So – who is in charge here? Well, I can tell you for sure, it’s not the doula! We might say to some extent, it’s the baby! We don’t know what exactly causes labor to begin, but it often depends on the baby’s health and readiness. The mom, definitely, should be in charge of her body, and decisions made about it. In emergency situations, doctors often have to make split second life-saving decisions, though in birth, this is rare.
Doulas believe that for the best possible birth, the mother-to-be should feel that as far as anyone can be, they are in control. Making decisions ahead of time and understanding the options can help. Finding a healthcare provider that supports your decisions and truly listens to your needs is important, too. Having a doula or other good birth support is another piece of the puzzle. A birth partner who can remind you to speak up or ask questions, discuss options with you and your team, support your decisions, and even occasionally speak for you if necessary keeps the control in your corner.
Your healthcare provider and birth place should work with you, for the health of you and your baby both physically and emotionally. Feeling out of control may be part of the intense sensations during labor, but it shouldn’t be a constant from the onset of labor. Making good decisions comes from a combination of education, information, experience and personal preferences. Your birth team should work with you as the captain to ensure that as much as possible, you are in control