Is doula care necessary?
Maybe you’ve heard that phrase from a family member, friend, or even yourself! I get it! I thought the same thing too when I first heard about what a doula was. Aren’t the labor and delivery nurses enough? What about my OB, midwife, and partner? Shouldn’t they be able to help me?
The answer to that is yes! They can help you, but doulas bring in a totally different realm of care. Not medical care like your care provider. Not special and intimate care that comes from your partner and family.
Doula care provides you with unbiased, evidence based information on pregnancy, childbirth, newborn care, and the postpartum period that is not based off of hospital policy, outdated practices, or personal preferences. Doulas understand that every family is different and every mama and baby are unique. Because of this, doulas believe that moms and babies deserve care that is just as unique as they are. So if you want to give birth fully medicated, or completely natural while sitting on a birthing stool, go for it! We support you, because only you know how you want to give birth, and you deserve to have a choice in it.
So let's talk about how doulas help you prepare for childbirth!
One of my favorite quotes is:
"If you don't know your options, you don't have any."
I want your to know your options so you can decide for yourself what will be best. The BEST birth prep you can do, is read, learn, read, and learn so more. You will never regret it. After all, this is a life changing event that you will remember for the rest of your life. Education, research, and knowledge is KEY to having a great birth experience, and doulas are your own personal reference guide when it comes to all things birth and babies. Unlike medical care professionals, doulas don’t have shift changes during your birth and don’t make medical decisions that could possibly unnecessarily de-rail your birth plan. Doulas understand birth, and believe in your body’s natural God-given ability to give birth with peace, and power! Whatever birth you choose, doulas can help you know your options, cope with worries and sudden changes to your birth plan, and guide you through labor even if you’ve given birth 10 times.
Not only do doulas provide educational support, but emotional support as well. When in the heat of birth, the family's emotions can often get thrown to the side lines as medical professionals focus on the job at hand. Although healthy mama and healthy baby are what is most important, birthing mamas, their partners, and family members can often be scared and worried. Because doulas don't hold medical responsibility, your doula can be a calm and steadfast support to you as she explains what is going on and keeps mama focused on the task at hand. Relaxing, and staying calm through affirmations, scripture, and talking through what Mama is feeling is SO important, yet often so forgotten.
Another thing that most other birth professionals don't offer is physical support! We're talking full on back massages, double hip squeezes, rebozo techniques, birth ball hacks, acupressure points, labor walking, and more. Doulas will do anything to help you achieve your perfect birth, and if it means doing double hip squeezes every contraction for 18 hours, count me in!
Imagine having a birth professional to call or text anytime, and any day. Whether it's recommendations for chiropractors, exercises to prep for birth, or texts that begin with "Did my water break or did I just pee my pants?" A doula will answer them all!
What about postpartum support?
Doulas realize that most friends and family members come to visit the new baby, but what about the new mama? Whether it's validating your worries, reminding you it's okay to get more help, or holding that baby so you can shower and eat a meal. We've got it. I will sweep your floors, fold your laundry, wash your dishes, run your errands, cook your dinner. Whatever I can do to fill this new chapter with joy and peace, I will do.
Doulas are there with you through thick and thin. From prenatal appointments, the birth, and postpartum check-ins, doulas can help guide your family through the journey of adding a baby to the family.
One of my favorite lines that I tell my client's all the time is:
"I know birth, you(mama) know your baby, and you(partner) know your wife. Together we make a great team."
I don't know about you, but to me, doula care is important! I can't wait to start this journey with you!
Lots of love,
Hannah Troyer, CD(DONA) and a few of her thoughts on pregnancy, birth, and postpartum!