So…what exactly does a doula do?
We thought you’d never ask!
In a nutshell, a doula is a non-medical professional who provides physical and emotional support to a pregnant person and her partner. She is a person who is trained to assist a birthing individual during childbirth and who may also provide support to the family after the baby is born. The best part about this work is that every doula has her own style and skillset, and we believe there is a perfect doula for every family. Having said that, if you’re considering your options here are the important ways that a wonderful doula would support your family.
“My partner read all the books, why would our family need a doula??”
“If people have been birthing all these years and years why do we need any help?”
“ We love our doctor, as long as she’s there to take care of us-we’re all good.”
Unbiased, on-demand support.
When you choose a doula, she (or we acknowledge “he”, or “they”, but we’ll stick with she for our example) will become your go-to sounding board for anything that comes up for you in pregnancy. A great doula will be able to point you toward all the relevant, evidence-based information available while supported all of your decisions without any bias or preference of her own.
Better birth outcomes.
You can check with dr. google on this one or check out some of our favorite evidence-based resources, the stats and evidence are all conclusive. Here are just a few of the tangible ways a birth doula makes a difference.
more likely to give birth spontaneously
less likely to give birth via caesarean or with a vacuum or forceps
less likely to use pain medications
more likely to be satisfied
had slightly shorter labors
A doula is a constant birthing companion.
A lot of birthing people are surprised to find that they are left on their own for much of the birthing process. Research shows that the average labor and deliver nurse is only present for about 31% of the birth process, and if you ask around, you might be surprised to hear that most of that time is spent taking care of the tasks/tests and others that may leave you feeling rather alone for the remaining 69% of the time!
Your doula will be with you every step of the way providing physical, emotional and practical comfort in every which way imaginable. We know that this feels good in the moment, but we also know that it results in preferable outcomes for birthing people and their families.
Your partner may have to pee.
Ok, so this speaks to the reason above…but worth further exploring. Your partner may need to take a break, step out for a snack, check in with family members or yes…even pee! And its really comforting and useful to have another set of hands to help out with things in these moments. Sometimes it looks as simple as moving the car that nobody managed to actually “park” upon hectic hospital arrival, other times it its holding your hand while your partner checks in with your in-laws who are wholly committed to a 36-hour straight sit-in in the waiting room.
Someone to hold space for your story.
WARNING. If you hire a doula, you’re going to hear this phrase time and time again. But there’s good reason for that. Most of us are birthing in environments where things may move fast, a nurse’s shift may change and we may never have the chance to connect in a meaningful way with the details or even broad strokes of our birth stories. It is incredibly powerful to look during birth to meet the steady, calm gaze of a person who is there, in it with you and who will meet you there until you are steady enough to move through it to the other side on your own. When you see your doula after your birth, she’ll be able to hold that space once again, walking you through the moments, celebrations, questions and doubts that may be important to hear and say out loud. Worth noting- while many of us have certainly tried it- your 6 week check-in at your OBs office does NOT double as a therapy/birth unpacking/100 questions opportunity for a freshly postpartum mom.
So there you have the basics, for more info and resources explore our site or reach out anytime- we love to make the perfect doula/client match!