My social media has been blowing up with questions about my doula practice. And while I appreciate the enthusiasm, I think a brief post would be a more efficient way of answering the two questions I receive daily. So here we go...
Why hire a doula?
Doulas are a gift to laboring mothers. We provide emotional and informational support during the prenatal and postpartum period as well as physical support during labor and birth. Our only duty is to you, the birth-giver. During the prenatal period, we get to know you and your specific wishes for your birth experience. We provided you with all the information and reassurance you desire to achieve your goals. When it is time, we are by your side through labor and delivery. Women who have a doula present during birth are less likely to have a c-section, use pain medications like epidurals, and are 34% less likely to rate their childbirth experience negatively.
Need another reason to hire a doula? The maternal mortality rate is at an all-time high! Although doulas do not diagnose or offer medical advice, we can help spot normal and abnormal prenatal situations, and guide you through your decision-making process along with your care provider. The more knowledgeable you and your support system are, the safer and more enjoyable your birth experience can be.
How to hire a doula
I'll just say it, hiring a doula isn't always easy, but it is worth it. Most doulas work through word of mouth. When looking for a doula, be sure to ask your mama friends for recommendations! Your next step would be a simple internet search. DoulaMatch.net is a website with thousands of registered doulas waiting for you to book them! You can search doulas by area, specialty, and outside services like belly binding and placenta encapsulation. Once you find the doulas in your area, the work begins.
Hiring a doula is a lot like dating. Most doulas offer a free consultation so that you can feel each other out. Remember, your birth experience is about you. Doulas are here to ensure your comfortability during labor and delivery. To do so, you must be comfortable enough to be your most vulnerable self with us. You should book as many consultations you need until you find the right doula for you! Understand that doulas work on a first come first serve basis and usually book around 2-4 clients per birth month. If you are considering hiring a doula, I suggest you start looking ASAP.
When interviewing your potential doula, know what you are looking for. If you are anxious about breastfeeding, make sure you hire a doula who is knowledgeable about breastfeeding. If you are attempting a VBAC (Vaginal Birth after Cesarean) hire a doula with experience in that area. Ask about past experiences, training, and certifications. Remember that not all experienced doulas are trained, and not all trained doulas are experienced. Follow your gut and know that your doula is meant for you! Your intuition will never lead you astray.
Doulas have been around since the beginning of time. You, the birth-giver, are our primary focus. Having the proper support during labor and delivery can only increase your chances of having a satisfying birth experience. In my humble opinion, everyone should have a doula!