Why having a doula at your birth will help you to create a safe, satisfying and pleasurable birth experience!
1. Your (hospital, Doctor, Midwife) is AWESOME
Many women believe they don’t need to hire a doula because their hospital is great and the nurses/doctors/midwives will be there.
This is not (mostly) true. In hospitals around the world nurses often care for 2 or 3 patients at a time, they are required to document and chart care, and often spend more time writing on the computer about you than holding your hand. This is not because the nurses don’t want to be there for you, but our system is not set up for them to have the time and freedom to care for their individual birthing mothers. Doctors on the other hand often don’t even arrive until you are fully dilated and ready to give birth. Even hospital midwives often care for more than one person at a time. Even when you are the only client in labor, all care providers have limitations due to required documentation, their own self care (exhaustion), their need to check in with the physical health of their clients/babies. They also may have shift changes that means your support will be broken up, possibly at a time you need them most. Ask your caregiver when they plan to arrive to your birth and if they will provide continuous support
Studies have shown that your medical staff all together will be with you 21% of the time you are in the hospital. So prepare for the other 79%.
2. Your partner is super loving (supportive, educated, comfortable)
Partners often appreciate the supportive presence of a doula too. They have their own needs and fears that deserve to be addressed. By helping your partner to feel calm and confident they can better support you! Doulas also are well trained in comfort measures. The Gate Control Theory of Pain, helps us understand how the more stimulus we receive the less likely it is that we feel only pain. Your doula can remind your partner of the many ways they can provide comfort; emotionally, with physical touch, acupressure and position changes. The doula can also add or layer more comfort measures too, creating a circle of support and comfort that can help you move from Pain to Power or Pleasure! Plus, doulas support and can enhance the partner’s ability to bring their love to birth, easing up some of the stress and pressure that can be felt. Adding a doula in labor enhances relationships, helping you build stronger bond together and as a family. #sexyscientificbirth
3. You are confident (…and yay, you should be!)
We all have some fears around childbirth and welcoming a new life into the world and our lives. Whether it’s your first baby or your 10th – there are some natural fears that can creep into your mind from time to time – even the most confident expectant parents have some fears! Doulas are uniquely trained to help you address and release your fears. Fear creates adrenaline, a hormone that can slow or stop labor in the first stage, making labor longer, harder and more painful. A doula can help to trigger a hormonal cascade that has come to be called the female stress response – “Tend and Befriend” just as when women live together their menstrual cycles come together – “Tend and Befriend” response is unique between women, even the most loving males will not change our menstrual cycle or just by their presence help us move from stress to calm by enhancing our flow of oxytocin in labor as females will.
4. No one will offer me interventions unless needed
Research supports that doulas shorten your labor, decrease your risk of cesarean birth and other interventions, increasing your satisfaction and ability to breastfeed, and with less interventions your baby is also more likely to have a higher APGAR score, and need less special care. (All of this means less costly childbirth as well!)
There is a domino effect in childbirth where one intervention often leads to another and another… Doulas are protective of stopping or delaying the first domino, but even when interventions are needed, doulas reduce the likely of having more. – to see more research of the benefits of having a doula, why the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologist recommend doulas read my blog – “Doulas the Magic Button for Birth”
5. Birth is something to endure – it can’t be enjoyable anyway!
While a doula can not guarantee pleasure and ease – having a doula at your birth is associated with shorter labors and in my experience shorter labor provides more opportunities for pleasure too! As I am teaching more doulas about the path to pleasure, including our Orgasmic Birth Doulas there are many simple yet powerful ways that doulas can help you create birth ambiance, provide comfort, help you to tap into your sacred sexuality and sensuality, use a language of comfort and pleasure vs. pain, and guide you to prepare and practice techniques that enhance your ability to have a gentle birth in every setting.
Are you a doula? Can you add a reason why a doula is a necessary part of the toolkit for birth? Did you have a doula at your birth – did they add to your pleasure/enjoyment in a way we haven’t considered? Tweet us at @orgasmicbirth