Doulas and Childbirth

Creating A Labor Environment - Sight

Lighting - Any room has a variety of light sources that can be dimmed or intensified as you wish. Even in the daytime, your doula can adjust the blinds, drapes or lights to give you lighting as restful as you desire for concentration and relaxation.

Eye contact - Focusing your eyes toward a person or focal point during contractions can help you cope and concentrate deeply on what is happening. Try keeping eye contact with your partner or your doula. If you have been practicing with a focal point such as a photo, have her fasten it in a convenient spot for you to see or give it to your partner to hold. If you wish, bring a familiar item from home to keep within your line of vision. On the other hand, closing your eyes during contractions may help you concentrate on your inner resources. Again, your needs may change throughout the course of labor, and this is perfectly normal.

Visualization - This type of guided imagery can be extremely helpful to you during contractions or between them.Your doula can suggest appropriate images during contractions to help you visualize what is happening inside your body. She may also quietly talk to you in between contractions, guiding your imagery to a place that is particularly restful for you. Giving a contraction a physical image in your mind may suggest a new way to deal with it. There are no limits to the kinds of visualizations that may help you. Find one that works for you and let your doula know that you'd like to use it, with her help or on your own.

Other - Sometimes an untidy room can interfere with your comfort or concentration. Your doula can help by straightening up the room or simply by moving your personal items to a more convenient place for you or for your caregivers.

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©Karen N. Kilson