No one should be unsupported during their birth. You shouldn’t feel isolate or alone. Instead, build yourself a supportive birth team. Your birth team is the group of people who support you during your birth. This can include your partner, mother, sister, best friend, the nurses, doctor, midwife, doula, or anyone else who is with you while you deliver. Maybe you don’t need all of these people, maybe you only need or want a few. When you consider a doula your birth team may be offended and wonder why they aren’t enough support. Here are some of the reasons having a doula adds to your team.
Doulas have been professionally trained to support women through pregnancy and during birth. This means she knows lots of positions for pushing, tips and tricks for easing labor and making you more comfortable, and can give you any advice you seek. A doula is also an awesome resource when establishing your birth plan. Your friends and family need not to be intimidated by her professional training though. She can use her training, and intuition, but your friends and family know you intimately.
Doulas support families not just mothers. At Southern Pacific Doulas, we like to support the entire family. This means we are just as accessible to your partner as we are to you. They can text or email us their questions or concerns. If you end up delivering by emergency cesarean, while you are recovering, your partner may be left alone with a brand new baby. That could be very stressful for them, and they may benefit from having a supportive person. Or maybe you’re rocking your birth, but your partner is uncomfortable seeing you under stress. Your doula may pull them aside and let them know, that this is what’s expected, it’s normal, and that they can be strong because you need them to.
Your birth is a personal story to your friends and family.To everyone else this is the story of how their child, niece/nephew, or grand-baby, is brought into the world. They probably have opinions on what is best for you or your baby. They may loudly voice these opinions, and they may not be the opinions that you want to hear. Your doula isn’t taking your birth story and making it her own. She isn’t going to judge you for the choices you make during delivery. You don’t need to worry about disappointing her. She can also be a place to vent constructively with if you’re feeling overwhelmed by suggestions and options.
If your birth team still isn’t convinced, take the Birth Team Support workshop we offer! Your birth team will learn how a doula’s support adds to to the team. The workshop will give everyone a chance to discuss their place in the birth room, voice their concerns, ask questions, and discuss expectations.