Doulas become a popular option during pregnancy and birth

Doulas are becoming more mainstream for pregnant mothers, but are not a health care provider — they are considered another person on the birthing team.

Alicia Sutliff-Benusis, PHD/ICD Birth Doula, says, “Doula in Greek means one who serves and in the context of birth, it is someone who provides continuous support. So that’s through education, through physical non-medicated comfort measures, and also through continuous support and emotional support during labor and birth.”

Alicia Sutliff-Benusis, PhD, ICD Black Hills Doula

Alicia Sutliff-Benusis, PhD, ICD
Black Hills Doula with client

Alicia Sutliff-Benusis, PhD, ICD Black Hills Doula

When it comes to having a baby, a mother-to-be will have her own vision of the kind of birthing experience she wants. And many women are choosing to include a doula, a midwife—or both—as part of their plan for pregnancy, labor and delivery, and the crucial early months of learning to care for newborn.

Doulas specialize in providing mothers with the emotional support and physical comforts they need through the course of pregnancy, labor and delivery. They help women carry out their birthing plans and facilitate the most positive childbirth experience possible. They support all types of birthing plans.

“A birth Doula’s desire is for the woman to feel heard and to feel respected… A Doula could help as part of the birth team to communicate with the healthcare provider and with the staff and we want our clients to be heard and to be part of the choices that are being made.”

Samantha Schmeltzer and her husband sought out a Doula after researching the benefits they provide.

Alicia's Baby

Alicia’s Baby

Alicia's Baby

Schmeltzer says, “It was so helpful for both of us to have somebody there that was more experienced with the whole process that either of us were. And even if you have a great (support), we have family in town … but we still wanted somebody that knew more than any of us did about the whole process of birth and what to expect at the hospital and all that stuff.”

Alicia says helping clients become a family is the most gratifying part of her craft.

“I wanted to help other women have supportive, respected births and have that empowering, respected feeling during birth. Every single birth is miraculous … to see that baby and to see that family come together is so special.”

There are also options of having a post partum doula for support after baby is born.

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