To lots of people, utilizing a Birth Doula may seem unnecessary, too ‘crunchy’, or just inexplicably weird or uncomfortable. Listen here! I may be a little biased when I beseech thee to hire a doula, but even the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists has indicated that one of the best ways to improve labor and delivery outcomes is to hire a doula!
What can we take from this? Two big things. 1) The quality of care a mother receives throughout labor, birth, and immediately postpartum is SO MUCH MORE IMPORTANT THAN WE OFTEN THINK and; 2) Statistics have shown that obstetric outcomes actually tend to improve with the presence of a doula. WOW!
Why Should I Hire a Birth Doula?
For Those Seeking a Natural Birth: Having a Doula Results in Less Use of Pain Medications or Epidural
Your odds of successfully achieving an all-natural birth are increased with the mere presence of a doula during labor. The statistics are amazing!
A study conducted in 2011 found that women who were provided continuous support throughout childbirth were:
- Less likely to have a Caesarean Section
- Less likely to use synthetic oxytocin to speed up labor
- Less likely to use any pain medications
- Less likely to rate their birth experience negatively
Having someone with you during who is knowledgeable about birth, can encourage you towards your goals of birthing naturally, remind you of coping techniques, as well as provide support to your partner can help you stay focused and encouraged when things are hard. Let your doula help you to release the power you have to birth your baby and empower you to give birth through natural means!
A Doula is Still Valuable if You are Planning on Using Medication
Although using pain medications during birth can take a lot of the physical pain and hard work off of you, doula support is still beneficial to your birth! Your doula is able to provide physical assistance for moving around in bed, changing positions, and other things you may be temporarily unable to do as a side effect of certain drugs.
Even though physical pain may subside during labor, the whirl of emotions you may experience in bringing your baby into the world is not numbed. Partners at your birth may not understand the lingering need for emotional support despite the help of pain medication. Your doula can stay with you to help you cope with undesired side effects of medication, and any emotions that come with anticipating the arrival of your babe!
Doulas Support Birth Partners, Too
Supporting a woman throughout birth is no easy job, especially for someone who may not know what to expect and has not experienced it before. Partners can often feel the weight of a satisfactory birth experience on their shoulders without having the knowledge, confidence, or tools to support birthing mommas! Your doula can step in to coach, assist, and reassure your partner as he or she supports you. Partners can benefit from doulas in so many ways:
- Someone to fill in for a bathroom break!
- Emotional support for distressing or overwhelming moments
- Coaching on proper massage techniques
- Encouragement to feel confident in asking questions of medical staff
Give Yourself the Gift of a Supported Birth
Are you considering hiring a birth doula? Are you still weighing your options for birth? Send me a message, and I would love to answer any questions you may have, or connect you to valuable resources so you can make an informed decision.