So you may be thinking, why do I need a Doula when I have my spouse to support me? Or perhaps, you are thinking I don’t want a stranger in the room during the most vulnerable moment of my life. Or, if you are anything like me, you might be hesitant about the cost. But let me keep it 100 with you. Your Doula will offer so many things that you don’t know you need until you are in the thick of it.
Doulas are equipped with skills, knowledge, and resources so that you can feel confident, empowered, and comfortable while giving birth to your child.
And about the cost, let’s not be frugal when it comes to our mental and physical health, okay? This event is one of the most significant events in your life, and for many women, it’s traumatic, but it doesn’t need to be.
Giving birth can be one of the most beautiful and spiritual experiences life has to offer, and one way to ensure you have a positive childbirth experience is by hiring a Doula.
So, What is a Doula?
What is a Doula anyway? According to the Merriam-webster dictionary, a Doula is a person trained to provide advice, information, emotional support, and physical comfort to a mother before, during, and just after childbirth.
The term Doula is an ancient Greek term meaning “a woman who serves” or woman servant.
1. Doulas provide Emotional comfort
Giving birth is an emotional rollercoaster. Therefore having a Doula with you is like having a counselor to validate your feelings and provide you with appropriate coping skills to manage your emotions through the journey.
Doulas understand the importance of giving you space when you need it, and they also know when to lean in and encourage you. Doulas are attentive and sensitive to your needs.
As one article stated (I wish I could remember the source), Doulas are there to observe and serve you.
2. A Doula provides Physical comfort
Is your partner a trained massage therapist? If the answer is no, then you need a Doula! Counter pressure is EVERYTHING, and your Doula knows where you need it, how you need it, and when you need it (don’t take that out of context, haha).
Your Doula can also suggest labor positions, coping skills, relaxation techniques, breathing techniques, and a whole lot more.
3. ensures Environmental comfort
Doula’s understand the importance of setting the mood for labor. They dim the lights, diffuse essential oils, light a candle, put music on, keep your birth tub water at the right temperature, and whatever else suits your fancy.
4. your best advocate
Whether you have a home birth, birth center birth, or hospital birth, your Doula will be your best advocate in any setting. Your Doula will help you follow your birth plan, and they will serve as a liaison between you and the medical staff to make sure everyone is on the same page.
5. Doulas Will Coach you to the end
Doulas will coach you through breathing and bring you words of encouragement. They will give you praise for your hard work, and more importantly, they will be your continual companion.
They will provide countless resources to you throughout your pregnancy, birth, and after birth.
7. Doulas are not a part of your medical staff
Medical staff can be a bit touch and go. Their main concern is everything medical-related, whereas your Doula is concerned with everything mama-related and your comfort needs. That’s why it’s nice to have a professional in the room that is solely focused on you and your preferences.
Your Doula is there to ensure your emotional, environmental, and physical being is all taken care of. Your needs and requests will never be too much for her, your questions won’t annoy her, and she won’t leave your side during the process.
8. provides Support for your spouse
Let’s not forget about your partner. Childbirth can be an intense experience for them too. Your Doula can support your spouse, so they can best support you! Your Doula can also help your spouse process the experience if they have anxiety around childbirth.
It wasn’t until the early 1960’s men were allowed to be in the birthing room. It was believed that men changed the energy in the room and regressed the woman’s labor. Times have changed obviously.
We now see how men are a great support during the birthing process, which means they also need to be cared for.
9. Scientific benefits of having a doula
Studies show that having a Doula present during childbirth reduces labor time, decreases anxiety, decreases the usage of medical intervention, and improves the mother-infant bond after birth.
Science also shows that there are fewer negative experiences and memories around childbirth.
So yes, Doulas are everything that you didn’t know you needed during childbirth! Please, mama, gift yourself the best labor gift and get yourself a Doula. You deserve it!