"Continuity of care is characterized by a continuous caring relationship between a client and health care professional over time. For most people, continuity of care is highly valued because it allows clients to build a relationship of trust and understanding with their provider."
In the quick paced world of obstetrics and gynaecology, and with most people having multiple health care providers as a part of their team, having true continuity of care is quite rare.
50 years ago if your pregnancy was low risk your family doctor would have been the one delivering your baby, and seeing you through your post partum. They would then see your kids grow up and deliver their babies! Family physicians don't often do births anymore. Its just too much work to have a full client load, do all of your paperwork, and also be on call.
Even with your chosen OB it is unlikely they will be the one to deliver your baby. It could be a resident, or someone else you have never met. You will have a nurse with you who you also have never met and who will be replaced every 12 hours. That could mean multiple nurses over the course of your labour.
With a midwife you are more likely to have someone there who you know well, or at least have met a couple of times. There are circumstances though that are unpreventable where you would have someone you haven't met attend your birth from the midwifery practice, or I have even seen it happen where the midwives were too busy and couldn't make it at all. Imagine that wrench thrown in your plans.
This is where hiring a doula comes in. The doula you hire is ideally 99% for sure going to be there for the birth of your baby. If she has a vacation booked around your due date you will have the option to meet your back up doula. We try to get our personalities across on our social media so you, our clients, feel like you know us all somewhat. (Also may I note that you have the right to meet ALL of the dynamic doulas regardless of vacation schedule! If it will ease your stress than please by all means lets have a date!)
Your doula is walking your pregnancy journey with you, available for emails, texts, phone calls throughout the process to answer questions or ease your mind. We are present for the entirety of your active labour *from when you need us* until you are tucked in with your baby. After baby is born we are available for questions, non-medical concerns, venting, hugs, and a couple of visits for feeding support/baby cuddles.
We infect your life with our oxytocin supply, we feel like a part of your family while you are enjoying, and navigating the journey. We ease your stress, we support your choices, and we celebrate your baby coming into this world.
This continuity, this method of care, has been PROVEN to shorten labour times, reduce the instances of emergency cesarians, and improve birth outcomes (both physically and emotionally!)
Doulas can fill in gaps.! Hiring a doula means that there is at least one birth professional in the birth location with whom you have a strong, comfortable, and trusting relationship. This relationship is built prenatally so that by the time you go into labor we are educated in your unique preferences, hopes, fears, and goals. As your doula we work for you. Not the institution, not for the health care provider. Your choices are our business :)
*picture shared with permission. Photographer Tisha Johnson photography