Asking or paying for one more thing related to our baby’s birth can bring on heart palpitations! You’ve already read Consumer Reports for the best rated car seats & scanned the really nice jogger onto your gift registry. The endless quest for maternity pants that actually fit cost a pretty penny, and they’ll look good...for 3 months. When it comes to wanting a doula for the birth, it can feel like one more BIG expense that, maybe, can just be skipped.
Please stop! Here are 5 reasons, sound, logical reasons, to put your needs, new momma, right there on top, in front of the Pottery Barn crib.
My mom will be there. Yes! Your mother/sister/best girlfriend could totally do this job! However, as labor drags on, will they begin to check their watches? Maybe let out a long sigh, or even a comparison of the length of your labor to your sisters? Really lovely women that may have held your hair back after a party or two, years earlier [of course], while you relieved yourself and not blinked an eye, might be a little bit nervous about your behavior if they are not accustomed to birthing women. Thank goodness a certified doula has studied this! She won’t blink an eye while you vomit, or moan and groan from the contractions cycling through your body. The research indicates that a mom who has had a doula accompany her in birth looks back more favorably on the event.
Isn't this what my sweetie is for? Yes! Your sweetie wants to be there and will support you, the best way they know how. And they will do a fine job. Loved ones know us the most intimately, that’s why we fought to bring them into labor and delivery wards a few generations ago. This wonderful person cares soo deeply for you, that watching you in pain, can cause them pain too. Partners that have been through a birth preparation class probably have some good tools for these moments. At some point it’s really normal for them to feel like they’ve crossed a line and are feeling unsure how to help you in labor. That moment can become super taxing for you both. Providing them with someone to lean on can be a huge relief.
My birth plan says, in 3 inch bolded lettering, EPIDURAL. Therefore, you won’t be needing a doula. Yes! Please use those wonderful doctors that have really lovely medications. And, it is absolutely OK to shed a tear of happiness when they enter the room! Until they cross the threshold of the hospital room, you’re probably going to endure some pain. Early and active labor guidelines changed a few years ago, and it’s now expected that moms work on a good portion their labors at home before being admitted to the hospital. Doulas can meet you at home and provide relief. Our phones have you on a special ringer so we don’t miss the call that you're ready for help.
My sweetie doesn’t get the point of a doula. A really good doula will never take take the place of your loved one. A really good doula will help you two grow closer during this birth. How’s that happen? During your prenatal visit, you can discuss what birth looks best to you. Your partner can really consider how involved they want to be. If they do all the emotional support of labor, your doula can do the physical, or vice versa! When birth becomes intense, partner can look to the doula for reassurance and share confidently with momma, that birth is OK. It only takes a few bewildered, confused, or frightened looks from partner for mom to start questioning herself and the process of birth. The quiet confidence doulas bring to birth envelops the labor, and those who are there.
I just really just want one. I know. And we get afraid of asking for what we want when a big price tag comes with it. At least you can show off that Tiffany pendant! One of the most difficult parts of motherhood is saying, “I’m putting myself first. I’m worth it.” Let this be your first coup over mommy guilt by saying, “this will make a vulnerable experience better. I’m worth it.” You are momma! You are heading into one of the most difficult seasons of your life, and you, by no stretch of the imagination, have to do it by yourself. I’m glad to join you.