The short answer is yes, I believe so! And here’s why.
If you have heard of a birth doula before, it probably was with a mother that had an all-natural medication free vaginal birth; in a birth center, hospital or maybe even at home. But in all reality, birth doulas are not just for helping moms cope with the discomfort birthing may bring. They are there to support you not only physically but also emotional and informational too. If you choose to use an epidural for your pain management a doula still is able to serve you in so many ways.
When your baby’s birth day comes…guess what? You can’t usually walk into the hospital and get an epidural placed in your back on the very first wave that brings discomfort your way. If you plan on using an epidural for discomfort management, then right on! You have chosen this route you desire and I love it. You made up your decision for your birth and I will fully support that decision. I may even run down the anesthesiologist and politely drag him to your room at your request. But until you have been given the okay and gotten the anesthesiologist in your room and all set up, I can help. I can help you find comfortable positions that allow the baby to make progress and I can help you with breathing, warm packs on belly or back, counter pressure, hip squeezes or getting you in the shower or tub until you are able and wanting the epidural. Sometimes the epidural does not fully work, in that case, I am still there to support your discomfort needs until they can figure something else out for you. If your epidural works perfectly and you feel nothing at all my work is still not over. I can run and get you or your birth partner food and drinks. I can help you get comfortable and in good positions for baby to keep making its way down and out so you can get some rest. I can paint your toe nails or finger nails while I keep making sure your hips are moving every 20-30 minutes to keep baby making progress. We can all play cards or games together to pass the time. We will make it a fun birthday party that you are still fully supported. Just because you are no longer experiencing discomfort doesn’t mean I don’t have plenty to do for you.
Aside from the physical aspect of hiring a doula, a huge reasons many moms hire me is to support them emotionally through their whole pregnancy process.
Let’s walk through a high level view of the process, starting from the beginning… You find out your expecting and you are so thrilled, but then you start overwhelmed because there are so many different things to think about. You may have many questions about pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum period. You may start to think about which provider to choose, early pregnancy symptoms you are now experiencing, maternity clothes, eating healthy for your baby, workouts to do during pregnancy, gender reveals, prenatal appointments, baby registry, baby showers, planning and putting together your nursery, days leading up to your “guess date”, maybe you go past your “guess date” and what that means, what your birthing time could look like and what to possibly expect, what options do you have, what questions can or should you ask, what healthcare provider will you choose for your baby, what does a baby being born look like, what does leaving the hospital look like, what does parenting a newborn look like, who is going to help during those early weeks and many more questions just like these.
Who can you ask all of those questions to? A doula! She is there for you emotionally from the time you hire her until, usually, 6 weeks or longer after the baby is born. You can also hire a postpartum doula to help you in your home after the baby is born, with the ins and outs of newborn life. Whether you have chosen a medication free birth or to use an epidural doulas are there to support you not only physically but also, emotionally and informationally. We can hold your hand through the fears, decisions, joys, sadness, overwhelming times, amazing moments and so much more. We are there for you. You may be able to ask or talk with your sister, mother or best friend about all of this information, but as doulas it is our job and you can’t over ask us questions or vent too much to us. Plus, we are well trained on all things pregnancy, birth, and baby. Your family may be very great listeners but as doulas we are qualified in our profession and have been through these moments and questions with many other mothers. We are different from your relatives also, because we are never going to give you advice on what we would do or what we think you should do, we do better than that, we help you decide what you want for yourself. We help you find your “mama voice” in the crazy and fun moments of having a baby.
A birth doula can be a HUGE added bonus to your birth no matter how to choose to do it. It is your birth. I want you to have all the knowledge, information and power you desire to have. Whatever choices you make I will 100% support them throughout your whole pregnancy, birth and postpartum period. I serve mamas and their birth partners fully with complete non-judgmental support.