A Doula is not only just there for your birth though.
Educational support and information are given prior to labour and delivery, they will assist with the birth plan/wish list and explain integral parts of the experience. They thrive on helping you understand what your body is doing, what is natural, what is not & what your options are.
A Doula will be at your birth no matter what, no matter where, no matter when. They’re on call from 2 weeks before and until 2 weeks after. They commit to being at your birth, a duty that isn’t taken lightly. And amazingly it improves outcome equality across the socioeconomic divide. Access to Doulas mitigates negative influence that economic & social factors have on birth outcomes.
And if all these amazing statistics and outcome differences aren’t enough, there is more.
Think about what a Doula does, can do and will do for both you and your birthing team.
There will be knowledge and experience offered during labour and delivery, as well as reassurance, encouragement and comfort. These are a Doula’s strongest tools of trade alongside helping with pain management and comfort inducing, that comes in the form of foot and back rubs in labour, pressure point massage, counter pressure, rebozo techniques and water comfort. Birth partners can benefit greatly from this too, as they can panic or become anxious whilst watching a loved one in labour. A Doula can offer to show the partner how they can serve the birthing person. A Doula will support you no matter what happens.
Think about Advocacy — this is defined as supporting the birth person in their right to make decisions about their own body and baby. If this isn’t enough, a Doula works for YOU, no worries of thinking or having interest in anything but your birthing experience, you, your baby, and your birth plan.
A Doula will never ask “Have you had your baby yet?”- they will tell you to listen to your body & baby. During your labour there will be no leaving at a shift change, they will be there for the entire experience, telling you that you are beautiful, believing you are beautiful, because you are, and building you up, as you’re an amazing incredible human who is about to give birth to another amazing and incredible human.
You are never going to forget your birthing experience! And your Doula probably won’t either. It is special to your Doula too and a great privilege. As birth is a team effort, a Doula will allow for your birth partner to eat, grab a cuppa or go to the bathroom, all whilst knowing you are not alone. This helps your birth partner to take care of themselves and allows them to better support you.
It is important to know that for all the things a Doula can do, there are things they DON’T do. They:
· DON’T perform clinical tasks
· DON’T give medical advice
· DON’T make decisions for clients
· DON’T pressure the birthing person into certain choices
· DON’T take over the role of birth partner
· And they DON’T catch the baby!
So, I guess the question I would ask now instead of Why Hire a Doula?