Doulas and child birth: 'It's like being a cheerleader'

Doulas and child birth: 'It's like being a cheerleader'

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EUGENE, Ore.- If you're pregnant or have been before, then you know the drill pretty well by now. You have numerous visits with your doctor or midwife. They make sure you and your baby are healthy and ready for delivery.

Have you ever considered a special kind of coach? A Doula can be a part of the process in an effort to make your birthing experience an enjoyable one. "It's like being a cheerleader or helping someone who's running a marathon. It's difficult work and people shouldn't have to do it all alone," says Lind Walling. She's a certified Doula in the state of Oregon.
Walling is not a medical doctor, she isn't a midwife and doesn't have anything to physically do with the birthing process. But she does provide emotional support and comfort for the woman in labor.

"If a woman is uncomfortable, I am trained to help her get into different positions. I bring a big bag with me with all kinds of massage tools, essential oils. I know places on her body that i can apply pressure," says Walling.

Once the laboring process begins, a Doula meets the couple at their home, goes with them to where they'll be having the baby and stays with mom and infant until breast feeding is established.

"Women in labor don't have to be in pain. In our culture we are so conditioned to think that birth is a dangerous, scary, painful situation and it really doesn't have to be," says Walling. "When a baby is born, there are chemicals in that mother and in that room that everyone feels in that room. And they are the chemicals of happiness and joy and love."

Doulas of Lane County is holding an event Friday at Washington Park in Eugene from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.