Why Hire a Doula?
You've heard the buzzword before....doula. Maybe you understood it immediately. Maybe you were as confused as we were when the "dab" came out. Regardless of initial interpretations, doula work is often misunderstood...or worse....underrated.
Every single woman on this planet deserves a doula.
Doulas don't just work in birth. They work in connection. Healing. Recovery. Adaptation. Relaxation. Vocalization. Empowerment. Indecision. Health. Dance. Preparation. Song. Aromatherapy. Space.
Each and every one of the things that happen to anyone affected by new life entering the world - a doula works in that. That is a doula's medium.
Doulas communicate between families and providers. They protect family wishes within clinical adaptations. Doulas show mothers it's ok to say no. Doulas show fathers it's ok to touch. Doulas connect families and convey boundaries. They light up options, and provide resources, and share stories and experiences. Doulas protect rest, and space, and desires, and emotions, and time, and energy, and happiness, and women, and men.
That's great, sure. But what does that mean? If I were to hire Jen, what exactly would she do? What does a doula actually do?
She helps write your birth plan.
She shows you pre-labor stretches.
She asks your provider for more time.
She holds your hand and brushes your hair during contractions.
She shows your partner where to massage and hold you.
She supplies science-backed evidence and experiences.
She lives, breathes, and worships the birth experience and reads about it every single day so she's abreast of the latest information and knowledge.
She brings you honey sticks to keep your energy up during labor.
She tells your mom to wait in the waiting room so you don't have to.
She takes pictures.
She helps you rest by dimming the lights and keeping others quiet.
She helps you breastfeed.
She helps you bottlefeed.
She helps you wash up after labor.
She gives you space to define your own experience and needs.
She advocates for you.
And those things are just the beginning.
Often, pregnancy is all about the mama - "Ohhhh look how cute you are! Are you ready to burst?! Are you so excited! Let's have a shower!" - and labor with traditional hospital staff is all about the baby - "Oh wow, that baby is showing as very large on the ultrasound....oh, you need to get baby out....oh, look at that heart rate drop....oh, baby isn't in the right position...."
Doulas don't believe it's only about the baby. Doulas believe it's about the whole family.
Doulas are non-clinical, meaning they don't get involved in medications and heart rates and dilation. Most doulas have the knowledge and training to do these things, but it's not our scope of practice. Nope. We're not there for the clinical data....we are there for you. We aren't watching monitors, we're watching faces. We're watching how your hands clench and relax. We're watching the way your hips move with each contraction. We're watching your partners and families and clinical team. We're observing how their interactions are affecting you, the laboring mama. We're stepping in. We're holding back. We're, above all, protecting your space.
It's not only about the baby. It's so much more than just an arrival of the baby...it's the arrival of parenthood. The arrival of pure wild. The arrival of total instinct and raw physical accomplishment. It's your relief when your water breaks. It's your strength as contractions mount. It's your love when the climb gets hard. It's your determination. It's your moment. It's your birth. The entire experience is shared by those working toward a common goal - beautiful, healthy birth - but defined by mama's wishes, needs, and directives.
Doulas adore, protect, honor, and cherish those rights...passionately. There is no better support during one of the most important moments of your life than that of a passionate doula.