Does having a Doula present make a difference to your birthing experience? Of course!

Well hello, as my Doula training progresses and learn and read more I thought I’d share some points on my platform.
I know now without a doubt that if I had been educated well enough during my first pregnancy things would have been so much more different, I don’t ever want another mother to feel the way I felt and be coerced into a birth she is not comfortable with. If I had had the option to have a Doula I would have grabbed at it, if I had thought I could use a midwife I would have jumped at that option – for me I was told by my care provider that I cannot deliver naturally (from 8 weeks) – which I now know was rubbish, I was told that having my baby in a posterior position would mean I would need a cesarean birth, kill me now – what a lie,  I was induced (gel induction) and an hour later my provider told me that I had a failed induction and scheduled my cesarean. My son was not in distress, my vitals were perfect, I was experiencing contractions here and there but if I was given the chance I’m sure my body would have stepped up.
Having a Doula present I believe would have made a HUGE difference.
 
A Doula serves both mom and her partner, works in ANY birthing environment and supports moms in any type of birth plan (even cesarean births). It’s easy to explain that a Doula can provide prenatal & postpartum support and not only labour support.
 
According to a recent study, The Cochrane Report: Continuous support for women during childbirth, there is a very high number of positive birth outcomes when a doula is present. The study showed that having a doula present resulted in women less likely needing pain medication, less likely to have emergency cesarean births and reporting a more positive childbirth experience. Also the length of labour has been known to be reduced by 25%, requests for epidural reduced by 40% and the use of oxytocin decreased by 40% when a doula was present.
 
Given the long-term emotional and physical effects that medical births can have on the mother, her partner and baby, a Doula is a valuable asset to your birth team.
 
A doula has a heart that is caring and nurturing, yet is able to remain calm and focused if things go off the rails — something that can be very difficult for family members and partners. Because family and friends have an emotional connection, in the event of a problem or at the peak intensity moments, they can buckle, not knowing what to do, say or think.
 
A doula can think clearly, see pros and cons of any situation and relay them to the couple to make their own decision. When we’re stressed and our brains are under the effect of cortisol, we don’t make the best decisions – our IQ takes a huge hit! and In hospital, that may result in your partner, mother or other support person completely agreeable to what’s being put on the table. They may feel out of their depth, uncertain or scared.
 
A doula can help explain what’s happening with compassion and without judgment or medical jargon, so its easier for everyone to understand.
 
Research shows that women value and benefit from the presence of a support person during labour and childbirth. This support may include emotional support (continuous presence, reassurance and praise) and information about labour progress. It may also include advice about coping techniques, comfort measures (comforting touch, massage, warm baths/showers, encouraging mobility, promoting adequate fluid intake and output) and speaking up when needed on behalf of the woman.
*Information received from various internet sources
A doula provides emotional and relational support, helping you through labor.
These beautiful graphics are credited to Leslie Jones.

1. She will stay with you for 40 hours, if that’s what it takes.

2. She works for YOU, not the hospital or provider.

3. She helps your partner be more involved.

4. You choose her, and she is who shows up. No ‘on call’ lottery.

5. Having a doula in addition to your significant other ensures you’ll never be left alone.

6. She is masterful at keeping calm.

7. She provides a reassuring presence.

8. Your partner can pee without guilt.

9. She can run errands for you.

10. She will answer all your pregnancy questions.

11. She is quick to reply to texts about your concerns.

12. She knows the birth world, and can help you find the resources you need.

13. When you have a doula, you don’t have to ask questions on those forums.

14. The prenatal meeting helps you focus on your personal wishes and preferences for the birth.

15. She’s an excellent, trained listener.

16. During the birth experience, she helps make sure you understand all your options.

17. Meeting with your doula reinforces the idea that your birth is worth planning for.

18. She is an expert in birth, your partner is an expert in you. Together they make a great team.

19. Having a knowledgeable doula means you don’t have to read all the books.

20. Doulas have seen enough births to know things, but not so many that it’s not special anymore.

21. HOW YOU FEEL WHEN YOU GIVE BIRTH MATTERS.

22. How you feel when you give birth matters physiologically.

23. Birth works better when you feel loved and supported.

24. It’s normal to have the presence of a sympathetic, non-medical woman.

25. She can give you references for professionals and groups in the area.

26. She knows comfort techniques and when to use them.

27. She can suggest changes to help labor progress.

28. She may know techniques to help baby descend easier.

29. A doula can act as a human birth plan, reminding you of your preferences at the most opportune times.

30. Your doula probably knows the hospital, their rules and amenities.

31. A doula lessens the intensity of birth.

32. A doula lessens the isolation of birth.

33. A doula takes the pressure off of your partner.

34. Doulas are trained to offer empathic comfort, not pity or sympathy.

35. Doulas are trained to be unbiased, and support you wherever your birth goes.

36. Studies show doula-supported births are easier. They are:

37. 31% less likely to need Pitocin

38. 28% less likely to end in cesarean

39. 12% more likely to have a spontaneous, vaginal birth

40. Shorter

41. Less painful

42. And less often require the vacuum or forceps.

43. Studies also show that the babies of doula-labors have higher APGAR scores and

44. Are less likely to go to the NICU.

45. Families who received doula care are more than twice as likely to report satisfaction with their care and their birth experience.

46. ACOG recommends doulas and other labor support people.

47. Having a doula means you can have support to labor longer at home.

48. Doulas are trained in the importance of parent/infant bonding and will help facilitate this, especially in a hectic hospital environment.

49. A doula provides emotional support and does not think your worry is dumb or unworthy of her time.

50. Doulas will answer all your questions or help you find the answer.

51. Doulas can ensure that you have true informed consent and informed refusal.

52. Doulas remind you of your options at every juncture.

53. She can take pictures during and after.

54. She can take care of things you might forget because you are in the heat of the moment.

55. She will tell you that you’re beautiful, and mean it.

56. She will support you no matter what happens.

57. She may offer payment plans or fees on a sliding scale if you really can’t afford the care.

58. A doula helps other support people see ways to be of help.

59. She reminds you to drink, so you don’t dehydrate.

60. She makes sure you eat, so you don’t run out of calories.

61. She knows when to give you space.

62. She’s not your mom. Your mom is lovely. But she’s not your mom.

63. She’s not a stranger, so she won’t trip your neo cortex.

64. She knows tricks to help epidural births keep moving.

65. Telling your provider you have one is a good way to gauge his or her ability to provide mother-baby friendly care.

66. With a doula, you’ll have less fear.

67. A doula will help you through pregnancy and birth with special attention to healing if last time was traumatic or disappointing.

68. She is trained in massage techniques.

69. She will walk you through your options if you are facing an induction.

70. She will remind you what you learned in birth class.

71. She will tell you what is happening even when the staff doesn’t.

72. A doula means more hands and more pressure for hip squeezes.

73. She comes to your house to check on you.

74. A doula is a confidence boost.

75. She is someone to laugh, cry, and reminisce with postpartum.

76. She trusts birth.

77. She believes in you and your body, even when you don’t.

78. No one knows it all — a doula is more knowledge and wisdom present.

79. She answers texts at 3 am when you think your water has broken.

80. She will suggest or lend books for you to read.

81. She can lend or rent a TENS unit.

82. She has a rebozo, and knows how to use it.

83. She’ll discusses pros and cons with you for interventions.

84. She’s up to date on current birth and pregnancy issues.

85. She brings a magic bag of things that help in labor.

86. Doulas work with medical staff to foster positive teamwork.

87. If baby is on the warmer or in the NICU, the doula stays with you.

88. She brings things to make the room smell nice.

89. A doula provides phone triage in early labor.

90. She can help you tell the difference between your water breaking and losing your mucus plug.

91. You can text her pictures of it.

92. She helps you write your birth plan.

93. She won’t get offended if you get upset or yell.

94. She’ll offer lip balm and other little comforts that make a big difference.

95. A doula will help a shy partner feel more confident in being involved.

96. She’s on your side and by your side.

97. She reminds you that you can do it — that you are doing it.

98. If it’s not working out you can always ask her to leave, but you can’t hire someone mid-labor.

99. You can’t have this baby to birth again. You can’t do-over this labor.

100. Birth is a big deal. There is no bigger deal. You deserve it.

These beautiful graphics are credited to Leslie Jones

One Reason Not to Hire a Doula

1.  If you’ve had a baby before and you feel very comfortable and confident, you may not want a doula. My rule is that if you implicitly trust your provider AND you feel that you’d actually rather have this baby at home by yourself, a doula probably isn’t right for you.

*as posted on the Mothering.com site

Happy Birthing!

About Lindsay 154 Articles
Hey there, Welcome to my space on the internet. This is where Parenting and Lifestyle meet. Love Made Me is a Parenting and Lifestyle blog for women and moms of school-age kids in particular.

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