12 May What are the Reasons to Hire a Doula?
You might be asking yourself – what are some reasons to hire a doula? What is the value of a birth doula? Is it their knowledge, their confidence, their experience, their ability to read a room, their comfort techniques, their personality? The true answer is that there isn’t just ONE reason to hire a doula. Each client will find their own individual value in the doula that they hire.
What does that mean?
For many clients, we are the knowledge library. Because there is a ton of information about pregnancy and birth, our clients feel like they can’t retain it all. Questions like – is this shooting pain in my crotch normal? How do I alleviate this back labor? If baby is hanging out in a “less than ideal” position, what can we do to help them move? What is Pitocin, and is it going to hurt the baby? When is it okay for the RN at the hospital to break my water? The list of questions is endless! Basically, your birth doula is a reservoir of info, and can help you understand what’s happening in labor so you can make informed decisions.
Other reasons to hire a doula include the maternal relationship and support that we bring with us. In other words, we “mother the mother.” We bring softness, and an understanding of the discomfort, the fear, the power, and the beauty of the experience. As much as we support the birthing person, we also support their partner. A calm, confident doula can soothe even the most Nervous Nellie and bring reassurance when situations feel scary.
What do I think doulas bring with them?
On a personal level, the value I find in a doula is in our ability to read a room, emotions, and people. When I doula, I operate from a place of empathy. I have always considered myself empathetic at my core, and that helps me walk into a birth room and see what is needed. With a glance, I can see how everyone in the room is feeling, and what they are holding back. I can connect with a nurse instantly and use that relationship to better serve my clients. If Mom needs a break from her partner, a change in tempo, a snack, or a more soothing space, I can help. Because I perceive what is happening without asking questions and probing, I can have a cohesive and unobtrusive relationship with my clients.
Throughout my years as a doula, I have learned that our value is limitless. When a client just wants information, we bring our knowledge and a soft touch. My hand on the back of their neck in between contractions helps them feel connected and grounded. For the client who needs maternal comfort during labor, we bring warmth along with humor to soften the anxiety. If a client has their heart set on an unmedicated delivery, we pull out every comfort measure and trick that we can to make that happen. If that same client needs to change their birth plan, we have the knowledge and experience to guide them through an epidural or a c-section.
So, what is the value of a doula to you? What are the reasons to hire a doula for your birth? I promise, The heart and soul that we bring to your labor will go above and beyond your expectations and surprise you in your moment of need.
About the Author:
Emily has been a birth and postpartum doula in Pittsburgh, PA ever since the birth of her first son, Ellington. Her birth experience didn’t go according to plan, but she had the support that she needed to make hard choices for herself and her baby. After that, she wanted to be able to bring the same empowerment that she felt to other birthing people.
For Emily, pregnancy and birth are life changing experiences regardless of the type of birth you wish to have. The journey of self-discovery and determination it takes to grow a baby, prepare for a baby and then birth that baby is incomparable to any other life experience. She believes that education and support are the keys to having a satisfying and empowering labor and delivery experience and is eager to help you along your own journey.
Emily lives in the community of Bellevue with her husband Sam, three kids (Ellington, Bowie, and Joni), her dog Didion, a couple chickens, and cats, Harper and Truman. In addition to being a doula and childbirth educator, Emily is a dog trainer and owner of a local fitness studio, Joy in Movement.