Updated: Apr 2, 2020
What is so dang special about a doula? Why would anyone need a doula? What makes them better than a spouse or birth partner? What makes them better than the doctors and nurses? Well, I’m here to tell you what. Nothing. We aren’t BETTER than your partner. We aren’t BETTER than your care providers (doctor, nurse, midwife…) You don’t NEED a doula. BUT a doula is special and here’s why:
A doula is special because they are a knowledgeable and dedicated support person. Medical providers and staff hold extensive knowledge, but they have other tasks outside of support, and often other patients to attend to. They aren’t continuously available. Partners, family, and friends can be amazing continuous support, but often lack knowledge of labor and birth. A doula is the best of both worlds. They offer continuous support and are educated in labor and birth, making them an ideal support person.
A doula is not better than, and does not replace, anyone on your birth team, but they fill a gap that is needed to form your perfect birth team. I often come across the misconception that a doula is just going to get in the way and wedge a birth partner out of the picture, but it’s just the opposite. As a doula, I strive to support birth partners in a multitude ways, so that they in turn can be the best support possible to the birthing parent. I don’t take over their role, rather I lift them up so they can fill that role to the best of their ability. And you know what, birth partners need direct support as well!
Sure, you might not NEED a doula, but I can tell you why you might want one. The birth of a child is monumental, whether it is your first or your sixth. You will remember your baby's birth and the feelings surrounding it for many years to come. I often hear people say that all they want out of their birth experience is “healthy mom, healthy baby” and while that is a great start, I believe every family also deserves to have a satisfying experience and my goal as a doula is to support you in achieving that satisfying experience. Whether that means helping you create a birth plan, pointing you towards useful resources, providing comfort measures during labor and birth, whispering motivational affirmations to you as you labor, or giving you information necessary to make important decisions if plans change, I’m there ready to support you in whatever way your family needs. And really, will you ever look back and think “I had too much support.”?