Why Hire a Doula?
"My husband said this and nailed it. 'When Evangeline would start talking you through a contraction I could feel you relax each time and work through each one.' So nice hearing that he saw what I was experiencing." Melissa
Are you feeling anxious or fearful of the unknown that is childbirth and new parenthood? Or are you wanting a better experience than you had in a previous pregnancy and delivery? Are you concerned about your partner and wanting him to feel just as supported and comfortable as you hope to be? Through the years of consults and conversations with clients and their partners, we have heard such a wide range of reasons for hiring a doula. No matter what kind of birth, unmedicated to Cesarean, the common thread we hear is a desire for a calm and positive birth experience. Our primary goal when we step into your birth space is to help provide you and your support persons with the emotional, physical, and informational support you need to have the best birth experience possible.
Pregnancy, birth, and beyond seems to be one continuous dramatic life event full of uncertainties. We can't remove those uncertainties, but we can help you prepare for and confidently embrace the wild journey that is birth and parenthood. We both have been right where you are. We understand the kind of fears and worries wrapped with the happiness and excitement you feel when you first see that positive pregnancy test. A doula's job starts from the time of hire. We help to navigate through those mixed emotions, seek out evidence-based information to answer your questions, and guide you through talking with your care provider. We get to know you and your birth wishes, develop a plan based on those wishes, and then help you attain those birth wishes to the best of our ability.
During your labor, doulas do a wide range of jobs. We may massage your back, guide you through breathing, clean up various messes, help you change positions after an epidural has been placed, instruct your partner on how to best support you, and help you know how to ask questions when plans have to change. We are there continuously and are concerned with your emotional well-being just as much as your physical. Our experience and knowledge of birth serves to help us anticipate your needs and try to be one step ahead.
After your labor, we provide initial breastfeeding support, newborn care support, and referrals for care providers. Postpartum visits have proven to be invaluable to our clients in helping them to process their births, discussing the challenges they are facing with their newborn, and problem solving to help the transition of integrating their new little one be as smooth as possible. In those visits, we may talk with you about your postpartum body and how to jump start recovery, help you understand the risks and warning signs of postpartum mood disorders, answer your questions about newborn care, and provide vetted referrals for professionals who specialize in areas you need further support.
A doula's main focus can be your emotional well-being and birth experience because a doula's role is not to provide any medical care. She does not take your blood pressure or check your cervix. A doula does not talk to your care providers on your behalf or make decisions for you. She helps you to maintain your own autonomy.
The effect of a doula in a birth space has been studied and found to do the following:
31% decrease in the use of Pitocin
28% decrease in the risk of C-section
12% increase in the likelihood of a spontaneous vaginal birth
9% decrease in the use of any medications for pain relief
14% decrease in the risk of newborns being admitted to a special care nursery
34% decrease in the risk of being dissatisfied with the birth experience
Dekker, Rebecca L. "The Evidence for Doulas." evidencebasedbirth.org. 2013