Giving birth is a monumentally life-changing experience. Why do it alone? Throughout history, women have labored with the support of other women. A birth doula can offer continuous emotional and physical support, which has been medically proven to positively impact both the health of the mother and the newborn baby. Read on to learn why you should hire a doula for the birth of your baby.
Continuous emotional and physical support
You might think that having your husband or partner there for your birth is enough. Why hire another person to be in the room for one of the most personal experiences of your life? Because birth doulas provide a kind of support that neither the hospital staff nor your spouse are trained to give.
The medical staff attending you in a hospital setting will take good care of you while they monitor your progress. But they are also monitoring the progress of many other women who are giving birth on your floor. Doulas provide continuous emotional and physical support to the mother throughout the duration of labor and delivery. They will massage your back, help you find comfortable positions to labor in, guide your through contractions, listen to your needs and enhance your communication with medical professionals.
Greater birth satisfaction
Women who give birth with the support of a doula experience greater birth satisfaction. Shirley Thomas (mother of one) describes her experience: “I wanted a doula because I liked the idea of having someone there who would be dedicated to my needs during labor and birth. But I had no idea how important her role would be. My baby was in the posterior position, which made my labor extremely painful and intense. My husband is a good guy, but he had absolutely no idea how to comfort me. My doula, on the other hand, was like magic. She anticipated all my needs before I could even say what I was feeling. She helped me stay as comfortable as humanly possible and I was able to deliver my baby without any pain medication whatsoever. It was truly an incredible experience.”
Read more stories of doula-assisted births >>
According to a study conducted by the Cochrane Collaboration that assessed the birth experiences of over 15,000 women in 15 countries, women who have continuous support from another woman during labor experience impressive benefits:
- More likely to have shorter labors and give birth naturally without the aid of vacuum or forceps
- Less likely to need a Caesarean section
- Less likely to request pain medications and more likely to experience feelings of satisfaction with their birth experience
- Their babies are more likely to thrive and less likely to have low 5-minute Apgar Scores
Doulas are not medical professionals. But they have a vast repertoire of knowledge about birth and can help you navigate the confusing world of medical jargon. They will listen to your needs and help you write a birth plan that reflects the type of birth you desire. During labor, they can help you understand the suggestions given to you by the medical staff, so that you can make the most informed decisions as possible.
The marathon may be over, but the real race has just begun. After the birth of your baby, there are many new challenges during the first few days and weeks as you enter the incredible world of motherhood. Doulas provide a wide spectrum of support for postpartum mothers including breastfeeding assistance, help around the home, cooking healthy meals and assisting moms who are experiencing postpartum depression. Empower your entry into motherhood by hiring a birth doula.