Now that you know a little more about what a doula is and who can become one, you might be asking — Why?
First-time parents-to-be ... Get ready, I’m about to blow your minds. Real childbirth is nothing like it is depicted in the movies. Chances are very slim that your water will break while you are out in public, buying wedding dresses with your friends (somehow this is always a thing in Hollywood?).
It is extremely unlikely that you will get to the hospital and immediately/quickly push your baby out (while still maintaining perfect makeup).
Instead, labor — especially for first babies — can last quite a while. In between the time you get to the hospital and the time you meet your child, you will be faced with a variety of medical options. These options will have great impact on the way that your labor proceeds, very few of which will be presented to you by your health provider as choices — but they are!
You will be embarking on one of the most difficult physical and emotional journeys of your life — one which will have a lasting effect on your health and the health of your newborn baby. It is an indescribable, transformative, excruciating, awe-inspiring, magical, vulnerable time.
Why wouldn’t you want someone there to help guide you through rough patches and offer specialized support? This is what a doula does.
"Yeah, yeah, yeah, Hannah," you are saying, "We get it. Those are a lot of flowery words, but I’m pregnant and irritable and I want some real examples, not wishy-washy hippie language."
Doulas Help You to Feel Powerful
- To quote an inspirational poster that you might see on the walls of your high school’s gym, “Knowledge is power”. Even before the main event — birth — doulas will provide you and your partner with information about pregnancy, labor and delivery. A doula can give you an idea of what to expect, what decisions you may be faced with, what your options are for handling each possibility, and what questions to ask a medical provider.