Things we often hear: "I don't need a doula, I have Steve." or "I don't need a doula, I have a midwife." We know that the majority of the birthing population isn't hiring doulas. In fact, only 6% of birthing families report using a doula for childbirth, and we get it, doulas are an extra cost but it's one you will be happy you invested in. Here is why:
Doulas help you and your partner navigate the medical system. This happens prenatally, during labor and birth, but also postpartum! It starts with a birth plan and making sure you know your choices and what questions to ask your provider to ensure their care and values align with yours. If they don't align with your hopes for your birth perhaps we have some conversations about finding new care for your pregnancy. We can help with referrals based on what kind of care you are expecting.
Doulas are your Google. You can still take to Google, but your doula can help with that and make it less scary. We are available to you from the time you sign your contract through your first 12 weeks as a new parent. There is a wide range of normal in birth, and we are experienced with that.
Doulas don't have requirements on when to contact them for support. Your contractions don't have to be every 5 minutes, lasting a minute, for an hour. You call us when you are in need of extra hands and support. That can be at home or we meet you at your birthing place.
Doulas are often the only person you know in the room BESIDES your partner, and possibly the provider. You read that right! Labor and delivery nurses, on average, spend about 50-75% of their time in the room with you. You don't know them or their views on birth and how that will translate in the birth space. A doula, a person you hired, has met with you at least twice prenatally and knows your birth plan and what you want inside and out. We are also there for you, we don' have any other tasks we need to take care of, our sole purpose in the birth space is to support you.
Doulas remind you that you can ask questions. If your provider comes in and they say "we are going to break your water now." Doulas will remind you that you don't have to do that, that you can ask why they want to do that. You can ask the benefits and risks and what happens if you just do nothing. For example, breaking of the water only reduces labor length by about 45 minutes which can be great if you are further along in labor but not so much if you are only at 3 cm.
Your risk of a c-section decreases by 39 percent. Did you know that just walking into the hospital puts you at about a 33% risk of having a c-section? WOAH!
You are 15% more likely to have a spontaneous vaginal birth.
Doulas are there the whole time, there is no shift change. You get who you hired for the WHOLE time. Doulas are usually gurnateed to be there unless otherwise noted in their contract or your interview. In the event that you have a long birth or experience prodromal labor then your doula may switch out to get rest and come back.
Your partner needs help supporting you. A common tool used in labor is a hip squeeze or counter-pressure on the back of the laboring person. This requires a lot of effort and strength, and may even require some weird positions. It helps to have someone to take turns with. Your partner needs help. They need to go to the bathroom, they may even need to run and get coffee or food for a mid labor mental break, and that's ok. That's where having a doula comes in very handy because if they leave you still know the person in the room with you and you are never alone.
We translate the medical jargon for you and help keep you calm in situations that seem scary. If a nurse called the NICU for baby heart decelerations I guarantee it would freak you out that one, your baby is in distress and two, there are now 3 new people in your room concerned about the baby. Doulas help you and your partner remain calm and translate other possible options while the atmosphere from the staff may feel a little more chaotic.
45% of people have traumatic birth experiences. I think this statistic speaks for itself. We know having a doula doesn't always prevent this, but we can certainly help you where we can to avoid this but also if you do find your experience traumatic we can give you great referrals in the area to help you work through your trauma.
On average, we spend about 20 hours with each client from pregnancy to postpartum. We do a lot of research for our clients and work long hours, but it is so worth it to watch two people turn into a family of three (or more).