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  • Writer's pictureNutured Birth Ottawa

3 Ways that Doulas Can Help with Early Labour

Black woman phones birth doula while experiencing early labour contractions.

One question that we are frequently asked during doula interviews and prenatal appointments is “When will the doula come to my house?” The answer lies somewhere between “when you need us” and “when things begin to feel challenging.”

While there are some families who prefer to labour by themselves until they call the midwives or leave for the hospital, doula support in early labour can be very beneficial. Whether it’s in person, over the phone, or by text, being in touch with and having suggestions from your doula can set the stage for a nurtured birth experience. Here are 3 important ways that birth doulas can support you during early labour.

1 – Reassurance. Doulas calm early birth anxiety and provide comfort and reassurance about the early birth experience.

This can look like having a conversation with your doula about what you are experiencing, asking questions about what is normal, or expressing your concerns as they come up. Your doula can provide you with verbal reassurance and, if visiting you in person, physical comfort such as massage. Sometimes the sheer presence of having someone who understands birth present is enough to ease worries and instill a sense of calm. 2 – Rhythm. Rhythm is an essential component of childbirth. Doulas can help you get into a rhythm with your breath, movement, and comfort measures. For example, your doula can guide you take 3 long, smooth breaths and encourage you to sway back and forth between contractions. This serves the purpose of grounding and encouraging calm and presence. Establishing a strong labour rhythm at home will help you stay centred and focused as you move to a hospital or birth centre setting. 3 -Readiness. This is a big one! Most first-time parents are nervous about determining when it’s the right time to call the midwife or leave for the hospital or birth centre. An experienced doula will be able to pick up on the cues (the birthing person’s body language and vocalization for example) and provide guidance around timing.

Do you have questions about our doula services? Reach out to schedule a doula discovery call! We are always happy to discuss our holistic doula services.

This doula blog post was written by Ottawa Doula, Julia Davie. Her approach to birth work is heart centered, holistic and inclusive. She is honored to support families in Ottawa, Gatineau, and the surrounding areas.


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