5 Reasons to Hire a Birth Doula
Updated: Jan 21, 2019
Curious about doulas, but not quite sure whether hiring a doula is right for you? DONA International defines a doula as "a trained professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to a mother before, during and shortly after childbirth to help her achieve the healthiest, most satisfying experience possible." Here are 5 reasons that you should hire a birth doula for your upcoming birth!
1. There is scientific evidence that doulas improve birth outcomes
In 2017, Bohren et al. published a study that suggested continuous support during labor leads to shorter labor, a higher likelihood of spontaneous vaginal births, and a lower likelihood of pain medications, epidurals, vacuum/forceps-assisted births, and C-Sections. Doulas are uniquely equipped to provide this important continuous support because they have no other responsibilities at the hospital other than being there for you.
2. Doulas will create a better experience for your birth partner
Whether your birth partner is your husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, friend, or another family member -- Doulas can offer a huge amount of support & relief as part of your team. Many birth partners, despite their best efforts, find themselves overwhelmed and unsure of how to be helpful during labor. Doulas can act as a coach for everyone in the room, showing partners techniques that allow them to be more successful. It's a win-win!
3. Doulas aren't only for natural childbirth
For those who may have heard of doulas but have never worked with one, there's often a stereotype that doulas only work with a certain type of family to support the goal of having a baby without pain medications. While doulas can certainly help families to achieve that birth vision, they can be just as helpful for planned C-sections & epidurals. Here's a great article from Your Doula Bag explaining all the ways that doulas can help moms with pain medication, and another from Very Well Family about the benefits of doula support for planned C-Sections.
4. It's a great investment
Most new parents are very budget-conscious, trying to save money for the new road ahead. But hiring a doula is not a luxury, it's an investment. Research shows that a woman's birth experience has long-term effects on her emotional & physical well-being. Additionally, Penny Simkin writes that a woman's birth story marks "a landmark in her personal development," and many women remember their birth stories in amazing details many years later.
5. 24/7 support
Unlike your doctor, many doulas (like me) offer 24/7 support from the date that you sign the contract. This means that you have a new friend that you can call/text/e-mail whenever you have a question or concern. This also means that, when the doctor tells you that you're not ready to come to the hospital yet but you're struggling to manage contractions at home, your doula can meet you at home & help you through those early but often challenging contractions. When you hire a doula you're doing much more than just hiring someone to attend your birth - you're ensuring that you have the right support at the right time throughout your pregnancy.
Looking for even more reasons? Contact me and I have plenty more to share!
Photo by Heidy Sequera on Unsplash