Why A Doula

Pregnancy, labour, birth. These are all intimate things in a person’s life. Things this intimate are usually shared with one other person, our life partner, the person that we created life with, or close family. Why include a doula – essentially a stranger until about 20 weeks along – in these intimate moments? Here are just a few reasons that you may want to consider hiring a doula for your labour.

  • Physical Support – Someone who knows what to do when you say “my back hurts” or “I’m uncomfortable”. Someone who knows a variety of positions that are supported for labour and delivery.
  • Emotional Support – Someone who knows what to say during your contractions. Someone who can calm you down if you get upset. Someone to be there JUST FOR YOU to ensure that you are keeping a level head and staying the course with the contractions
  • Informational Support – Your doula can explain what is going on, what procedures are, what the nurse meant, etc. If something is said and the nurse/doctor/midwife has to run off somewhere else, your doula can stay and explain what they said. If you are unsure what is happening during your labour, your doula can also explain what is going on, and reassure you that everything is normal.
  • Continuous Care – A doula will stay with you for your entire labour. At home, in hospital, post birth you will have the same person with you to take care of you. Many times nurses, and hospital doctors will not be with you the whole duration of your labour, leaving you and your partner to fend for yourselves.
  • Confidence – With a doula there, you can ask her questions about what is going on, and about what you should be doing now. It will bring you confidence with your body and with the birthing process that you are doing the right things to bring your baby closer to your arms
  • Support for your Partner – Having a doula takes some of the pressure off of your partner having to remember everything from your childbirthing clases. They can ask where they should be, about positions, and the doula can suggest things for your partner to do to support you even more. Also, they can give your partner a break in the event of a long labour.
  • Lower Rate of Interventions – Having a doula present lowers the rate of interventions used in births, increases the chance of VBAC, natural labour, vaginal delivery, and positive birth experiences. Many studies have shown these facts. Click here for some studies.
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend having one-on-one support in addition to your partner. Click here for the article.

“Evidence suggests that, in addition to regular nursing care, continuous one-to-one emotional support provided by support personnel, such as a doula, is associated with improved outcomes for women in labor. Benefits found in randomized trials include shortened labor, decreased need for analgesia, fewer operative deliveries, and fewer reports of dissatisfaction with the experience of labor.”

There are many reasons why women, couples, and families choose to hire a doula. Maybe your reason is not here, maybe it is, but I strongly suggest (as does my husband since the birth of our boys) to investigate hiring a doula for your birth. Many doulas offer a free meeting to see if your personalities gel and you can work together to create a positive birth experience for bringing your child into this world, and into your arms. As always, if you have any questions about doulas or are thinking of meeting someone to discuss your birth plan, please contact me. I will be more than happy to meet with you, answer your questions, or help you find someone to be at your birth with you.
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