If you are looking to head into your birth with a solid support system, both physically and emotionally, then you may be seeking the help of a doula. While we all have expectations and a birth plan in place, the unexpected almost always occurs. What can remain constant through your preparations and labor is the support that can create a positive environment for your birthing experience.
Whether you are about to embark on parenthood for the first time or you are ready to welcome baby #3, a doula can give you the guidance you need from start to finish on the day of your labor. If you want your birth plan to stay intact and create a positive, welcoming atmosphere, we think the presence of a doula could be exactly what you are looking for.
Let us give you 10 reasons why you should consider hiring a doula for the birth of your little one.
Reason 1: To provide unwavering emotional support during labor and delivery.
Although you may have great support from your partner and other family members, sometimes their emotions can get the best of them in the heat of the moment. Sometimes they may just not know exactly how to comfort or push you to keep going during your labor. Both labor and delivery can be physically and emotionally taxing on everyone involved, especially mama.
A doula provides unconditional physical and emotional support. A doula will be there to comfort and encourage you through the toughest moments in a relaxed and motivational manner. The bedside manner of a doula is unparalleled. They offer support that can help encourage even your partner and family to alter their emotional impact on the situation.
Reason 2: A doula can help assist your partner so that they can better assist you.
Unfortunately, while your partner loves and cherishes you dearly, they may have trouble saying or doing the right thing at the moment. Sometimes, they may say something wrong only because they themselves are unsure of what they are doing. This is especially true of first-time parents who are both equally nervous, excited, and scared during labor and delivery. They may misunderstand what you need and don’t need during your labor.
Your doula will be able to assist your partner so that they can provide the right support at the right time. Whether that’s getting you something you need, holding your hand, or simply being quiet.
Reason 3: A doula is there to answer any and all questions on the spot.
Most people deliver their babies in the hospital, which makes absolute sense. Hospitals provide a safe and secure environment for both mom and baby. However, doctors and nurses are caring for multiple patients and the labor and delivery floor is always brimming with activity. This means less time devoted to being in an individual’s room answering questions. Also, this may mean you won’t even see your doctor until the very end of your labor when it is time to deliver—especially if you are there in the middle of the night or early hours of the morning.
Enter the doula! Your doula will be right by your side both asking and answering your questions throughout the process. This provides huge relief for you and your partner to be able to get the answers you need right away.
Reason 4: Doulas help keep you safe and ensure your care is evidence-based.
What does that mean exactly? Evidence-based care? When the right care is not provided to you it can make your delivery process more challenging or deviate from your original birth plan. Not all birth practices are based on medical evidence and your doula will be able to be the voice you need before, during, and after your labor and delivery.
You are already doing a really hard job by bringing your baby into the world, let your doula make sure you get the quality care you deserve.
Reason 5: Did you and your partner miss something in the baby books? Doula to the rescue!
If this is your first child, you probably are not an expert on giving birth and all that goes into it. Even if it’s your fifth child, every labor and delivery is different and there are some things you may have missed while preparing for this moment. There may be parts in the baby books you skipped or glanced over that could come in handy during this moment.
With a doula by your side, you don’t have to worry about being the expert in the situation. With their special training and advanced knowledge and experience at being a crucial part of labor and delivery, they can keep you calm and explain things in the heat of the moment.
Reason 6: Manage pain with methods other than medication.
Whether you’ve decided to use an epidural in your birth plan or deliver naturally with no pain medication, a doula can provide the support and techniques you need to relax as much as possible. Labor and delivery is no easy thing, but women’s’ bodies were built to handle the stress of bringing life into the world.
With the assistance of a doula, you’ll be able to utilize physical, verbal, and visual methods that will ease the pressure off the situation and help you relax.
Reason 7: A doula is there to double as assistance for your birth.
Your doula can be there for all the errands you need. Whether you need more ice chips, another pillow, lights lowered, or music to be changed, you can count on your doula for everything small and large that will make the comfort of your labor and delivery priority.
Instead of sending your partner out of the room for every little thing, you can keep your partner close to you and allow your doula to be the help you need.
Reason 8: Your doula is there to make you as comfortable as possible.
Yes, you are going to be uncomfortable. You are trying to bring a baby into the world and there is nothing more painful or more rewarding for a woman. Your doula can help you move into different positions, hold your hands or your feet, and do anything else that may ease the discomfort of the situation.
Use your doula as a resource and they will be able to make you feel your best at the moment. Finding comfort can be challenging during and after birth, but with the expertise of a doula, you’ll find they can offer you techniques and comfort you may not have thought of on your own.
Reason 9: Your doula will ensure your wishes are accommodated and respected as much as possible.
Repeating your birth plan over and over can become irritating and exhausting, especially for a woman in labor. Instead of having to tell every new person who walks in the room what you and your partner have decided on, you’ll have a doula to do that for you. Your doula will know your birth plan inside and out and be able to help accommodate any of your wishes and wants during the process. They will have your back when someone tries to steer your plan another way and that is amazingly helpful when you are under so much physical and mental stress.
Reason 10: Your doula provides support post-labor.
Once again, doctors and nurses are extremely busy with multiple patients and other moms and babies to look after on the labor and delivery floor. While you’ll still find support and even assistance from a lactation consultant, those same people are having to work with many others on the same issues.
Your doula is there to assist only you through the post-partum and breastfeeding moments after the baby’s birth. They can provide as much assistance as you need to help you get up and moving again, get you feeling like you again, and helping with skin-to-skin contact with baby. When it comes to breastfeeding, your doula can ensure you are shown the proper techniques and increase skin-to-skin contact to make it easier for you and baby to have a happy and successful start to breastfeeding, if that is what you want.
So, is a doula right for you?
Not everyone feels they need that extra set of hands or support, and that is okay. But, if you feel like you and your partner could benefit by having an expert at your side, a doula may be just what you need.
Have you used a doula with any of your births? We would love to hear all about it!