A doula is a birth companion who has had training in assisting women when they are pregnant, birthing and after they’ve had their baby. A doula is also an advocate for the birthing mother and her partner and acts as a mediator or ‘go-between’ the expectant parents and their maternity care providers.
Birth plans help expectant parents to have a sense of control over the way their baby is born. They also assist maternity care providers to understand more clearly what is important to a mother when she’s in labour and birthing her baby. While birth plans are not compulsory it can be helpful to have one written up well before a baby’s due date.
You have lots of choices about where to have your baby and deciding what’s right for you. Like making any other decision, there are many factors which need to be considered - personal choice, your health during pregnancy, how your baby is growing, previous birth experiences and your budget.
Research into drug and alcohol use during pregnancy and when breastfeeding is constantly evolving. And although the specifics change, the essential message remains the same. We don’t truly know what a safe level of drug or alcohol use is.