If you're thinking about your pregnancy and how the birth of your baby will play out, you might consider a doula. Though we've been around for decades (centuries actually), coaching and providing educational resources for women, we are now only seeing an increased acceptance into mainstream culture.
You may know of a woman who has had the experience of working with a doula or you might be curious and search the internet as to better understand what a doula actually does.
Some think that a doula is just for women wishing to have a home birth under the care of a midwife, this is not the case. Some women will be told by their primary care provider such as a obstetrician that there is no need for a doula especially with a hospital birth.
If that isn't reason enough to hire a doula, I don't know what is.
With many obstetricians entering the room at the glorious last minutes of your labour to so-to-speak, catch your baby, it's shortsighted to think that this was the only moment of your labour and birth that matters.
It has become the societal norm to medicalize the process of birth. Head to a hospital, get an epidural (by all means this has it's place), legs up and on your back, deliver your baby and we'll see you in six weeks.
I have heard countless times the offering of an epidural and the look when it's turned down.
Birth is a natural process. Women have been doing it for hundreds of years. In those moments, women know what feels right for them. A doula can provide the support and comfort along with encouragement and grounding you in those moments.
The link above in this post is an evidence based piece sharing how a doula fits into your pregnancy, labour, birth and postpartum phase. Take a read and see how the role of a doula can serve you as well as your partner no matter where you birth and how you choose to labour.
Here's the highlights of a doula:
25% decrease in the risk of cesarean
15% increase in the likelihood of spontaneous vaginal birth
Decrease in the need for pain medication and intervention
Increase in the satisfaction with their birth experience (outside of hospital staff)
A doula provides education & support throughout pregnancy, labour, birth and postpartum. We support the growth of positive self-esteem in women and their partners to be successful parents and work to compliment your birth team alongside your primary care provider.
We are the arms to hold you, carry you through each contraction (of early and active labour), lift you up and encourage you to use the strength that you have inside you. We are the same arms to comfort and support you through the first weeks when you are home after giving birth. To provide assistance with infant care, breastfeeding, bottle feeding, an ear to listen and help you with routine, rest and recovery.
Though some may think that a doula in not necessary or even a luxury, I'd say the opposite. Research some evidence based articles, talk to others who have had a doula, even send us a message and we'd be happy to chat!