TO DOULA OR NOT TO DOULA?

2 Apr

The answer for me, 100%, is to doula. For anyone who is not familiar, a doula is described as such: a woman who is trained to assist another woman during childbirth and who may provide support to the family after the baby is born. For me personally, right now the big focus is more on having that support during childbirth than after baby is born, though we will see how it all plays out.

I had heard about doulas as I got older and when Zach and I were trying to get pregnant I had done a little more research and confirmed that when the time came, I wanted one. Having a doula is proven to:

  • Reduce fears
  • Relieve pressure from spouse/family members
  • Be more effective than hospital staff due to providing one-on-one support
  • Help reduce stress in the birthing environment
  • Greatly reduce the risk of interventions
  • Provide natural pain relief options
  • Provides emotional support
  • Advocate for the mother and the family’s birth plan

I read in a study that “women who received doula support were more likely to have spontaneous, vaginal births and less likely to have any pain medication, epidurals, negative feelings about childbirth, vacuum or forceps assisted childbirth and c-sections.” Sign me up.

So a couple of weeks back I met the woman who would become our doula, Jenn, at Starbucks. I liked her instantaneously (and I think she liked me too!). 🙂 She was kind, warm and professional all at the same time. She went through her paperwork with me and I loved how efficient and organized she was, she has done this a LOT of times plus has two kids of her own. I voiced any and all thoughts and questions I had and she was so helpful. I went into this knowing that I wanted a doula and she was pretty much it since she’s the only practicing one in the area (the other one, my prenatal yoga instructor and friend will be moving before my due date) but I was that much more assured of my decision as our meeting went on.

She will be meeting at our house with Zach and I in June to help us write a birth plan and talk about things in detail then again in late August to show us various laboring positions, moves to do the month ahead of time to assure baby is in the proper position, teach us about natural pain relievers and to show Zach ways to be of help. I can already tell you that this doula will save Zach a world of headache because I guarantee when the time comes that having her guide me through all the pain, I will be so much more responsive and obedient than if he were telling me the exact same things. It’s like when I run with him and he encourages me I can get easily frustrated or turn into a big baby, but if I’m with anyone else I push myself harder than I thought possible and take instruction 10 times better haha! Poor guy. This way he’ll be able to be a part of the labor and it will strengthen our bond with one another without me taking everything out on him and him begging me to get an epidural because he hates to see me in pain.

A few days after our meeting I sealed the deal by sending Jenn the signed paperwork and a down payment so she has officially saved our date. One other amazing thing that she offers as part of her a la carte package (doula add-ons you can purchase) is birth photography and I was all over that. Me being the picture fanatic that I am wanted plenty of pictures (even if I look terrible) of this day to preserve it. I know that much like a wedding day, labor day can become a hazy, blurry memory and to have moments captured permanently means so much to me. This way someone nonessential (i.e. not my husband or mother or other friend/family member) is doing the picture taking and it’s someone who has done this sooo many times before so she knows all the special moments to look for to capture that all of us wouldn’t otherwise recognize in the frenetic state of welcoming a baby. So excited to cherish these prints!

So there you have it, another pregnancy “to-do” conquered. Two in one, really. Birth photography + doula, check!!

Next baby post: Booking my maternity photographer and general pregnancy updates

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