I remember when Jake suggested we look at doulas for Kaden’s delivery. I remember thinking…
1) I don’t totally know what that is
2) Is it really necessary if I’m choosing to have my baby in the hospital with an epidural?
My answer now is ABSOLUTELY YES. We hired a doula named Christine, and I could not be more glad that we did. Between the nursing shift changes, the doctor roulette (depending on when you go into labor), and the uncertainties of having never done this before, having an educated person as a constant go-to was beyond helpful. I would text questions all the time like, “I’m having this pain, is that normal?” and “I think I’m nesting, is that normal?” and “What if this baby doesn’t fit out of me, is that normal??” Needless to say, I fully utilized her services. :)
After you hire your doula, you get two pre-birth visits and they are with you every step of the way during labor (in my case, that was drawn out over a few days) and even provide post visits after you bring your little one home. Christine was a supportive well of information first, and an advocate second, making sure I knew exactly what was going on during my birth and what my options were each step of the way.
She gave me tips on how to try to make things progress a bit faster and even lunged into contractions with me while pacing around the hospital lobby. Basically it’s like having your own personal coach going into the biggest game of your life. I asked Christine for some information on why she personally decided to become a doula and for those of you pregnant and on the fence, hopefully this gives you some insight!
What exactly is a doula?
”A trained professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to a mother before, during and shortly after childbirth to help her achieve the healthiest, most satisfying experience possible." - (Taken from the DONA website)
Why do you do what you do?
I have always been fascinated by birth and I love supporting families in all ways. It brings me great joy being able to encourage and support families through this transition into parenthood.Seeing the guardians gain confidence in themselves during our time together is one of the greatest gifts for me! I am honored every time a family asks me to join them along their birth journey.
What have been some of your favorite experiences during your time as a doula?
All of my experiences have been unique to each family which makes this job so much fun and always interesting. I leave the majority of my births feeling as though I am a part of their family unit. I have shed tears of joy with new parents as they hold their long awaited child for the first time, watched partners nervously await the delivery day and then become the best support the birthing person could ask for, held hands with first time grandparents as they watch their baby bring their grandchild into the world, worked along side some of the most amazing nurses and shared many stories and laughs with all of my clients. This job is raw and real. I am witnessing people in their most vulnerable moments and working alongside some of the most inspiring people in our community. I am grateful everyday!
Our hospital provided a list of certified doulas that they work with on a regular basis and you can pretty much find a doula that lines up or supports you with whatever birth plan/desires you may have. From starting off pretty skeptical, I can’t speak highly enough about my experience and how many times I was so relieved to utilize Christine’s expertise and support.
Let me know your experiences or thoughts below!