Birth support? Isn’t that what my care provider is for? Well yes, however in some instances they are there to make sure nothing bad happens and recognize when a labor is not going right. Additional birth support can be helpful; they can remind you of things you wanted and make sure that you understand what is going in. What is the name of this support person? A Doula.
A doula is someone you can hire for the birth and/or postpartum care. They can help your partner or family support you as you are laboring. A doula is someone you hire to be there for the entire labor (a midwife might be called during your labor to another mother who maybe closer to birthing baby than you) and will not leave your side. She can be a great interpreter for you and your care provider especially in a case of transferring to a hospital for any reason, since some midwives do not have hospital privileges.
For postpartum care, she can help you with simple breast feeding issues, do household chores, hold the baby while you and your partner get some much needed rest, and make sure you are not having any postpartum complications or mood disorders, like postpatrum depression
or childbirth PTSD
to name a couple.
If you are not sure a doula is someone you want to have at or after your birth, a great book for your partner or family to read is The Birth Partner
by Penny Simpkin. It has a great easy layout for understanding what is happening during your labor physiologically, emotionally, and mentally. There are instructions on counter pressure, massage, and breathing techniques to help you handle your contractions.