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I Hired a Doula for My Birth Experience and Here is Why You Should, too: The Benefits of a Doula.

doula providing support to client
Doula using hydrotherapy

Photo Credit: Lindsey Eden Photography

My doula, Madison, on the right using hydrotherapy on my lower back mid-contraction.

When I found out I was pregnant last October, I immediately knew that I was going to hire a doula for my birth. This was my first baby and I had absolutely no idea what to expect or how to prepare. Honestly, I also just needed someone to talk to who knew birth and who would provide unbiased and non-judgmental information.

My doula, Madison, helped me with the fear of childbirth and provided the emotional support I needed to get through three days of labor. Yes, you heard that right. THREE DAYS OF LABOR. If you haven't ready my story yet, you can do so here.

Now that I have seen the power of a doula from both sides - being a doula myself and having my own during my pregnancy and labor - it makes me realize how important they are to pregnant people and their partners.

Here is why you should hire a doula for your pregnancy and birth!

Hiring a doula can be a great decision for many expecting parents. Doulas are trained professionals who provide emotional and physical support to pregnant people before, during, and after childbirth. Many studies have shown that having a doula present during labor can lead to better birth outcomes, including shorter labor, fewer medical interventions, and a lower likelihood of a cesarean section.

According to a 2017 Cochrane Review, women who received continuous support during childbirth were more likely to have a spontaneous vaginal birth, less likely to use pain medication, and had higher satisfaction with their birth experience. Another study published in the Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing found that women who had a doula present during childbirth had a 25% reduction in the odds of experiencing a negative birth experience.

In addition to the physical and emotional support they provide, doulas can also serve as advocates for their clients during the childbirth process when necessary. They can help parents navigate the often complex medical system and facilitate communication with their healthcare providers. Doulas can also help parents create a birth plan (or as I like to call it “birth preferences”) that outlines their preferences for labor and delivery and can provide guidance on how to make informed decisions about medical interventions.

The benefits of hiring a doula extend beyond just the birth experience. Doulas can also provide valuable support in the postpartum period, including assistance with nursing and newborn care.

It's important to note that doulas do not provide medical care or advice, but rather work in partnership with healthcare providers to support parents in having a positive birth experience. While some insurance plans may cover the cost of hiring a doula, many families choose to pay for doula services out of pocket. However, the investment in a doula can be well worth it for parents who are seeking a more personalized and supportive birth experience.

When choosing a doula, it's important to find someone who is a good fit for you and your partner. Many doulas offer a complimentary consultation where you can get to know each other and discuss your expectations for the birth. It's also important to consider the doula's training and availability.

It's never too early or too late to hire a doula. Some families begin their search during early pregnancy, while others may not start until later in their pregnancy. Some doulas even offer postpartum services to help families adjust to life with a newborn.

Overall, hiring a doula can be a wonderful decision for parents who want to feel supported and empowered during their childbirth journey. With the right doula, parents can have a more positive birth experience and feel more confident in their ability to care for their new baby.

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