10. You haven’t had lots of birth experience. Maybe you’ve had a baby or two. Or you’re an EMT and you’ve helped catch a baby. Even if you’re an OB/GYN who has delivered tons of babies, you haven’t been on the other end. Giving birth is a different experience for every woman and every pregnancy. We haven’t seen it all, yet, but we’ve seen quite a bit and we can help you figure it all out.
9. Your birth partner only has 2 hands, and might need to pee. You have a great husband, partner, sister or mom. Awesome! We LOVE birth partners! But no matter how great your guy is, he can’t rub your back while he’s holding you up during a leaning forward contraction. Even if your sister is your best friend and never lets you down, she’s still going to need to use the restroom! We are there to support you and your whole birth team. You won’t be left alone in your room, because we’re there to back up your partner when he/she needs to eat, rest, or whatever. And, we’ll send them to lunch at a time they WON’T miss the birth!
7. To push the pause button. Birth can get really wild and emotions can get out of control, sometimes you feel not listened to, panicked, or scared. Doulas can slow it all down. Ask the provider to give you a minute. Rephrase or reframe what’s going on. Gently remove people from your room who aren’t helping. Remind you to breathe and reassure you that you’re doing great.
6. Information, information, information! One of the best reasons to get a doula is to have access to her brain, and not just during birth! We help explain your choices, give pros and cons, offer suggestions the medical staff may not be aware of (or trained in), reassure you that you’re normal: it’s like bringing your childbirth educator with you to a birth. And if we don’t know the answer, we know where to start looking for it. We’re available to you from the day you sign until after the birth – isn’t it good to have a friendly, informed voice on speed dial?
5. You can’t insult your doula (probably). We’ve heard all sorts of crazy things during labor, and none of it bothers us. Call us names, curse words, you name it! We know what you’re going through and we’re not taking it personally. So you don’t have to worry or censor yourself when you’re in a contraction. What happens in labor stays in labor!
4. Pictures with Dad in them. Get a picture or two of your partner helping through a contraction, pictures of him/her cutting the cord, all three of you in that first newborn shot. We’re great at getting “Facebook friendly” shots, too!
3. Cut down on unnecessary medical interventions, even c-sections! Studies show that women who hire doulas request and use less pain medication, need less Pitocin and have lower rates of cesarean births. We never tell you that you can’t have an intervention if you and your health care provider both think it’s a good idea, but we can help you make an informed decision about what you want and when you want it.
2. Women who birth with doulas rate their births, partners and even babies higher! Women who labored with a birth doula have higher rates of being satisfied with their birth experience – and that translates into a better start at motherhood and nursing! They are more likely to begin and continue breastfeeding. They even rate their partners as more helpful and their own babies as cuter than women who didn’t have a doula. Do doulas make your baby cuter? Probably not, but it can’t hurt!
1. You deserve it! Most women spend 100 hours or more preparing for their wedding! How much time have you spent planning for your birth? Not for the baby, but the actual labor and delivery? Many women only have a 6 hour childbirth course. You can’t learn or remember all you need to know. A doula will bring all her experience for you, as well as caring for things like getting you drinks, rubbing your back, adjusting your pillows, helping you to the toilet, whatever you need: we treat you like the birth goddess you are. And you deserve it!
Check out our entire Doula's Top 10 Series here!