What's a doula? - By guest blogger Stephanie Sinclair of How 2 Mom

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Doula

“So, are you like a midwife?” or “What is a do who….or whatever you said?” or “I don’t think I need a doula, I have an extremely supportive partner” or Complete Silence are some of the responses I receive when I tell people what it is that I do. 


But you see, these responses usually only come from those who don’t actually know what a Birth Doula is! Please do me the biggest favor and put all of your thoughts to the side about what is and what is not a Birth Doula and read this entire blog post. I promise it will be worth the read!


While the idea of hiring a Birth Doula for your birth is getting more popular, we still have not reached the “norm” category, and here is why. In my opinion, people who don’t see or understand the value of a Birth Doula have either made an assumption, have misinformation or the profession itself has been misexplained. 


Like I mentioned above, I have found that either people think a doula is just like a midwife, or that doulas only support non-medicated birth, that we are judgemental of medical interventions, that we are anti-this or anti-that, that a doula is unnecessary because they know what they want or they already have plans to have an epidural or c-section, or that we will take over the role of their support person, and so on. Believe me, I understand the misunderstanding, but I can promise you, none of these ideas are true!


Most of the families who have hired a Birth Doula in the past will say without question, they can’t imagine giving birth without having a doula present! And here is why!


No matter what number of baby you are having, no matter where you are birthing, and no matter what your plans are for your birth, no one and I mean NO ONE, not your OB, not your midwife, not your doula, not YOU can know or predict how your birth is going to happen!  Why go through that uncertainty alone. Why not have a knowledgeable and experienced friend along with you? 


To put it in the simplest of terms…


Would you purchase a home without a real estate agent?

Would you remodel your home without a contractor? 

Would you travel to another country without a knowledgeable friend or without the help of a travel agent or guide? 

Would you go through a legal issue without a lawyer? 

Would you start a business without consulting a business coach or mentor?


I could keep going, but I think you get the point. What if you had one person, a constant support person to chat with about all your concerns, and help answer most of your birth related questions?


A Birth Doula is that person. A Birth Doula is that  friend. Someone you are completely comfortable with. Someone who will provide you with informational, physical, and emotional support you deserve. And the ways in which she provides that support is different for every family, because every family is beautiful and unique, and deserves support in the ways that are best for them. 


That is what a Birth Doula does. 


I am here to tell you, YOU deserve a Birth Doula! You deserve to have someone hold your hand through this huge moment in your life. You deserve to have help navigating through this amazingly tough time. You deserve an advocate. You deserve to be treated like the Queen that you are while birthing your baby! Birth may be something that is hard to remember, but I promise you, you will NEVER forget it. You will never forget how you felt. You will never forget how you were treated. You will never forget the moments between you and your partner. You will never forget, period. 


Nothing breaks my heart more than meeting a mom, explaining to her what it is that I do, and hearing her say that she wishes she would have known about me and had me at her birth. That she was overwhelmed and felt out of control, uneducated, and like a bystander. That she had postpartum depression as a result of her birth trauma and recovery. That she just didn’t realize that she could have used an extra support person in her corner. It breaks my heart because we can’t go back. Birth Doulas will most likely never and should never overstep or provide unsolicited support or advice. But it is extremely unfortunate when we hear moms talk about the need after the event.


Why not have someone there who will ensure you are treated well. Treated with respect. Treated with love. Treated with information. Treated like the one who is birthing the baby.


Your provider might be great, and I hope that is the case for you, but at the end of the day they are there with a medical hat on, and that will always take priority. They are there to ensure that you and your baby receive the medical care that you need, and that you are physically healthy. 


Even if they love the emotional side of birth and help you think of labor options and ideas, they may not be the ones at your birth and they may not be able to provide continuous emotional and physical care that a doula will. They also may not personally know or work with the on-call doctor or nurses that actually attend your birth.


Overall, I am a pretty positive person. I love to give everyone the benefit of the doubt, but it would be naive to think that all labor and delivery nurses have good bedside manners. Having a Birth Doula with you almost always will ensure that you are more respected and better treated by the entire staff. Having a Birth Doula with you gives the impression that you are educated on your options and that you have given a lot of thought to your birth and what you want and don’t want.


I hope after reading this you have a better understanding of what a Birth Doula can provide and why we are so passionate about believing that you deserve that support. Like I stated above, please don’t wish you had this support AFTER your births. Do us a favor and share this article. Let everyone know why they deserve to understand this profession now and to have this support for their births.

 

To learn more about Stephanie and How 2 Mom head to her website: 

https://www.how2mom.com


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