Why you want a doula at your birth (and after!)
I can’t even handle seeing a woman give birth in a movie anymore...talk about unrealistic. The water breaking (every time), the instant panic and rush to the hospital (how dilated is this lady even?) A few screams later she’s got a clean, pink baby and…ah, it doesn’t matter.
Before I went into labor I realized the only experience I had witnessing a birth was seeing my nephew born, and otherwise just on TV. Unless you count the cow I saw being born in a field.
I think that’s most of us moms before we go through the big event firsthand. But without the real experience having gone through it yourself or having witnessed others births, you only kinda know what you’re in for. This is why having a doula by your side is a game changer. You’re partnering with someone who specializes in this area, and she’s specifically there to advocate for you.
Here’s a few of the top reasons you want a doula at each stage of your journey:
1. She’ll help prep you for labor with tips you might not get anywhere else.
Your medical team is likely loaded up with clients, especially if you’re taking a traditional birth route. They don’t have time to sit with you and talk with you for long. Your doula can give you specific, personalized advice about how to prepare your body for labor. She might give you positions or exercises, for example, that are not just a one-size fits all tip.
2. She'll be there to guide you, especially when your medical team isn't around.
TV made it seem like giving birth is a quick process, and we all know it’s typically not…especially if it’s your first baby. So what happens during all those hours of labor? Well your doc sure isn’t hanging out coaching you on what to do. Sure you’ll get tended to by nurses if you’re in a hospital. If you’re at a birth center, they’ll check in too, of course. But if you’re in labor for a while, you might be doing a lot of the work on your own. Having a doula is like having a birth partner—she’ll be with you throughout the whole journey to guide and offer support. For example, she may help you through pushing or give you a more effective position to labor in.
3. She's great for providing newborn assistance, tips and a break!
I didn’t know there was a 4th trimester until I was in it, and I’m so grateful I had my doula’s support. I hired a postpartum doula specifically to cook for us while I was healing and we were adjusting to the new baby. If you can find one of those, you won’t regret hiring her. Having this support meant I could rest and heal and take care of my baby without worrying about getting fed myself. Postpartum doulas are also great for newborn and baby care. There’s a lot to learn with a baby and she can help give you tips/tools and offer a break while you take a nap or wash your hair…whatever you need.