Do You Really Need a Doula?

Do you really need a doula?

“There is something that women have intuitively known forever, that having another supportive woman who has been through labour herself and who can help take some of the fear and uncertainty away, does wonders during labour.”

I remember how scared I continually became as I approached the due date for the birth of my daughter. We had taken the childbirth classes, read the books, and my husband was so supportive; still, I had this nagging feeling.

I know now that feeling was loneliness. As supportive as my husband was (and is!), he and I both knew that he could never TRULY understand what I was going through at the time. And, I knew he had his own concerns about childbirth. This left me with a lot of questions and gaps to fill. Could I actually rely on him to remember everything we learned? How much would he be able to help while I writhe in pain? Would he remember to whisper words of encouragement in my ears? These are all genuine concerns and questions you and your partner should be asking yourselves. Answering honestly may shed light on whether or not you ought to consider hiring a Doula.

There is nothing better than having another experienced woman to support you (and your partner!) during the birth of your child. Doctors and nurses are great allies for medical care, and many of them are emotionally in-tune with their birthing patients. However, they tend to have many patients and really only have time to work from a medical standpoint and are not there to provide emotional support. You may be one of the lucky patients who does get that wonderful and loving nurse; remember, though, that at some point his or her shift will end and you may not even be close to meeting your baby yet. (Ahhh, the world of shift changes!) There is also a good chance that your OB may not be present for the birth of your child given his or her own scheduling and patient load.

Emotional support, consistency, and a greater statistical assurance of having the birth YOU want are where a Doula can help the most. Having an effective Doula present during your labour process can also increase your chances of a faster labour, with a lesser chance of surgical intervention.

If you think that any of the above scenarios apply to you, then have a look a what you can expect from me as your Doula:

• I will support you with words of encouragement (and my arms and shoulders!)
• I’ll squeeze your hips (trust me, it feels GOOD!)
• I will wipe your brow and remind you to breathe
• I’ll help your partner feel confident in his or her role (we all need to work as a team to support you and your baby)
• I will watch Ru Paul’s Drag Race with you in between sensations when you’re in labour
• I can take photos so that your partner can enjoy the moment
• I will help you maintain your focus on the beauty of the labour process
• I will help to create a safe space around you for your birth
• I will be your advocate so that you are able to exercise your most valued options for the birth of your child

If you do decide that you want and/or need a doula make sure to find one that is the right fit for you. You should feel comfortable and supported by your doula. And if you still feel a doula may not be right for you, that is okay too! Don’t settle, this is a very special time for you and your partner and you both should feel happy and safe with the decision you have made together.

Learn more about how a doula can benefit you at Mom Loves Best