1- Fountain of information and resources
My doula and I chatted about breastfeeding, the best yoga positions for the third trimester, herbs, food, even sex at our prenatal appointments. Good doulas are not only an amazing resource for information for just about anything you could think of, but she often times becomes one of your very best friends. An amazing friend always makes you feel heard, supported and loved. I know my doula certainly made my pregnancy and birthing time an incredible experience.
2- Helps your partner not feel helpless
Doula's are often times looked at as being a replacement for your spouse. On the contrary, doulas are quite possibly the opposite. Doulas can actually be more of a support to the husband or other labor partner there, than the mom. They are there to support the family as a whole, and most of the time that means making sure the other labor partner feels involved. A lot of husband's can feel quite helpless as they are trying to support their wives through one of the biggest days in their lives. Doulas, while have become close with the laboring mother, cannot replace the love and familiarity of a husband's touch.
3- Don't have to worry as much about your birth plan being followed
If you have hired a labor doula, you can rest assured she is going to make sure you get what you want. I have seen some amazing fathers push for their birth plan to be read and understood by the whole birth team. However, seeing the one you love in transition can be hard. That's when your doula can step in and be the voice of reason. She can make sure you are not being bullied into anything you truly don't want or need. In contrast, she can make sure she catches the anesthesiologist before he goes on break because you just cannot wait another minute. She's there for you.
4- She's there for you when you need the most support
Being in labor land can be euphoric and distracting all at the same time. You are highly suggestible, and if you are not feeling supported, you can be diverted from the thing that you have been planning for months. Now birth plans are meant to be held lightly, as they are rarely followed to a T. However, your doula is your number one supporter and your number one advocate. She will be there from the beginning to the end, and even in the weeks to follow. She will see you through it all, with understanding, compassion, and love.
I love doulas. I have aspirations to become a doula. When I first heard of doulas, I thought that it was kind of unnecessary. I even had those feelings linger into my second pregnancy, which was the first pregnancy that I actually decided to hire a doula. I told my husband that I wasn't sure if it would be worth the cost, but if it was going to help me in my dream of having the perfect home birth then I wanted to do it! It was oh so worth the money and then some. I don't regret my decision at all. The only thing I do regret, was not hiring one for my first birth. My first birth was slightly traumatic, and would have gone a whole lot smoother if I had a doula on my side and in my corner, fighting for me.
I asked a couple of lovely women in the community their thoughts on hiring a doula, here's what they had to say..
"When I found out I was pregnant, I'd never even heard the word doula before. When I first read the description of one, I knew I had to have one! When my labor wasn't progressing during my home birth, my doula slept on my couch so she could monitor my temperature during the night. When I had to transport to the hospital, my midwife became my second doula and when she had to run to another birth she sent another midwife who pressed on my tailbone during the worst labor pains I experienced to give me some relief. I've never felt so supported and surrounded by feminine power in my entire life. My doulas gave my husband and I the space and assistance we needed to have a more intense connection with each other during my labor, and for that I will be eternally grateful!"
"The Mostly Mindful Mommy"
"I wasn't even going to hire a doula with my first pregnancy, but my childbirth educator took me aside and told me she thought I could be a good match with this Christian doula-in-training who would be able to work with us to make it affordable. The doula and I met and immediately hit it off. She was like a dear sweet mother to me while my own mom was several states away. She stayed at my side and gave so many uplifting words and prayers during the birthing. After a less than ideal birth, I saw the value in what she had done. We ended up paying her more than what she had asked! I told my doula that I absolutely would have hated the birth if it hadn't been for her being at my side. She assured me that my next birth wouldn't be like that. To this day, I am pretty certain I wouldn't have ever had another baby if it weren't for her. The things she said to me and the way she helped me process that birth after-the-fact was so important!
Today, I have three children. I went on to have two totally amazing, healthy, mountaintop birth experiences assisted by doulas. The second birth was such a tremendous high, it inspired me to become a childbirth educator so I can tell everyone about how great birth can be.
I would never want to give birth without a doula. My wish is for a doula for every woman that wants one."