Figuring out if hiring a doula is the right choice for you can be difficult, and is often fraught with worries and anxieties – What if I choose the wrong one? What if the doula doesn’t do his/her job? Or, god-forbid, doesn’t show up?!?! Is a doula even really worth it?
I am going to, briefly, go through some of the major reasons why a doula can be a good investment, and, again briefly, list how a doula can help you through them. This is only a small selection of reasons so please be aware that even if they don't relate to you right now it doesn't mean that a doula won't be a useful tool for your pregnancy and birth.
Reasons why a doula may be needed:
- You are afraid of the pain of labour
- You feel fear of birth itself
- You have fear/anxiety of the unknown - not knowing what will happen during labour
- You have fear/worry/anxiety of things not going the way you hoped/planned
- You feel a general fear of the unexpected, or, of what you expect to have happen
- You are anxious about what to expect, or anxious because of being told by others what to expect
- You feel a generalised anxiety with no immediately apparent cause that overlaps everything to do with your pregnancy and/or birth
- You feel that you are receiving a lack of respect and/or support from the people around you (care providers, partner, family etc)
- You lack trust/faith in your body’s ability to do what it was made to do, you may feel like your body is failing/is a failure
A doula can help by:
- Reducing or removing fear of pain through education, support, comfort and reassurance
- Reducing or removing fear of birth itself through education, support, comfort and reassurance
- Helping you to prepare for the unknown – teaching you what could happen and how, and what can be done in difference scenarios, through education and support
- Preparation for what might happen that isn’t what was hoped or planned for – going through benefits, risks and options for different scenarios even if they aren’t what was originally planned
- Learning what the unexpected could be and ways to cope with it, learning what the expected is actually like and how to cope with it
- Learning coping mechanisms, eg breathing, pain management options, support etc, to reduce anxiety and reassurance/reminders that what others say will happen isn’t always what will actually happen – each pregnancy and birth is completely different and no one single person will experience it exactly the same way
- Showing and teaching you coping mechanisms for managing general anxiety, providing reassurance when needed, you will be fully supported always
- You will receive full respect and support in every choice and decision made, and you will still be respected and supported even when you change your mind or decide to do something else at the last moment
- Providing support, education, reassurance and reminders that the human body is made to do whatever you wish it to do, and while sometimes it may not feel like it was working, or it may feel like it failed, it was still doing its job despite whatever problems or complications may have prevented it from working at peak efficiency (eg lack of support by care providers, lack of patience on behalf of care providers, health problems affecting birthing choices, hospital policies, babies positioning, family disagreements affecting birthing choices etc)
These are only a few ways in which a doula can assist you through your pregnancy and birth, as mentioned above there are many more that I have not mentioned here that any doula will be happy to talk to you about.
As always, the most important thing is that you feel comfortable, safe, secure and happy with your choice of doula and can trust your doula during one of the most intense, private and emotional times of your life.
Does any of this resonate with you? Want to work with me on your pre-birth mindset? Send a message to arrange a no obligation interview to find out if I'm the right doula for you!