Many factors contribute to how a labor will go:
the baby’s position, mom’s health, when and how the water breaks, and so much more. As things change and progress, a doula looks at the whole picture, not just what’s happening in the moment. Doulas often look at the challenges that arise in a labor as a puzzle to solve. Back labor? We have ideas to turn that baby and get the pressure off your back. Progress slowing? Let’s try one of the handful of things we’ve found that can help with that. Sometimes the answer is that this is normal and we have to get through it, sometimes we make suggestions and sometimes we just hold your hand and promise you that you’re doing it right.
This unpredictability requires a mom and her birth team to be flexible. It’s the reason we don’t like the term “birth plan”. A plan sounds like you have control and can manage the event. We prefer to say “birth vision.” Imagine what you’d like for your best possible birth and what things are most important to you. Talk about it with your partner and with your health care provider (your doula will be glad to help). This helps you make the best decision at the time, with the situation at the time, and cuts down on regrets and “what-ifs” after the birth.
Birth can be a wonderful journey, and while the destination is the most important part, getting there should be a memorable adventure; one you look back on with great joy and pride. The twists and turns will make your story that much more exciting. A doula to support you on your journey is like a guide on your mountain climb. The accomplishment is still yours, but with an experienced guide by your side, you may have a better time