all went?
– What to tell? Bore and gave birth, – she said.
This is a good “closed” childbirth. If a woman constantly returns to this event, it does not matter, she brags about how everything was gorgeous, or, on the contrary, complains how everything was terrible – such clans are “not closed” and this does not contribute to the emotional and mental balance of the young mother. ”
How is the rite of passage? First, the woman is helped to relax: they hover, have a massage, water herbal tea.
During these procedures, the young mother talks about her feelings and emotions during childbirth, that is, speaks out. This allows you to normalize the hormones and calm down. After steaming, the woman lies down on a hard surface and some areas of her body are dragged (swaddled) —the shoulders, abdomen, pelvis, thighs, legs, and feet.
The degree of contraction is determined by the woman herself. After that, she is warmly covered and allowed to sleep.
As you can see, this procedure is long, unhurried, lasts several hours and is almost always accompanied by certain conspiracies.
The attention of the midwife is also directed to the infant. Like before, she “straightens” his body, arms and legs, speaking in modern language – she does massage.
She also bathes him the first time – gently washes on the bottom shelf of the bath. And “rolls out the bristle” – generic grease, which entered the pores and hardened.
To bring it out, the baby is bathed in breast milk or coated with black bread crumb soaked in breast milk. The same crumb carefully wipe the head, back, buttocks, arms and legs.
It is believed that after such a ceremony, the baby will no longer wake up and scream at night.
Most often dole and midwife are found on courses and training on preparing for childbirth. When attending classes, a woman has the opportunity to meet with employees and choose someone who, in her opinion, meets her expectations. Julia Shelepina advises:
“Do not look for the best, look for your own. A person who is completely right for you. Age is not important here.
It is important that this person will take care of, care for and cherish a woman, not burden her with her own stories and concerns. ”
Unfortunately, our dole and midwife have no diplomas. No other educational institution trains such specialists.
Therefore, ask who your doule or midwife studied, what training she attended, listen to the recommendations of her relatives, girlfriends and acquaintances who checked the assistant or midwife in action. In any case, you should listen to yourself and understand why you need it, and only then decide who to invite – a midwife or a doule – and whether to invite at all.