5 Reasons to Hire a Doula
A doula is a woman trained or not trained to support women during labor, birth and at home.
A doula is a woman trained or not trained to support women during labor, birth and at home. Someone asked me if there are make doulas and I personally think a man (partner) who has attended childbirth classes with his partner is a doula for his child’s birth! So yes there are male doulas.
So I recently attended a conference and one of the speakers was talking about the benefits of having a doula or support during birth. She spoke of how having even a female stranger in the room who communicated positive vibes to the mother greatly improved the outcome of the birth. I thought truly women need to be supported during the birth, if being even with a helpful stranger improves the outcome of the birth then every woman truly deserves to have the right support and to have it continuously during labor.
I came up with reasons why one would then need to hire a doula for support during their birth.
A doula helps with emotional and physical support
One of the things mums keep telling me is that the labor was a lot more intense than they thought it would be! My work as a doula is offer a calm and encouraging presence which helps the mum feel safe, strong and thus reducing fear which reduces pain. During labor mums sometimes feel the pain might be a bit abnormal, this normally happens in active labor when the pain intensity increases which is actually a sign that the baby is near. I like telling mums that labor is the only time one celebrates with pain intensity, as it brings you a step closer to meeting your baby! Doula provides comfort measures during contractions by offering massages and support to get into different positions which help mums which provide as much comfort as possible.
Doulas are a source of information
As a doula I am available to answer your questions through email, texts, phone calls and in person before and after the birth. I sometimes get calls and mum to be wants to know if having hyperacidity is normal after eating? Or what can I do to ease the back pain I am having? Lastly, I recently met up with a potential client and she asked me if I had heard of placenta encapsulation in Kenya. All these and many more questions are important to ask and that is why a doula is available to give you factual answers and if one is feeling anxious to feel supported and listened to.
Doulas are your biggest cheer leaders
As a doula I am there for you and your partner 100%. I do not work for the hospital or doctor I am there to support you and cheer you on to the end. I am there to remind you to take water, to eat something to give you extra energy and I am there to help you follow your birth-plan as much as possible. As a doula I support dads to support you better, so for example if he wants to help and is wondering what to do I may ask him to get you a glass of water to sip or even show him how to support you in different positions during labor…remember I said partners can be doulas to their spouses too with the right information and support.
Research supports importance of doulas
Research has actually shown that women who get continuous labor support from a doulas are more likely to have a spontaneous vaginal birth, less likely to have a cesarean birth, less likely to use pain medication and are likely to have a slightly shorter labor. Doulas have a key role to play during labor and I encourage mums to be to get the right support so as to have the best possible labor experience.
I like doing home visits after a birth, in fact I visit you while you are in hospital then I come home to see how you are all doing. One thing people do not realize is after the adrenaline settles and you go home with baby the next chapter of your life has begun, and you have this tiny miracle staring at you and he needs to be fed changed and nurtured by you! I do home visits to reassure parents that feeding 12 times a day is normal, baby not sleeping at night for long periods is normal, baby pooping like what seems a lot is OK and most importantly it is okay to sleep when baby sleeps! Many mums want to catch up with their partners or friends but it is important to rest for their own sanity.
Please note that not all doulas do home visits and that it is important to ask if she is also a postpartum doula during your initial meeting.
There are many other reasons why a doula is important and it is my hope that you will consider getting one for your birth and if not that you will arm yourself and your birthing partner with the right info so as to have the best possible birthing experience.
You may comment below to give me your views and insights or as any questions you feel i may need to address as a doula. Thank you so much for reading this article.