As a birth doula, I am constantly spending time connecting with new moms, soon to be moms, and researching information to make me more valuable to my clients.
There is a common saying in the birth world originally said by Dr. John H Kennel that goes, “If a doula were a drug, it would be unethical not to use it.”
This is because having a doula provides so much mental, physical and emotional support to birthing mommas in such a fragile and critical time.
One of the most common questions I get from others when they find out I am a birth doula is, “Did you have a doula at your own birth?”
The truth is, I didn’t.
I considered myself well prepared and sufficiently self educated when it came to wanting and having a natural birth.
I felt safe and secure in my choice of care providers and that my views of birth aligned with the actions they would take while I was in labor.
I had heard of doulas before…but I didn’t really need one did I? I mean, I had my husband AND my mom….wouldn’t that be enough people in the birth room?
Plus, I just really didn’t know what she would be doing? Wouldn’t it be the same things that my midwives were doing?
Which leads me to the answer to my question….why didn’t I have a doula?
I simply did not know at the time all the ways a doula could have helped me!
Just like with many things in life, your idea of how things will go and how they actually turn out in real life can be drastically different.
Example: ALL OF MOTHERHOOD. (I remember thinking I would have a ton of time to take on new hobbies and keep the house spotless by staying home with a baby. I mean, they just sleep most of the time, right? I was WRONG)
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I knew that doulas could help educate me about the progression of labor and childbirth…..
BUT I didn’t know that a doula would have experience in numerous different scenarios and be able to offer genuine and educated advice.
I knew that doulas would help me relax…
BUT I didn’t know that a doula would be there from the onset of labor until the very end, providing comfort measures, reassurance, counter pressure, cool towels, water to drink, massage techniques and suggestions for optimal positions.
I knew that a doula would be committed to helping me achieve a natural birth…
BUT, I didn’t realize that a doula is for any mother, any type of birth, no matter if it is medicated, un-medicated, vaginal, C-section, VBAC, hospital birth, birth center birth, home birth, first time mom, mother of 5, extremely detailed birth plan, no birth plan….you get the idea!
A birth doula is not just for your all natural, home birth mommas….a doula is for every type of birth!
I also didn’t realize a doula would help me think through my decisions and provide support and encouragement no matter what decisions I made, provided they were the best for me and my baby’s well being.
I knew a doula would be there for the entire birth….
But, I didn’t realize that any midwives or nurses would only be checking on me from time to time, and that a doctor would only be there at the very end of labor when it was time to push. I didn’t realize that a doula is prepared to stay at a mother’s side no matter how long labor takes…whether 6 hours or 36 hours. I didn’t realize that when I was left alone to labor by myself while the midwives were helping other mothers, a doula would be fully and 100% committed to my support.
I knew that a doula would be on call for my birth…
BUT, I didn’t realize that a doula would meet with me and my partner, attend prenatal appointments, go to birthing classes, respond to texts and phone calls with questions, research information on my behalf when I was exhausted from pregnancy, and check up on me and genuinely be concerned about my well being. I didn’t know that a doula would be scheduling and planning her life around the upcoming arrival of my baby, and was genuinely happy to do so.
I knew that a doula was a caring and loving person…
BUT, I didn’t know that for many moms who have doulas, they gain a loving and supportive friend for life.
I didn’t have a doula …..because I simply did not realize the depth and also broadness of their work until I became a doula myself.
The more I know about birth and the more prepared I feel going into childbirth, the more I know that for any future pregnancies, hiring a doula will be one of the first things on my list.
If you are interested in learning about hiring a doula and what birth packages we offer, check out “Is a doula right for me.”
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