We live in a culture that is happy to pay for their wedding. The full 9 yards, meals, alcohol, dresses, photographer you name it. You pay for your wedding because you recognize that it symbolizes something important, and you want your friends and family to be there and witness it in a beautiful way. The point is, you pay for things that you value. And that's awesome.
What i want to challenge, is why your birth is any different. The birth of your child is a powerful and momentous occasion. An occasion that requires a lot of decisions. We live in a culture in North America where our epidural rate, and intervention rate is really high. Knowing how to navigate your pregnancy and birth is 1 of 3 things that your doula provides for you.
What a doula provides for you is support, education and experience. Briefly, this is how that can look. You hire us early in pregnancy, you text, email and call us throughout your pregnancy for information, education, validation, questions, assurance, fears and concerns. You attend our prenatal class and learn all about what birth looks like, feels like and sounds like.
Let me tell you from personal experience, that I wish we had hired a doula for our first birth. I was super educated, I read all the books, I watched the documentaries and video, and googled everything. I had long chats with our midwives, and challenged every decision. In the moment of labour when your body demands that you give up control, you want to know that you've got someone in your corner who knows exactly what you need and want.
Your midwife or OB is your primary care provider. We are your voice when you don't have one, your diary of wishes and choices, and your one on one support provider. We have no paperwork or calls to answer when we are at your birth. We are there 100% for you.
Back to the wedding analogy. Just because something is free (Ob or Midwifery), doesn't mean you can't make your experience way more memorable and also trauma free with support. Here's what trauma is. When you leave your body. Something unthinkable is happening, and we can't reconcile it in our minds, so we go somewhere else, we stop breathing into our body. We dissociate, disconnect, abandon. But if we can stay with our body, awful things can happen, and we won't register it as trauma. A doula helps you do that. By keeping you in the moment and helping you breathe through it and explaining what is happening and why. By keeping you grounded and connected.
I promise you once you understand the value of having a doula to help you navigate birth, like a sherpa helps a novice scale a mountain, you won't regret hiring one. We don't get a do over with birth. Research and research some more. I wish I had understood that as powerful as I am, and as amazing as my husband was, I couldn't be there for myself when I needed someone to lean on.