April 22, 2019
From pregnancy to postpartum, a doula is an alongsider, offering knowledgeable care in all stages of motherhood. Whether you’re a first time mom or a birthing pro, the support of a doula can be priceless. Here is a non-exhaustive list of 6 reasons why you may want to consider hiring a birth doula.
- Prenatal and Educational Support
Preparing for labor and delivery can be overwhelming. There’s a lot of great information out there via books, the internet, and childbirth education classes that can leave you wondering what to actually do during labor. A doula can help you navigate that information and help you prepare a plan with your desired methods and general preferences. Processing everything beforehand with someone who is dedicated to supporting you is incredibly valuable.
- Physical support
Picture this. You’ve been in labor for several hours. Your contractions are picking up in intensity and timing. You hear your doula arrive, quietly walk in and during your next contraction, you feel a steady, firm hand on your back bone. Relief. A doula has been trained in comfort measures during childbirth. It could be a forehead rub during a scheduled cesarean or a hand to hold and assist you during the administration of an epidural. Whether it’s a massage to relax you or distract you, getting you into a better laboring position, or applying counter-pressure and hip squeezes, your doula will work pretty tirelessly to meet your physical needs during labor and birth.
- Emotional and Mental Support
A doula will be by your side encouraging you and caring for you every step of the way. Labor can become quickly overwhelming even for the most prepared couple. A doula can re-center you and refocus you when needed using encouraging words and phrases to get you through each contraction. “You can do this.” “This is normal.” “Focus here. Deep breath. That’s it.”
- Partner Support
The presence of a doula allows your partner to be present and engaged in their own capacity. With someone trained in knowing the emotional map of labor, what’s normal and what’s not, and how to best support a laboring woman, a partner is then allowed to have their own birth experience with less pressure. A doula can coach and help your partner know how to best help you.
- Postpartum Support
When the dust begins to settle after delivery, many moms want assistance with the first feeding. A doula can help you navigate those tender, surreal hours after delivery, assisting you and your partner in caring for your newborn. A doula then follows up with you a few days after birth to debrief the birth with you and answer questions you have about caring for a newborn, breastfeeding, or any other concerns you have.
Having someone attending your birth who has been trained and is confident in what they are doing is incredibly reassuring. They will help you know what is normal, what you can expect, and when to go to the hospital or birth center if you’re birthing elsewhere. Doulas work seamlessly and unobtrusively with all members of the birth team whether that’s a partner, midwife, labor and delivery nurse, or OB.
… and here is a bonus reason because it just couldn’t be left out:
- Unbiased, non-judgmental support
Having a home birth? Hospital birth? Planning on getting an epidural? Scheduling a cesarean? Planning for a non-medicated labor? Planning on not planning anything? Great! A doula supports all births and supports you through your unique birth experience.
Contact The Doula Guild to experience this kind of birth support!