If you’re newly pregnant, or expecting a baby to join your family soon, you may be considering hiring a birth doula. Maybe you’re wondering if you’re even the kind of family who hires a doula to begin with.
So, who hires a birth doula? We have some thoughts:
You might hire a doula if … You’re planning an unmedicated, physiologic birth.
Doulas are experts at helping you find comfort, even in the most uncomfortable moments. From massage to counter pressure, our physical touch brings relief when birthing parents have a goal of unmedicated birth. But that’s not all! We come with a brain full of ideas for position changes (maybe it’s time for hands and knees, or let’s try the bathtub now), environmental relaxation (i.e., those lovely twinkly lights and soothing music), and most importantly, experience and skills that we develop over time, from attending lots and lots of different births. We help you process information from your providers in a way that doesn’t feel scary, or overwhelming. We slow down the pace of things (not birth of course, just the flow of information coming at you while you’re in a very primal space) so that you can make choices about your options that feel good for you and your birth goals.
You might hire a doula if… You’re planning for an epidural (as in right now, thank you).
It’s true! Doulas, and especially Emerald Doulas, support families planning for an epidural from the start of labor. This is your birth, and we want you to feel safe and comfortable, no matter what that means for you. So, how do we support epidural births? Pretty much the same way we support unmedicated births. We help set the space, and create a lovely atmosphere for when you’ll meet your baby. We help provide comfort for the time before you’re able to have your epidural placed (because, hospital time), or if your beautiful epidural starts to not work as well as it did initially (maybe there’s a “hot spot” or the building pressure from your baby depending into the pelvis starts to become more and more uncomfortable). We help you think through any co-interventions that happen when receiving an epidural (monitoring, for example, or a catheter) or potential additional interventions if or when they arise.
You might hire a doula if… if you’re planning a surgical birth.
Yep! Emerald Doulas also support quite a few surgical births. From discussing options prior to the birth (clear drape or no? skin-to-skin with, with your partner, with both?) to calming nerves on the day or in the OR, we’re there by your side to be a source of calm, reassuring energy. We normalize the routine parts what can sometimes feel like a scary experience, and . We’re also there to help with facilitating those first moments with your new baby, getting the first latch if you’re breastfeeding or helping you snuggle your newborn comfortably around your incision site.
So, really, you might say that… you might hire a doula if you’re planning a birth. Period.
At the end of the day, no matter what kind of birth you're planning, or if you aren't quite sure what you want your birth goals to look like, we'll support you. Doulas help you gather all the information about all the options. We talk you through the “what ifs” and the “what comes nexts”. We support you, fully, in the decision making process, so that YOU are deciding what feels right for you, and your new family. We don’t give our opinion, or tell you what we would do if we were you. There’s no “Well, you turned out okay” from a doula. Ever. We help you get comfortable, mentally and physically, and yes, even emotionally, so that no matter where you meet your baby, you're feeling confident and prepared.
If you're considering doula support, reach out to us anytime to find out how a birth doula can make a difference in your birth experience.