Here are the top 10 reasons to hire a birth doula.
1. To provide emotional support during labor and delivery
While your partner or other family members can also provide support, a doula has likely witnessed many births before and is a great addition to your team. Doulas know how physically and emotionally taxing labor can be and will be there to comfort and encourage you when you need it most.
2. To assist your partner in assisting you
Often times, well-meaning partners say or do the wrong thing during birth, not understanding exactly where you are in your labor or what you need from them. Your doula will help them so that they can provide the right kind of support at the right time (even if it’s just being quiet).
3. To answer any/all of your questions
If you deliver in a hospital, busy staff may not have time to sit by your side and answer all of your questions. Sometimes your doctor won’t even make an appearance until the very end of your delivery (especially if it’s the middle of the night or early morning). Having someone by your side at all times to answer questions at any hour will provide you a world of relief.
4. To help keep you safe and ensure that the care you receive is evidenced-based
Not all birth practices are based on medical evidence. When the right care is not provided, it can make your birth more challenging or go a completely different route than you had planned. A doula will help ensure you are receiving good, quality care and be the voice to speak up for you when you may not be able to (because you’re in the middle of doing a really hard job already).
5. To explain things to you and your partner that you may have missed in the baby books
It’s totally ok to not be an expert on birth. And unless you’ve had lots of babies, you probably aren’t one. Even if you’ve really done your research, a doula has the special training, knowledge and experience to explain things that you may not understand in the heat of the moment.
6. To assist with pain management via hands on methods, auditory or visualization techniques
Doulas are great at pain management. Not only do they know techniques such as the double hip squeeze or counter pressure, they also know the right words and visuals to help you relax as much as possible.
7. To run errands for you
Do you need some ice chips? A pillow? The music to be changed or the to be lights dimmed? Don’t send your partner out of the room every time you need something. Let your doula do that for you.
8. To make you as comfortable as possible
Whether it’s help getting into a different position or holding your hands or your feet, a doula will help you find as much comfort as possible during and after your birth.
9. To make sure your wishes are respected and accommodated as much as possible
Since you don’t want to repeat your birth plan over and over to every nurse or doctor that stops by, a doula can do that for you. If your wishes aren’t being accommodated, it’s helpful to have another person who has your back.
10. To provide initial postpartum and breastfeeding support
A doula can provide a lot of assistance post-birth, especially in regard to breastfeeding. If you plan to nurse your baby, your doula can help you get the best start by showing you proper techniques and making sure you get a lot of skin-to-skin contact with your baby right away. Even if you’ve had a cesarean, it’s often possible to have skin-to-skin soon after birth.