Keep Calm and Hire a Doula

She is not a friend. She is not a healthcare provider. She is a mother figure of the most ancient kind. Her life experience empowers you. She is a reassuring presence who will always listen to you and support you in your chosen path. She will remind you of those choices, and the reason you made them, when you doubt, are anxious, or afraid. She sees you; the real you. Her understanding of your journey supports your self-confidence. She eases pain with a touch, a word, a look … She is a doula. 

My first doula came to me by chance.

Around the 24th hour of my labor, my midwife called in some relief. Serena arrived, and much like her name, she provided a serene atmosphere during some of my lowest moments. She provided encouraging words, counter pressure for my back, sips of water, and a break for my husband so he could take a short nap. When we transferred to the hospital from the birth center, she came along. She was our constant during the many unknowns of labor.

My second doula was a very calculated decision.

After my initial experience, I knew without a shadow of a doubt that a doula was an absolute must for all my upcoming labors. Both Serena and my family had moved, so with my second baby I began a search for someone who might fill her shoes. I spoke with a few women on the phone who served expectant mothers in our new town and when I connected with Connie, I knew she was the perfect fit for our family.

With my son’s birth, after all was said and done, I was labeled as having a precipitous labor. In our case, this meant he came so fast our midwife didn’t even make it to us! But, Connie did. She responded to my 2 am text and began making her way to our home to assist me through, what we thought were, the early stages of labor. Upon her arrival, I was preparing to push and Connie and my husband guided my son into the world* while our midwife directed their steps over the phone. To say that our doula was priceless is an understatement.

Obviously, due to my personal experiences I am a die-hard advocate of doulas and the role they play throughout a woman’s pregnancy, labor and postpartum care. But, what do the statistics** say?

Benefits of having a doula

  • Decrease in postpartum depressionkeep calm, doula
  • Increase in a mother’s feelings of control
  • Increase in positive feelings about birth
  • Decrease in interventions, anxiety and tension
  • Decrease in the need for medication
  • Increase in the chance for mother and father’s bonding with baby
  • Likelihood of a shorter labor

Having a doula present during a hospital birth will reduce …

  • The odds of having an episiotomy
  • Cesarean section by 50%
  • Labor time by 25%
  • Epidural requests by 60%
  • Pitocin use by 40%
  • Analgesia use by 30%
  • Assisted labor, like forceps by 40%

Best of all, doulas are there to support the birth you imagine. Whatever that may be! No matter your ideal, a doula acts as your sounding board as you develop your plan, your advocate during labor and your treasured helper during postpartum recovery. To hear the heart of a doula – read this post in its’ entirety and you’ll see what I mean!

Whatever your voice is, I want it to be heard. If you want an epidural, you should have that epidural girl, and that anesthesiologist better not make you wait a minute beyond your breaking point! If you are fighting for a natural birth without interventions, I want you to have that natural birth-and they better not … {read more}.

Chelsea of Us Three Birds + 1

Investing in a doula and her services will hone and shape your birth experience like no other. So, what are you waiting for? Ask your friends and online community for recommendations in your area or begin your search here. You won’t be sorry!

*Doulas DO NOT provide medical advice or deliver babies. They are simply an emotional and physical support to mothers. It was not planned that our doula would help deliver our baby, but due to the progression of my fast labor, that’s just how it happened. All that to say, due to Connie’s doula training, additional study and past birth experiences, she was a huge asset in assuring my son’s safe arrival.

**Statistics from Issue 33 of Pathways to Family Wellness

top quote source & photo source

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Gretchen hails from the beautiful Pacific Northwest along with her husband and two young children. Before transitioning to life as a stay at home mom, Gretchen worked in sales and marketing while earning her Masters in Management and Organizational Leadership. Now her days are focused on managing meal plans and nap times while organizing her sewing stash and children's toy bins. My oh my, how life changes in the blink of an eye! Gretchen writes frequently about natural parenting, becoming more environmentally conscience, her affinity for thrifted treasures, and hopes of making it out of yoga pants each day on her blog That Mama Gretchen (www.thatmamagretchen.com).

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