June 16, 2020
If you’ve explored the idea of having a natural birth, then you may be considering hiring a doula.
However, you might be surprised to find that a doula can be helpful in many different birthing situations as well!
Or maybe you’re here because you’ve never heard of this term…doula.
By the end of this post, you’ll certainly be putting in your Google search for “doulas in Oklahoma City”, no matter what your birth plan currently looks like!
Simply put, a doula is a trained person who provides emotional and physical guidance and support to an expectant mother during labor. In some cases, a doula will provide support through delivery as well as for a few weeks postpartum. Doulas help create an environment for mothers to feel safe so they are able to create a memorable and empowering birthing experience.
Reason #1: You’re planning a homebirth.
You might automatically imagine a doula supporting a laboring mom in an unmedicated hospital birth situation. Choosing to give birth at home opens the door to many possibilities, and one of them is to have carefully selected people present. One of these people can be your doula. She will most likely be one of the first people to arrive and the last one to leave. Your doula at your homebirth will be able to give you the focused support that you need.
They are also able to work with your midwife in an ebb and flow manner. While most midwives would love to support your labor and delivery minute by minute in every way, it is nice to have the extra emotional and mom-focused help there so they can be more focused on the medical aspects.
Reason #2: You’re planning a medicated birth.
Guys, doulas do it all. Doulas practicing in a hospital setting are knowledgeable and comfortable with providing support in this particular environment. Your doula in a hospital setting is for sure still able to support you physically and emotionally while being an active advocate for your birth plan.
Reason #3: You want you and your baby to be safe, even if you’re planning a medicated birth or cesarean.
According to The Journal of Perinatal Education, “expectant mothers matched with a doula had better birth outcomes. Doula-assisted mothers were four times less likely to have a low birth weight (LBW) baby [and] two times less likely to experience a birth complication involving themselves or their baby.”
This is attributed to the fact that a skilled doula can empower you to communicate your needs and actualize your dream of a healthy, positive birth experience. Their constant presence in your most-needed moments become gap-fillers if you need the extra support to see your birth through as anticipated. With the support of doulas, many women are able to forego epidurals, avoid cesarean births, and have less stressful births.
Reason #4: You want to breastfeed your baby.
Doula-assisted mothers are significantly more likely to initiate breastfeeding. They are typically trained in this area and are able to help you bond with your baby through skin to skin contact, as well as other important aspects, such as:
The role of the doula in early breastfeeding support can also help you reach your goal of a satisfying and successful transition to motherhood.
Ultimately, the choice to hire a doula for your labor, delivery, and postpartum journey is totally up to you. Doulas are great advocates that help support your birth plan, like your own personal cheerleader. They can also assist you in clarifying your vision and preferences for birth. If you like the idea of having someone in your corner who is there for you every step of the way, then a doula may be a perfect fit for you. If not, it’s okay to totally pass on hiring one.
Now the easy part: finding a doula for your birth is pretty easy. You can start with searching Facebook groups, websites, or by word of mouth. You’ll want to start the process early as some doulas offer extra prenatal care and can get booked up quickly. It’s also wise to interview several, as this is the person who will be by your side when it’s go time. As for budget, doulas can cost anywhere between $800-$2,500. Also check with your insurance as some plans cover all, or a portion, of the costs.
If you’re an existing client, ask me about the doulas we work with often to get 10% off your birth package!
Although the roles of a doula can often overlap those of a midwife, their jobs are still quite different. Overall, having the personal support from the emotional standpoint could serve as beneficial through your prenatal, labor and postpartum experience.