Do you know what a doula (pronounced doo-lah) is? Have you heard the word before? Maybe you have just heard it mentioned in a childbirth class or parenting article. It might have crossed your mind that doulas are for home births or for those natural, hippie type births. Although there are no official statistics, experts in childbirth education say the numbers births attended by doulas are rising as evidence of the benefits adds up. I’m here to tell you, doulas are for EVERY KIND OF BIRTH. Medicated, unmedicated, cesarean, vaginal, first, third, fourth… it doesn’t matter. Doulas Support You (and your partner) in birth, throughout your pregnancy, and in the postpartum period.
It’s true that not everyone hires a doula. How do you know if you want one?
- Do you want to know that someone will be with you from the moment you need them until the baby is delivered?
- Do you feel unsure about the labor and birth process?
- Would you like to have someone to talk to about what to expect? Someone with knowledge and experience, who can help you feel prepared and confident?
- Do you want to ensure that your husband or partner has the opportunity to take care of his/her needs, knowing that you are still being supported?
- Do you want an extra set of hands, doing everything they can to make you as comfortable as possible?
- Is your pregnancy high risk?
- Do you want to meet with someone who will take time to answer your questions and help you feel prepared for childbirth?
- Would you like to have someone you can call for breastfeeding questions or assistance?
If you answered yes to any of those questions, contact a doula. Most doulas offer free consultations, where you can get to know one another and discuss how having a doula on your birth team could be beneficial. I would suggest meeting with a couple of doulas to see who might mesh best with you and your partner’s personalities and goals.
If you had a doula for your birth, please share the reason you decided to hire one and the reason you are glad that you did!