How Is A Labor Nurse Different From A Doula?
Laboring patients build a special bond with their L&D nurses. Your nurse will be by your side at the most vulnerable and stressful time in your life. She comforts you and your partner. She keeps moms and baby safe.
She'll be the first to greet you in triage with a warm and reassuring smile, assist you when getting an epidural, and even coach you through pushing.
So, how is a labor and delivery nurse different than a doula?
There are HUGE differences, the most obvious being a labor and delivery nurse is a highly skilled professional with a nursing degree that provides specialized medical care to families during the hugely transitional time of childbirth.
Your L&D nurse is a part of your care during a hospital birth and is able to react suddenly to obstetrical emergencies, should they arise.
A doula is a trained professional that provides nonmedical support services to a family during pregnancy, labor, and delivery.
Doulas are hired by the family to provide one on one support to through pregnancy and childbirth. We're there to help you become familiar with the ins and outs of the L&D unit in different scenarios. Think of doulas as a tour guide. We help you discover and become familiar with options that are a good fit with your birth preferences. We also thoroughly go over the 'what if's' of labor so that you feel prepared before your baby arrives.
A bonus when hiring a doula is the continuity of care we provide our clients. Most nurses work an average 12-hour shift, it's normal for a laboring family to rotate through a couple nurses before they have their baby.
The bottom line is, labor and delivery nurses are a necessity and a doula is a luxury.
Now that we know what sets us apart, how are we similar?
We're both compassionate, supportive people who love what they do, and we're on your side! We know that each mother takes a different path to bring their baby into the world, and we love helping families through the journey.
Not only do we love what we do, we have some tricks up our sleeve too! We know how to work that peanut ball, and where to place that icy cold cloth when moms are working hard. We know it's time to kick everyone out of the room after an epidural is placed so parents can catch a much-needed rest. We know what position to suggest when you're getting weary and what to say to help moms dig deep if she starts to doubt herself.
We respect one another's role and work together to provide the best outcome for mom, baby and family!
Authored by: Gina Hodgson