exploring the role of a labor support doula
I think we all know that the birth of our child(ren) should be a meaningful moment in our lives as women, if we chose to become mothers. Studies have shown that women who feel confident with their birth have better postpartum periods, better breastfeeding relationships, and easier times adjusting to their new role.
Often, birth becomes an experience we “lose” control over. We plan and plan, create our birth plans. Then, in the throes of labor, we lose sight of our plan and things can occur that weren’t expected. Sometimes things become medically necessary, but other times they may not be. Your plans may just have been forgotten by the staff, and you are in Labor Land, unable to advocate for what you want.
How can we keep on our “plan” during labor? Hire a labor support doula.
A labor support doula will help you work through your plan prenatally. They can help you find childbirth classes, prepare for labor, suggest reading materials based on your plan, and prepare for postpartum. Doing all this prep work with you prenatally allows them to advocate for you when you’ve reached Labor Land and can no longer speak for yourself.
What does a labor support doula do during labor?
She can do lots of things; create a serene environment (including essential oils, music, lighting/candles), massage/counterpressure, rebozo, reassure you when any fears arise, remind you to drink water/eat food, walk with you, guide your partner on how to best support you, understand the medical jargon and break it down for you, remind you of your plans you created so you don’t feel “bullied” into making any decisions.
Ok, What if I plan on having a medicalized birth? Should I still get a doula?
Yes. She has been around birth numerous times before, if anything arises that you are unprepared for, she can help you make a decision based on your plan. She can still create a calm environment, massage/counterpressure, rebozo, etc.
This sounds awesome. How much is it?
Each doula has her own price based on her experience. It’s worth it to reach out and be honest about your price point. The doula community tends to be very giving, willing to help as many mamas as they can. Often times if one doula can’t support you, she will know one who can.
Parenthood is hard enough, why make it harder? Give yourself support.