Do you Doula?

I was passionate about having a natural childbirth.  Not “let me tell you why EVERY woman MUST have a natural childbirth”, but rather “women for generations have been able to do it, so let’s give it a go and do this thing (if all goes well)” type mentality.  My husband and I spent the better part of my pregnancy reading books, talking with friends, and attending childbirth classes to learn the blessings and challenges of natural childbirth.  And we were in, but we recognized that we would need some support to do so.  It was through all of this that we learned about doulas.

FWMB Duola pic

Here are the reasons that I passionately support doulas:

1. Their training and experience in pain management during labor is unmatched.  Even if you have a husband who is strong (or picks up the techniques well), having a trained doula to try out or suggest different methods and positions if one isn’t working was incredibly helpful.

2. For a first birth, we took comfort in knowing that we had a teammate who had seen it all before, so she could walk us through a scary situation if is arose.  Our doula would be an emotionally unattached (relatively – at least in comparison to my hubby) 3rd party who could help us think rationally when in the challenges of labor we would swing more towards emotional decision-making.

3. She was our advocate.  To nurses, doctors, family, everyone.  We were thorough and careful in our selection of a doula, and she was such an asset to our birthing team at the hospital, working with and not against them.  We had decided not to have any other family in the delivery room with us, but we thoroughly enjoyed her support and presence.

4. An extra set of hands is always helpful. Whether it be to help with labor, retrieve ice chips/water/toothbrush/wash cloth/camera, you name it.  Doulas by their trade and nature are willing to do anything and everything to serve and care for you in the birth process – including showing up at the hospital at 2:30 am, as was our experience (I might also add – she is a mom of 4!!).

5. They can be very helpful in the first couple of hours following birth as you navigate your first breast-feeding session with your little one, long before you have access to the lactation consultants on staff.

6. Many are also available for post-partum visits and support – ours has been ready and willing to take any phone calls or questions I might have.

7. Numerous clinical studies have shown that women who have a doula at birth tend to have shorter labors, fewer complications, more positive feelings towards their birth experience, and a reduced need for pitocin, forceps, vacuum extraction or c-sections.

Though we opted for the epidural in the end (hands-down the best decision for us, but more about that later), I am still ever-grateful that we had the support of our fantastic doula.  Though she was passionate about leading us through a natural childbirth, even when we made the decision to go medicated we received nothing but support and encouragement from her.

Interested in finding out more about doulas?  Visit Dona International for more information and to find a doula in the FW area.

 

Have you used a doula for any of your births? How was your experience?

 

Carly
Carly is a stay at home mom to her daughter, Piper, and wife to a Fort Worth native, Mason. She loves making lists, long runs, warm coffee cuddled up on the couch, and a nice afternoon sitting on the patio chatting with friends.

2 COMMENTS

  1. I wish we had hired a doula for our 2nd baby. I was talked out of it by my doctor, and she made valid points, but upon reflection I should have gone with my gut.

  2. Our little girl will make her arrival any day now and I am excited to have Barbara Davis as our doula! This is our first child and we find so much comfort knowing that she’ll be here to walk us through everything!

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