We are BIG fans of doulas here at Beluga Baby.
Let me tell you why.
Doulas have been growing steadily in popularity over the last few years. Some people claim that they would never birth without their doula!
So is it all hype? Or is there something to this trend. What even is a doula?
A doula is not a midwife or an OB. They do not perform any clinical tasks like checking baby’s heart tones or doing cervical checks. They do, however, do just about everything else when it comes to your prenatal care, birth, and postnatal care.
The time has come, the day you’ve been waiting for all these long months. It is time to give birth to your baby.
Doulas fill in the gaps between labor starting and when it is “time to go”, whether that means to a hospital, birth centre, or having your homebirth midwife arrive. Many people feel like they need support before it is time to call in the medical team.This causes many moms and dads to show up too soon (to the hospital or birth centre) and get sent back home. This can be very frustrating and demoralizing. Doulas will come support you at your house and help you make the call of when it is really “Go Time”.
What does this support look like? Let me list the ways:
You may be thinking all of this sounds great, but it also sounds like a luxury instead of a necessity.
There have been several studies done on doulas and they all came to the same conclusion. Doulas are not just nice to have. They are proven to improve the outcome of your birth and the satisfaction you have from your birth.
Having doula care is proven to:
This is also why Marsden Wagner, a famous obstetrician once said, “If doulas were a drug it would be unethical not to use it.” He believes that much in the benefits of doulas for all birthing moms.
How to choose your doula
There are lots of doulas out there. How do you know which one to choose?
Some have more experience than others and some excel in different types of births more than others. Plus it is so important to choose a doula that you really get along with and who feels comfortable to be around. It’s also important to make sure that your doula has reliable backup who you can meet and whom you also love.
So my advice?
Interview all the doulas you can and ask lots of questions. Read reviews from other moms who have used that doula and hire someone with a good reputation in your birth community. I also tend to recommend hiring doulas who work separately from hospital systems. This means they work just for you, but they should have a friendly working relationship with your medical providers. Make sure you hire a doula who will come to you when you need her and not when your provider says you are in active labor. Read the fine print in the contracts to make sure you are comfortable with it all.
Now that you have your dream team put together, sit back and relax and know you are in good hands for the birth of your baby. You got this momma, birth is hard but you are strong!
Resources: National Institute of Health, American Academy of Pediatrics, Evidenced-Based Birth
Written by Jessica Mckee is a birth assistant in and out of hospitals, as well as a doula. She co-owns Flourish Birth Services and is a co-host on the Wine About Birth Podcast.
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