More and more expectant mothers nationwide are reaching out to the helping hand of a Doula. An ancient Greek term, "Doula" basically means labor support. Now for the first time in Tulsa, a professional Doula service is available, to help nervous couples navigate the sometimes scary journey through childbirth.
The News on 6's Heather Lewin has more.
The miracle of childbirth, for some moms it feels like the miracle is making it through labor. Joy Zedler: "basically it was a pretty agonizing thing, it lasted a long time. She tried to fight her way through it."
That was the Zedler's first baby, for the second delivery, they chose a Doula. Different than a midwife, a Doula is not a medical practitioner, but an experienced, reassuring presence at a time when parents may not know exactly what they're getting into.
Melissa Morrill: "typical in a birth scene today, is you go into the hospital and you get checked in and the nurses are busy and they can't stay with you, so the couple is left in the room to deal with this labor that can be very intense. You're really there as a maternal instinct to help the woman through her labor and give her that support that she needs, 100-percent undivided attention."
Morrill became interested after seeing studies on the benefits of Doula assisted births. Melissa Morrill: "C-section rates were cut in half, pain medication rates were cut in half, labors were shorter and faster."
She says Doulas are not trying to replace dad. Stephen Zedler: "Melissa was able to say, oh yeah, this is what's going on with you, this is where you are and it would really calm Joy down, it would calm me down to know this is not some freakish thing."
Joy Zedler: "the difference in the birth experience was incredible, it was so peaceful and I think that had a lot to do with having a Doula."
Part of more than a dozen births, Morrill develops a special connection with each family. She's been on both sides, expecting her second child any day now. I asked, will she have a Doula? Melissa Morrill: "Absolutely, yes."
A certified Doula must attend a training course, at least three births and be evaluated by medical professionals and parents. For more information call Natural Lullabies at 488-9969.