Why We Chose a Doula

I have had three children. I started my journey with a regular-old “hospital birth” with no intentions of a natural birth. With each birth since, I have strived to be a bit more natural. With my first two, there were a few things standing in my way of a natural birth:

  1. My inability to be: fully informed about all of the potential medical decisions I need to make.
  2. The endurance and encouragement to push through a painful labor.
  3. An understanding of the overall labor process and what stage I was currently in.
  4. I didn’t have enough support. My husband was deployed with my second and I felt I was left to answer questions and make decisions alone.

So I realized, when in a ton of pain and totally overwhelmed with the act of GIVING BIRTH, I could use a helper. Unwavering supporter. A natural-minded woman who is willing to help me with one of the most important moments (or 26 hours, but who is counting) of my life.

I needed someone. I needed, a servant.

A doula serves a pregnant and laboring mama (and her husband) by giving emotional, physical, educational and spiritual support.  (source)

You may be thinking, like I did, “I don’t need a servant, my husband is so helpful!”

So is mine. And he still was, even with a doula present! You see, with my firstborn, we labored for a really LONG time. Neither of us really knew what was going on or what to expect. We didn’t know the benefits of massage, breathing, positioning, birth ball, etc. We just endured.

For a long time!

I didn’t worry about it at the time (hello, I was laboring…for 26 hours. I had only three things on my mind: me, myself and I!), so sorry, back to what I was saying. I didn’t worry about it at the time, but looking back I realize my husband was laboring right there with me. He was trying to stay up beat, encouraging, helpful, watchful. But he was tired. And anxious, and maybe a little nervous for the “big arrival.”

Guess what, a doula helps with that! With my third delivery my husband was able to have support too. My doula was able to massage and help me with relaxation while my husband talked to me and provided moral support. If he or I needed something, one of them could get it while the other one took care of me so I wasn’t left by myself.

To sum it up, by having a doula, all of my wants and needs were taken care of and nobody was run into the ground. I had a team.

You wonder why we chose a doula?

A team. Love, support, encouragement, prayers (my Doula is a Christian), help, understanding, relaxation, and excitement. And what’s more, I had an extra person so scream and yell at! People, I truly believe that helps me. I am a screamer. But hey, it gets the baby out faster, right?

Tomorrow I will share the birth story of my third child and you will see exactly how my doula helped us!

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  1. We chose to hire a doula for our third birth as well. And it was the best decision we made! My husband really enjoyed not being the only one providing support.

  2. We had a doula for our second (I also have three kids) and it was great. I debated doing it for quite a while, as I’m a very private person and felt very strongly about having as few people as possible around me during birth. However, because of several stressful factors happening with my second (I has having a hospital birth with a doctor I didn’t like instead of the homebirth I’d hoped for), I decided I needed someone else on my side and hired a doula. She was great… as you said, she was able to support my husband, and to help him know how to help me, as much as she was able to support me. I thoroughly recommend it. Also, for my second, the doula was FREE through a program the hospital ran, so inquire about that… 🙂 You might also be able to find a doula in training who is offering her services for free to get experience. She may not be quite as good as a more experienced doula, but she’s still had some training and can help out. 🙂

  3. I totally agree with having a doula. Even when you are well-educated about the process, you can forget and get scared and unsure and need help. I’ve actually been a doula, and it is a wonderful thing to do as well. I will never forget the births I helped at, and I can honestly say that my help in at least 2 of the births helped the mom achieve the birth she wanted. My husband is a very active part of my births, but there is something conforting about having a woman there, especially someone who understands what birth feels like. I’ve never had a doula per se — my midwife has always performed that role for me, and my births are always so quick that it would be difficult for any 3rd party to make it to the birth location in time. But a good doula is worth her weight in gold, that is for sure.