Should I Get a Doula?
A labor doula comes to your home when your contractions begin, and stays by your side, taking care of all of your non-medical needs until your baby is born and you feel comfortable letting her go.
Should you get a doula? Absolutely!
- A doula will wipe your forehead with a cool cloth when you are overheated.
- She will hold the cup and straw for you when you canâ€™t hold it for yourself.
- She will help you find the rhythm of your labor by finding positions that work specifically for you.
- She will massage your shoulders, hips, feet, or wherever you need her help
- She will give your partner a break when he or she needs one.
- Sheâ€™ll run and get coffee if your partner wants some but doesnâ€™t want to leave your side.
- Sheâ€™ll sit with you in the back seat and help with your contractions while your partner drives you to the hospital, or
- Sheâ€™ll help you blow up your birth pool if you are having a homebirth.
- Sheâ€™ll come to your house when your labor starts and stay until your baby is born, even if that means sheâ€™s by your side for twoÂ days straight. Doctors and nurses have shift change, but your doula will not leave.
- She can help you through contractions when your partner needs to go to the bathroom or if itâ€™s a long labor, when he/she needs to get some sleep.
- Sheâ€™ll help you while he looks for parking, or signs you into the hospital.
- If youâ€™re home, sheâ€™ll cook you dinner afterward!
- She can help translate some of what the doctors are saying, and gently advocate for you, even if itâ€™s just to find extra pillows (always a necessity).
Many pregnant moms say that they donâ€™t want a doula because their partner in life wants to be their birth partner. To that I say, wonderful! But get a doula anyway!
- Your doula doesnâ€™t love you and wonâ€™t be worried or upset when your labor gets very intense. This will help her to help you, by helping everyone stay calm.
- She will not push your partner out of the way, but help to find more ways for him or herÂ to connect to you. You are a team!
If none of my bulleted points have convinced you yet to hire a doula, consider this:
- A study conducted by researchers at The University of Minnesotaâ€™s School of Public Health and published in The Journal of Managed Care, reported that having a constant helping presence at a birth lowered C-section rates by 60%!
Finally, a word about cost. A seasoned doula can be expensive. Iâ€™ve heard of very popular doulas charging up to $3,000 for their services in big cities, especially if they are also massage therapists, acupuncturists, or just in demand. Sadly, this is often a reason women forgo hiring a one. Please know, not all doulas are expensive. Doulas just starting out will often charge from $200 â€“ $500, and it may be possible to find one for even less. Your doula doesnâ€™t need to be an expert, you just need to like her and be able to imagine her taking care of you, because that she will!
To find a doula near you, visit DONA.org.
Are you thinking of hiring a doula? Why or why not?