Why I Want a Doula


As someone who has been a Certified Doula for almost a decade now (I haven’t taken on clients for years though) I am thrilled Becky is hiring a Doula!  She is correct, it is money well spent.  We all know the age old stats, births with Doulas have better “outcomes” but it is also just really nice to have someone in attendance who is initiated in birth and who knows what the hell is going on.  You can’t ask your husband if it’s normal that you just puked, or if you feel like you insides are ripping, but you can ask a Doula!  And  its nice to have someone you can boss around.  You may feel inhibited to yell NO! at your husband when he asks if you want a sip of water, but you feel comfortable enough yell your Doula.  And that is important!  Having the ability to feel safe and open to be and say what you want to say and do is what gets the baby out. -Stephanie 

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about deciding between a hospital birth versus a home birth for my first child. I’m now 23 weeks along and after much thoughtful consideration, my husband and I have decided to labor at home and then have a natural birth at Cedars-Sinai hospital in Beverly Hills. The main reason is that our insurance will cover the cost and our bank account can’t currently support alternative options in our area…at least this time around. But despite budgetary constraints, we are committed to splurging on a doula.

I want a doula because I don’t want to kill my sweet, sensitive husband. Although he’s acquired much knowledge on the topic of laboring, he may unknowingly botch something trivial or I’ll catch him habitually checking his fantasy football score, which may trigger my irrational, hormonal self to primally lash out.  And that’s just nasty.

So it’s time to bring a professional on board for Operation Bust Baby Out.  Someone who can astutely guide me and the hubs. Someone with experience to shush my inner control freak so I can relax and allow myself to open for baby. Someone who will support my choice for a drug-free hospital birth.

 

My to-doula list includes labor coaching, massage, aromatherapy,  breastfeeding support, and newborn support. Since I’m personally not comfortable involving my parents or in-laws for the first few days (maybe even weeks) of bonding, I will also rely heavily on my doula for emotional support. I believe the $500 to $1200 we may spend is well worth our sanity.

 

 

Please share any experiences you have had with a doula.  I’m interested to hear how she may have impacted your labor and delivery.


About the Author

Becky is a LA-based tv + web producer + cooker + laugher + urban farmer + fashion wearer + make it happener. She's currently obsessed with taking ridiculous pics of her hilariously photogenic baby Vida on Instagram.

Comments

  1. Stephanie says:

    Good luck! I’ve known folks with doulas that had great experiences and not great experiences. The process of labor is predictably unpredictable. The best doulas are the ones that know this.

  2. That’s is awesome!!

  3. As a doula- I am so happy to hear about your decision. Having someone who is present just for YOU takes a big pressure off of your shoulders, as well as your husband’s. It allows him to fully focus on you and your baby, instead of worrying about whether he’s doing the right thing all the time. As a mother who had a doula herself, I can tell you that it IS money well spent. You need a calm, clear head in the delivery room to ask questions of and to help steer you back on track for your birth plan.Yay Doulas!

  4. I’m all for doulas – I wish everyone would at least know doulas are an option! I used the same doula for both of my births – one at a birth center and the other at a hospital, and I can tell you she was exceptionally fabulous for both. I feel like I actually had pretty calm births, but perhaps some of my calmness was knowing that I had the support I needed. I wasn’t fretting wondering if whatever was going on was right or wrong. My doula’s presence put me at “ease” (relatively speaking) and she followed my cues. She also safeguarded the first hour of life with me and my baby so that was breastfeeding was successful. I had trouble with that the first time, so that was a BIG win for me this second time around. Best of luck!

  5. I had a doula for my home birth and it was a great investment! I pretty much internalize everything and was content just humming through my labor, but it was VERY long and hubs was exhausted. It was good to have the extra support just so he was able to rest a little. She was also very encouraging and had to help hold one of my legs up when it was time to push because I was so tired and shaky. She was also great for dealing with my family that was worried/wanted to see me during labor/wanted me to go to the hospital so that my husband and I could focus on me laboring and not get stressed out by them. You won’t regret it!

  6. Betsy Ward says:

    A doula is a great investment, but I also suggest taking an intensive childbirth class with your hubbs, such as Bradley. This as much for your husband as it is for you! If you are birthing in a hospital that is not exactly “natural” friendly, it is great to be armed with your own diploma (as it is) in childbirth. My natural birth was relatively easy, but we had trouble getting to the hospital in time. In retrospect I was SO calm, despite going through transition in the car, because I KNEW what was going on with my body. Hospitals can be scary places, especially when the nurses and docs try to scare you into interventions! Good luck gal!

    • I agree, a childbirth class is very important. But I like to recommend Birthing From Within over Bradley. Bradley method are great for people who want a natural childbirth, but the instructors are often militant and don’t really prepare mother for all outcomes and unfortunately a lot of the time birth does not go the way we want. Birthing From Within prepares parents in a holistic way, so they are ready for a natural birth but also for any obstacle, mental/emotional/physical that comes their way. It also prepares a couple for parenthood, not just birth.

  7. I think a doula is so important, but maybe even more so in the case of a hospital delivery because she can at least advocate for you in those times when you are feeling overwhelmed and the staff is pressuring you against what your birth plan specifies.

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