Why Hire A Birth Doula?
Any woman who has had a baby can tell you, giving birth is one time that extra support can be a life-changer. That's where Doulas come in. Doulas are not medical professionals, they are solely there to provide physical assistance, emotional support or educational information to women in their pregnancies, labor, childbirth and postpartum. Doulas are support people, part of the Birth Support Team, and everyone can use more support!
What About The Doctor / Midwife or Nurses?
Your medical staff will be in and out of the room as you labor, they need to update charts regularly, check you medical stats, order meds etc. Health care professionals work on shifts and often once you finally get acquainted and familiar with one they will be replaced with somebody new. A Doula will stay with you for the entire duration of active labor, and won't leave until baby is born, the placenta is delivered and feeding has been established. This is usually 1-2 hours after baby is born, longer if needed.
What About My Partner?
Unless your significant other is a Midwife or OB/GYN, he or she isn’t going to know nearly as much about the birth process as your Doula. Even if it’s your second or third time having a baby, there will likely come a time when your partner will probably feel overwhelmed. Your Doula is there to guide both of you through the process. She can suggest specific ways your partner can help you, while respecting the intimacy of your experience together. Your Doula is there if your partner needs to take a quick bathroom or meal break and not feel guilty leaving. If it's a long labor maybe the partner needs to take a quick nap in the labor lounge or go grab a coffee and stretch their legs. If baby needs a little extra care after delivery, your partner can go with baby and your Doula can stay with you to comfort you and help you get updates and information about your baby. A Doula adds to the experience for a partner in so many ways!
Will My Doula Help During Pregnancy?
Expecting moms can lean on their Doulas for emotional support and valuable information and advice in the weeks leading up to the birth. This can be particularly helpful for first-time moms, uncertain about how to differentiate between, say, Braxton Hicks contractions and the real thing. Or if your water broke, a Doula might suggested you eat before heading to the hospital since it might be a while before you meet your baby. If you are crampy or have a headache a Doula might suggest you drink water and stay off your feet for a bit. In late pregnancy or early labor they can suggest breathing techniques, labor positions, comfort measures and things to try at home depending on what you are feeling. If you are suffering from a sore back, Doulas can suggest things that may help that. Doulas provide unlimited email, phone and text support through the duration of pregnancy too!
How Do I Know My Doula Will Be There?
Doulas only schedule a few births a month. That means they’re almost guaranteed to be there for the big event. Even if you're in labor on Christmas Day, a Doula will show up and never once complain about having to eat Christmas dinner out of a hospital vending machine ... ask me how I know! If by some rare chance they are in a car accident or have taken ill ... they have equally qualified back up Doulas in place to take over their role at your birth. With many Doctors and Midwives working in group practices, it’s a relief to know there’ll be at least one Birth Support expert at your birth who you have an ongoing relationship with. In over 80 births, I've only used a back up Doula ONCE.
What Else Can my Doula Do?
You can ask your Doula to do anything you can think of to help you. Whether it’s a back or foot rub, grabbing your partner a coffee from the cafeteria, changing the CD, or advocating on your behalf to get the anesthesiologist in the room this minute with your epidural, your Doula is there for you. They can explain the benefits and risks at each stage or option, and give you the information needed to make a fact based, informed decision for yourself and your baby. If your baby is in a breech or unnatural position your Doula can try some Spinning Babies techniques to rotate your baby for optimal fetal positioning. Mother Birth has had lots of experience successfully spinning very stubborn babies! Doulas can provide you with support, resources and information for all aspects of pregnancy, labor, childbirth and postpartum!
Can A Doula Help Me Adjust Once I'm home?
Yes, while you hire a Birth Doula to attend births, some work as Postpartum Doulas too, and they support new mothers at home in the first few months. It is money well spent. Often new parents are overwhelmed, exhausted, sore and struggling to get the hang of nursing. For a few precious hours each week, a Postpartum Doula can help out by looking after your newborn while you nap or shower, help with feeding, teach your partner how to change diapers, fold a load of laundry, show you how to get baby to nurse more productively and kept your energy up. Mother Birth will even help you meal plan and prepare a freezer stash for the early baby days when so many adjustments are happening. Pick out some recipes and ingredients and ask us for help to make some awesome heat and serve meals! When planning a baby shower, some decide to skip the onesies and wipe-warmers and ask to be gifted Postpartum Doula hours instead!