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Labor support for parents is an old tradition with a new spin

More couples are checking out an old tradition when they have their babies. They are using doulas as labor support companions. (WSYX/WTTE)

More couples are checking out an old tradition when they have their babies. They are using doulas as labor support companions. Doula is a Greek word meaning women’s servant.

Justin and Danyel hired Linsey Griffith at Ohio Doula to help before and after the birth of their first baby and again for their second child. The couple learned everything from how to use exercises to help with contractions to breastfeeding techniques. “We are non-clinical, non-judgmental, informational, educational, and emotional support for the child bearing year.”

“I could text her at any time and be like hey, this is going on, or what does this mean,” Danyel said.

Griffith said she is the one person that is with the parents the entire time and even post-delivery.

According to an American Pregnancy Association study, having a doula as a member of the birth team decreases C-Section rates by half and the length of labor by 25%.

“Most of our clients choose the hospital birth because they feel safer there. But the benefits of having a doula with them is that you have continual support,” said Griffith.

“Pairing the doula and the hospital together is really great because we got all those resources available,” said Justin.

Doula Jen Bailey said how you feel about your birth experience impacts how you parent. “That can affect your relationship with your baby forever.”

“I always joke that we are like your wedding planner, your concierge, your travel agent, your cruise director, or the stage manager of a play,” said Griffith. “We make sure all the little details are taken care of.”

“Definitely it helps keep you calm,” said Justin. “You just learn so much.”

When choosing a doula, find a person with whom you and your partner feel comfortable. Most doulas don’t charge for an initial consultation so it’s easier to find a good match.

“It is so magical and so empowering. All you have to focus on is being there with your partner and having a wonderful positive experience,” said Griffith.

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