Reasons to Hire a Doula (and Why I Wish I Had the First Time)

By Kaeli Stolt

You’re pregnant. There is so much to decide. So much information to navigate. Which pediatrician will your baby see? Which type of baby carrier works the best? Will you breastfeed or use formula? Will you have a medicated or unmedicated birth?

Should you hire a doula?

First off, you have to figure out what a doula even is. Oh, okay, she’s a physical and emotional support person for your labor and delivery experience. She’s there for support before your pregnancy, throughout your labor and delivery, as well as your postpartum recovery. A doula’s main job is to learn what your birth preferences are and to do everything she can to see that those preferences are honored.

A doula’s main job is to learn what your birth preferences are and to do everything she can to see that those preferences are honored.

But, can’t your significant other, sister, mother, or best friend do that? Why do you have to pay someone you don’t know to be at your birth?

This was my thought processes when I was pregnant for the first time. I didn’t want to spend the extra money on this service. I reasoned that my husband and my mum were more than capable of supporting me and my wishes for my birth. However, I’ve now gone through my first birth and am preparing for my second and I’m here to tell you why you should hire a doula, and why I really wish I had the first time.

1 . A doula helps you prepare for your birth

Especially as a first-time-mum, it’s really hard to know what to expect as you’re heading into your labor and delivery experience. You’re usually told to make a birth plan but it can be quite difficult to narrow down which options you really want for your birth.

A doula knows a lot about birth. She’s been through extensive training and been around the block countless times. She is someone who is there to guide you through your options for progressing, coping and pain relief. A doula’s service package will typically include one, if not two, prenatal visits prior to your birth. At these visits, she helps you figure it all out so that you can go into your birth feeling prepared and empowered.

2. A doula supports you throughout your labor and delivery

This was something I got held up on when considering a doula for my first birth. I was going to have my husband and my mum there with me and surely the nurses would support me, too, right? Wrong. I delivered in the hospital and in my case, the nurses did not support me like I needed them to. My husband and mum tried to do what they could, but when I was in the thick of it I needed someone telling me exactly what to do and how to do it to relieve some of the pain and discomfort. This is exactly what a doula does.

Your doula knows several techniques for pain relief. She knows which positions will help the baby move down as he/she should. She is also not as sympathetically attached to you as your husband or mother may be, which brings me to my next point…

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