There are 3 questions that I have noticed come up a lot when I talk to people about what I do. I decided to go through each one and hopefully answer everyone’s questions in one go. Unless you don’t read this…then I’ll still answer your questions but I will know you don’t read my blog.
1. What the heck is a Doula anyway?
As a Doula I provide physical, emotional, and informational support and one-on-one care to a birthing person and their partner. I provide continuous labor support to a woman in the way SHE chooses to birth.
“Oh! So you’re like a midwife?” No. I’m not like a midwife. Doulas don’t do anything medical. We help you get your baby out without actually going near your nether regions.
2. Why would I want to hire a Doula?
Now I’m not going to go into all the statistics and studies (but they ARE out there so go look) because it’s not my thing. Research papers, bibliographies, and notations give me anxiety. BUT! I will give you some dang good reasons to hire a Doula the next time you’re ready to have a baby.
- Doulas are a form of pain relief through their continuous support. Your doula will be with you when your provider isn’t. Providers come in to catch a baby basically. (Just kidding. OB’s and midwives are amazing and I love you) But! Your Doula will be there through most of your labor. She has been trained and knows how to move you, shake you (seriously. Rump shaking can be good), and massage you where you need it when you need it.
- Your Doula knows her stuff. She can refer you to that perfect prenatal yoga class, cloth diapering group, childbirth educators, and play group. She is your reference book.
- When you hire a Doula, your labor is more likely to be shorter, less painful, and you are less likely to have unnecessary interventions. I’ll post links to evidence of this. Like I said, it makes me anxious to type everything out myself for fear that my 9th grade English teacher will find me and tell me I plagiarized because I didn’t cite something correctly.
3. Can’t my partner be my Doula?
This question comes up more often than I thought it would. Mostly people want to save a buck, but I’m telling you, your Doula will be your best investment when it comes to your birth.
- While your partner is critical to your birthing experience, they are not a Doula. One, they’re over there having their own experience! Especially first time parents, they have no idea what the heck is going on during childbirth. This might be the first time they’ve had a front row seat to a vagina this size. (Don’t worry, it will go back to normal.) It can be A LOT to take in. They can support a laboring woman, but they deserve to have their own journey as well.
- Partners aren’t usually knowledgeable about birth or medical procedures that come with it. A Doula has been there, done that. She can prepare you for what’s ahead and answer questions along the way when Siri fails you.
- Most importantly, a Doula and a partner work together to form her support team. A partner will frequently look to the Doula for reassurance and advice on how to help. They will also need to be calmed at times. A good Doula makes sure the partner is in a good spot to help support a laboring woman. It should be a bonding moment for them and a Doula makes that happen.
There are so many more things I could add to this, but I would have a novel. Moral of the story: Hire a Doula! And feel free to ask me more questions;)