Why Hire a Doula?

“A woman who serves,” is the Greek meaning of the word doule and where the word doula comes from. This is essentially the role that the doula plays for the mother and her partner during the birth and if you hire a postpartum doula for after delivery. A doula is there to provide support for the couple to help them with the desired outcome and in essence is anything that the mother needs her to be, especially when she feels like she can’t.

There is a lot of information on why one should hire a doula and what they do, however there are some things to keep in mind that doulas don’t do. This way when you are trying to decide if you should hire one, there are no expectations in the following:

  • Doulas are not medical professionals nor do they give medical advice.
  • Doulas do not preform medical tasks such as: blood pressure checks, cervical exams or monitoring the baby’s heartbeat. Or any other medical tasks while in labor!
  • Most importantly – Doulas do not take shifts! (like other medical professional do) They are with you from start to finish during your labor.

That said, there are many reasons why you should hire one! A question that is asked a lot is: Don’t doulas only serve women who choose natural labors? And the answer to that is NO!

Doulas are there to support you through all your choices and birth outcomes. The goal for a doula is to make sure that no matter what, you leave your birth experience feeling positive and supported throughout the entire process, as well as informed. Your doula will meet with you at least twice for prenatal visits to go over how they work, what to expect, answer your questions and get to know you. They also will provide you with all the information you need to make informed decisions while in labor with your medical provider. Postpartum doulas are there to emotionally support and help to make informed decisions with the baby’s pediatrician as well.

So, let’s go over the reasons that hiring a doula could be very beneficial to you!

When you invest in a doula, you are hiring someone for JUST YOU!

Unlike your medical providers who will be rotating between your birth and other patients, a doula is by your side from just prior to birth through the postpartum period (should you want to hire her to do so). Your doula is there to help your partner in supporting you and can also give them breaks. This is because your doula is hired to give you continuous physical, emotional and informational support the entire time.

You are investing in someone to assist just you as you manage one of life’s most challenging, but beautiful experiences!

Doulas are your personal roadmap from birth to postpartum.

Even before you are in labor, there will be A LOT of conflicting advice given to you by well-meaning family and friends and this can make all mothers feel confused and pressured at times. If you are a first-time mother, you are bound to receive even more advice and this can leave you feeling disempowered and overwhelmed. A doula can be there to help you navigate the unknown road to birth and all the advice given afterward.

Doulas are also great co-pilots on this new journey, as an addition to your medical team when things come up. Doulas can reinforce and help you understand what is being told to you. Remember: doulas don’t tell you what to decide or replace medical advice. But they can help you comprehend everything easier.

Doulas help lower length of birth, reduce birth risks and raise the likelihood of a desired outcome.

For any mother preparing for labor and delivery, hearing the words: decreased labor time is music to their ears! This can also raise confidence for the laboring mom if they see how well they are progressing. When a woman gives birth, having the right support to help her progress can leave a mother feeling empowered and strong afterwards! By helping you progress faster and easier by decreasing your stress or worry, a doula can help lower C-section rates, less use of epidurals and other interventions therefore resulting in a POSITIVE birth experience! The less stress a mother has during labor, the faster and easier she is able to give birth. Stress inhibits the production of oxytocin which is what is needed for effective contractions.

Doulas provide support for your partner or BE a partner for you

Your partner is often your main support as they are also about to become a parent as well! They are there for you and want the best outcome for you, but they often may need a break or support. For first time parents, the entire birth experience is also new to them as well and they may not know what they might need during the labor. Since a doula is there throughout the entire labor, then the partner is able to take a break and also has someone there to converse with should any concerns arise.

Not everyone has a partner to share this experience with or a family member/friend. A doula can be someone that is with you if you are alone in the birthing experience!

Beautiful Births and Beyond is here to answer all your questions and be the kind of doula you need to support you from pre-labor to postpartum.

Happy Labor!

Beautiful Births and Beyond
Lindsay Gibson, Editor