How can a Doula can improve your birth experience?
Updated: Oct 10, 2018
You may have never even heard of a Doula, let alone how one can actually benefit you. Read on as I attempt to put into words how freaking amazing Doula's really are.
So yes I may be a little biased, but I am so not the "sugar-coating" type. This blog will give you a real look into why hiring a Doula for your birth, is legit the best decision ever.
Lets face it, there are a million new trends being created every year, and the pregnancy world is no exception. You may be wondering if Doula's are just the newest fad to hit the birth scene, but I can assure you, we are nowhere near new.
Doula's have been around since the beginning of time, but the term "Doula" wasn't widely used until the late 60's. If you look at any type of ancient art depicting birth there is almost always a woman, surrounded by other women. Women have always supported other women when it comes time for labor and delivery. No one knows the process as well as a woman who has gone through the same thing.
OK so seriously, what's in it for you?
Whether you are pregnant for the first time, or the twentieth time, you know that birth can sometimes be a big question mark. "When will it happen, where will I be, who will be there, will it hurt, will I be ok, will my baby rip through my stomach like a monster from "Alien""? These are all valid questions, ones which can somewhat be answered. No one knows exactly when or where you will go into labor, but what you can plan on is the steady support of at least one person... Yep it's your Doula.
BTW, the baby totally isn't going to be an alien.
Having a Doula is like a constant 24/7 encyclopedia of pregnancy and birth. You can text her at 11 p.m about the weird discharge you've been having all day and she will 1. not be grossed out, and 2. probably be able to help you find some answers.
When your boss is driving you crazy, your mother in law is giving you another lecture on not co-sleeping, your BFF is no where to be found, and your hubby won't go buy you pickles and Hot Cheetos in the middle of your movie night, your Doula is there to hear you out. We may not be able to solve every problem, but just having someone to vent to can be a game-changer. Bottling up emotions isn't good when your not pregnant, but it's a big no-no while your making a human being. Stress Less Girl.
Your Doula will meet with you before you go into labor and go over all of the juicy details about birth, & she has probably already been to your place of delivery so she has the inside scoop about all the good hospitals, birth centers, or home birth midwives. Chances are she also knows about the most bangin' place to get a prenatal massage.
When you are close to Baby Day, your Doula is on call 24/7 waiting for good news. Our bag is packed, in the car, everything is set up to run on auto-pilot without us, and we can leave at a moment's notice to come to you when you call. When we arrive we can assess your needs right away. From that point on we are your hands and feet. You need water, got it. Feet are sore, massage, check. Need to puke? We got the bucket, and your hair. Feeling like you can't do it anymore? Oh yes you can, you are already doing it, we are right there being your 100% support.
We have your back no matter what your choices are. Whatever you need us for, we are there. We show up, for you.
Dad wants to be hands on and help support you but has no idea how to begin? We are guiding him on the best way to touch you without you wanting to break his hand. Doctors talking gibberish and trying to convince you to break your birth plan? We can remind you of your choices, and why you made them, while also explaining in layman's terms what the heck they are saying so that you can make a truly informed decision.
When baby arrives we can help establish breastfeeding or bottle feeding, whatever you choose. We normally take lots of pictures during this whole process and keep a record of times and events so that you can piece together your story and experience later on. Doula's are like your Birth BFF, anything we can do to help you, we're on it. When it's time to get up and use the restroom after delivery, we are there to help you walk, heck I'll even help you get your adult pull-up off and back on. We make sure you get some food in your belly and that you stay warm. After everyone is settled, we head home. Your postpartum visits usually come in 2's, one 2 days after birth, and another a week after birth. These visits are the best! Firstly because, cute baby, secondly because we get to talk about your birth, how it went, what you thought happened, how you are processing everything, etc. We can hand over any photo's or records we have. We can also watch over the baby while you get a hot shower, or even just rest. We can look for, and distinguish signs of PPD (Postpartum Depression) and help you locate help if needed. Establishing a bond between you, the baby, and the rest of the family is crucial, so I normally spend a lot of time discussing how to foster that good love connection between the newest member of the family and everyone else. After those visits you can choose to purchase a package for additional postpartum Doula hours, or part ways and just keep in touch when you have questions or concerns. I normally keep in touch with all of my past clients on social media, it's really nice to see the babies grow up! Now, for you number cruncher's, here are some stats showing why Doula's are a great idea:
25% decrease in the risk of Cesarean; the largest effect was seen with a Doula (39% decrease)*
8% increase in the likelihood of a spontaneous vaginal birth; the largest effect was seen with a Doula (15% increase)*
10% decrease in the use of any medications for pain relief; the type of person providing continuous support did not make a difference
Shorter labors by 41 minutes on average; there is no data on if the type of person providing continuous support makes a difference
38% decrease in the baby’s risk of a low five minute Apgar score; there is no data on if the type of person providing continuous support makes a difference
31% decrease in the risk of being dissatisfied with the birth experience; mothers’ risk of being dissatisfied with the birth experience was reduced with continuous support provided by a doula or someone in their social network (family or friend), but not hospital staff
Ready for your free consult to see if I'm the right fit for you? Click here to connect with me! Have you ever used a Doula? What was your experience like? Comment below and share, I'd love to chat with you!