You’re probably here because you are now pregnant and deciding how you’d like your labor and delivery to go. You’ve probably heard of a birthing doula. If you’re not really sure what a Doula is, a Doula is defined as ‘a woman who is trained to assist another woman during childbirth and who may provide support to the family after the baby is born.’
Many mothers have an idea of how they would like their labor and delivery to go long before they even become pregnant. Sometimes things don’t always go as you had imagined. This could be attributed to stress of the unknown or circumstances that arise during labor that you have no control over. But, you can set yourself up for the best by hiring a doula and it be worth every penny.
A little about me and my births… I have 3 children and had great deliveries with all of them. They were all very different though and got even better each time.
My first birth I did a little research and preparing but I did not really know what I was in for, like most first time mothers. I didn’t know if I could do an all natural childbirth, my birth plan was to do whatever I had to do to get through it and I would get an epidural if I needed it. I ended up getting an epidural and all was great at the time, no shame. BUT my epidural didn’t take on one side at first and it had to be administered a second time. My back was sore for months after childbirth due to the epidural and I made the commitment to myself that if I was blessed with another child it would be my goal to do it all natural.
My second birth I was dead set on not getting an epidural and doing it all natural. I started panicking nearing the end of the pregnancy on my capabilities and lack of preparations. I called up a doula I had heard about from a friend and we met the next day at the park with our daughters. We hit it off right away and knew I had to have her at my birth. I successfully achieved my all natural hospital birth and I was over the moon and on a birth high. My body felt SO much better after that birth than it did with the first. I didn’t get fluids to make me swollen and didn’t have to lay ithe bed at all! I totally attribute reaching my goal to having my doula.
My third birth I knew I could do an all natural birth and was actually looking forward to it! First thing I did was meet with my doula to tell her the good news and asked if she would be by my side again. I wanted to step up my game a little and wanted even more of what I couldn’t get at the hospital. I decided to give birth at a birth center and saw midwives throughout my pregnancy. BEST decision ever. Between the doula and midwives/birth center combination I wish I had done it with the first 2 births as well!
Here are my top 10 Reasons why a Doula is Worth it:
- Support A doula will be a huge support to not only you but your partner as well. She will always be there when you need her and will do whatever it takes. From before delivery to postpartum. You might think that your partner is the only support you need, and sure, they can be but it also takes a lot of pressure off of your partner as well. My husband was very hesitant on this whole Doula thing before my second birth. After that birthing process he was completely sold.
- Her pregnancy/birth Expertise She will know A LOT about pregnancy, labor, delivery, postpartum and breastfeeding. Whether it’s your first or third child there are always questions that arise and situations are different. Your doula should always be just a quick text away for her opinions or advice.
- Pain Management Techniques Most doulas will meet with you a couple times before delivery to go over some positions/techniques to ease the pain. She will even teach your partner what they can do to assist in some of these techniques that requires someone assisting you. This played a huge factor in my deliveries.
- Put you at Ease There is just something about doulas and their demeanor that will put your mind and body at ease. When you find the right doula for you she should be able to calm your fears and talk you through things in such a calming manner.
- Give your Partner a Break Your labor process could take a while, you never know how it is going to play out. If we’re being honest here, it could be emotionally and physically draining on your partner. It is a nice thing to have both your partner and your doula there so they can each take little breaks to grab a bite to eat, run to the restroom or make a phone call to update family. You will always have someone by your side but it’s good to know someone else will be there if need be.
- Less Chance of Interventions or Cesarians With a doula by your side through the labor and delivery process she will help to be your mouth for speaking to the nurses and doctors on what your birthing wishes are. While you’re in the midst of contractions your mindset might not be what you want it to be. She will help you stick to your goals and put off interventions as along as possible unless medically necessary.
- Labor and Delivery Supplies Doulas keep a bag packed and ready that they will bring with them with all the essentials you could need to help you relax and stay comfortable during the entire process. Things like: speaker for music, sometimes even a special playlist, essential oils, heat packs, birth ball and many more. You don’t have to worry about packing or grabbing these things as you rush to the hospital/birth center.
- Breastfeeding Help Doulas will stay for a little bit after birth to help you get situated and comfortable and assist during those first 1 or 2 nursing sessions. Making sure the baby is latching properly. Helping you to get into a comfortable position and supported. She will also be there for any breastfeeding questions as you venture into nursing your newborn. She will also know and recommend great Lactation Consultants should you need one.
- Better Overall Birth Experience I speak for myself and many other moms out there that would vouch for this one! Your Doula will help you do your best and achieve the birth you’ve always dreamt of. Even if complications arise and your birth doesn’t go as planned she will still stay by your side and assist in any direction your birth may be leading.
- Friendships I have to add this one as #10 because you gain such great friendships from having a doula. She has been there with you through one of the most amazing events in your life. How could you forget that?
There you have it! My top 10 reasons why a Doula is worth it. Worth every penny. I do want to add that you should meet with several doulas and interview them to make sure that you two mesh perfectly to get the best doula experience possible.
To help better prepare you for an all natural childbirth, here are my favorite books that I used when preparing for my second and third births.
Congratulations and Good Luck on your labor and delivery! You can do it!!
What are your thoughts on hiring a doula? Have you had great experiences with having one by your side?