on doulas

When I say I have a midwife instead of an OB, and I hired a doula, people are literally asking me if I'm giving birth at home in my bathtub.  
No, I'm delivering at the hospital!

I talked a little here about why I switched to a midwife, and I am so happy with that decision.
So, doulas.

A doula is:
"a trained and experienced professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and just after the birth."
Studies show that when doulas attend births, labors are shorter with fewer complications, babies are healthier, and they breastfeed more easily.  There are fewer interventions and women are less likely to request pain medication, and rates of C-section are lower.

She will not "take Joey's place" but instead will help him to better help me.
She will not perform any type of medical task, she is there for support.
My plan is to labor at home as long as possible, so she will come to our house when I'm ready for her to help me, then go to the hospital with us.

My main hesitation when deciding whether I wanted a doula at Major's birth was my concern for privacy.  I was worried I would want to have some time where its just Joey and I.  But then I thought about how many nurses will be in and out no matter what.  Also, a doula is planning on being with you from start to finish.  If I say, "hey I need a minute to myself," I'm sure she will be happy to go have a minute to herself as well, to rest or get something to eat, or whatever!

This list I found is what really sold me.  Because everything on the list is what I want.

10 Reasons to Hire a Doula:

1. A better birth experience for everyone
2. Continuous support
3. Assistance in creating a birth plan
4. Informational support
5. A decreased use of interventions
6. Emotional support
7. Experienced and trained in childbirth
8. Doulas are for birth partners too
9. Physical support
10. Breastfeeding support

Informational support was especially important to me.  I am a researcher.  I research everything to death.  But I can't know everything, and with Shepherd so many "interventions" happened that I didn't know enough about to decide whether or not I wanted them...especially in the moment.  I want someone who knows more than I do, and who knows my birth plan.  When I'm in labor, if any medical intervention comes up, our plan is to have some privacy to discuss my options and whether or not something is necessary.  What I've realized is that a lot of times, at the hospital the staff is just going through the motions, doing things to laboring women just because thats the way its always been done.  And I'm not ok with that.  I want there to be medical evidence behind everything happening to me and everything going into my body, and potentially transferring to my baby.

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