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Carleen Mandwe

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Doula Support: Empowering Mothers and Fathers! (doula, support, informed, consent, clarity, empower)

As a Doula, one of our primary roles is to support a mothers and fathers during pregnancy, labour and delivery. We are there for emotional support, physical comfort and provide information to help them make informed decisions about their childbirth experience. One key aspect is obtaining clarity and informed consent during pregnancy and labour. There can be a lot of decisions to make. Sorting through all the information and obtaining informed consent, especially in short time frames and intense situations, can be overwhelming.

Informed consent is vital for any procedure or treatment that a woman may undergo during pregnancy and labour. It is a process where a healthcare provider explains the risks, benefits and alternatives of any treatment or procedure to the patient. This information is then used to make an informed decision about whether the patient wants to undergo the procedure or not. Often patients do not ask questions to their doctors and allow them to make decisions for them only to find out later there were alternative actions that could have been taken. Many times people proceed not understanding the risks and are met with disappointment and regret. This is where informed consent becomes a must have.


Here are three ways a Doula supports a mother and father as they seek informed consent during pregnancy and labour and are empowered to make decisions that are best for them and their baby:


1. Doulas Empowers with evidence based Information: Although a doula cannot replace a Doctor's or Midwife's medical care, we can point toward evidence-based information so that mothers-to-be can be aware of alternative options that are not often mentioned in the medical community. These often include holistic practices found in traditions and cultures around the world such as Traditional Chinese Medicine, Aryuvedic medicine. They may also include information complimentary care such as chiropractic, osteopathy, health, nutrition, and birth education. All of these can be discussed with the care provider.

2. Doulas Empower with BRAIN questions: Benefits, Risks, Alternatives, Intuition, doing Nothing (BRAIN): We can encourage communication between the mother, father and healthcare providers by asking BRAIN questions so that information is exchanged transparently and any questions or doubts are addressed. By finding out the risks, benefits, and alternative actions, a mother and father will feel more empowered to make decisions that align with her values, beliefs and preferences, being more involved in the decision making process.



3. Doulas Empower autonomy : We can act as a liaison between the mother-to-be and the healthcare provider during labour, facilitating good communication and enhancing the relationship. This can help clarify to the care provider any doubts or concerns that the mother-to-be may have about the procedure or treatment being presented. As a Doula, we advocate for the mother's rights to make decisions about her body and childbirth experience. This includes ensuring that the mother is given enough time to make informed decisions and that she has clarity and informed consent on the information provided.


Doulas can bring clarity and empowerment to mothers and fathers as they navigate information provided by their care provider so that decisions can be made in full confidence and with informed consent. We provide support, advocacy, and evidence-based information that encourage autonomy and decision-making power for an optimal birth.


doula, support, informed, consent, clarity,






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