Yes, it’s true that women have been giving birth since the beginning of time. But just because we’re built for childbearing does not make it any less painful, stressful, emotional and downright messy when the time comes. Hello, we’re pushing an actual human being out. It’s a big deal! Now, before you freak out and vow to schedule a C-section, take a deep breath. Childbirth isn’t that bad, and in this day and age there are tons of birthing options and many ways to make the experience as comfortable as possible. Whether you choose a water birth at home or a hospital suite with an epidural on standby, a birth doula can make the whole experience easier.
If you’re not sure what a doula does, you’re not alone. Not to be confused with a midwife (who is a medical professional), a doula is certified to provide pregnancy and labor support. She is there to help before, during and after you give birth. She acts as a labor coach and provides experience and knowledge to ensure that you and your partner are comfortable throughout the entire pregnancy and childbirth process. Research shows that using a birth doula makes the entire process of labor and delivery go more smoothly. According to The American Congress of Obstetricians & Gynocologists (ACOG), “Published data indicate that one of the most effective tools to improve labor and delivery outcomes is the continuous presence of support personnel, such as a doula.” If that doesn’t convince you, here are are 15 more reasons to consider hiring a birth doula.
1. Labor Coach
On delivery day you will feel vulnerable, exhausted, nervous and quite possible very uncomfortable. A doula is a calm presence, focused entirely on you, guiding you and your partner through labor.
Read Related: Why Home Birth May Not Be For You