Published on June 26th, 2014 | by AberdeenMagazine
The Birth Doula.
More than just a hand to hold.
Tracy Harms is an Internationally Certified Birth Doula, or more simply put “a woman who serves.” She has been working to give pregnant mothers a more positive birth experience for four years. A Doula’s job is to provide continuous physical, emotional and informational support before, during, and just after a birth. “I believe every woman should be able to have the birth experience she desires when possible,” says Tracy. Tracy meets with expectant mothers a few months prior to the birth, to develop a personalized birth plan. She also instructs women on positions that can be used to ease discomforts, help labor progress, and encourages the incorporation of massage, birthing balls, and the partner’s involvement.
A Doula’s positive effect has proven results. Tracy notes, “Evidence based statistics show that births with a Doula in attendance have a labor time that is reduced by 25%, the need for pain meds is reduced by 30%, and there is a 60% decrease in the use of epidural analgesia to relieve pain. But most importantly, the overall cesarean rate is reduced by 50%.” Tracy works in a supportive role with healthcare professionals to help make each birth a beautiful and memorable one for her client. Tracy says healthcare professionals appreciate the involvement of a Doula because it improves birth outcomes, “I will help to keep the mother calm, focused and moving around, when possible, to progress the birth along.”