Doulas are non-medical birth professionals who provide physical, emotional, and educational support before, during, and after the birth of a baby. A doula will support your decisions because you are the expert on your body, your baby, and your birth. There is no “right” philosophy to have when hiring a doula. Your plans for your birth and postpartum recovery don’t have to fit anyone’s ideals but your own.
When Hiring a Doula, You:
- don’t need to be planning an unmedicated, vaginal birth. That’s right! You can still hire a doula whether an epidural is something you’re open to, dead-set on, or have sworn off entirely. And you don’t need to be planning (or have) a vaginal delivery. Whether you’re having an elective Cesarean, or it becomes necessary while you’re in labor, your doula will support you before, (in some hospitals) during, and after the birth of your baby. Our goal is to work with you and your medical team to help you have a positive birth experience.
- don’t have to be a first time parent. Becoming a parent for the first time can be scary – you may not know what to expect with labor, delivery, or how to take care of your new baby. For other parents, adding another child to the mix can be overwhelming. It is not uncommon to worry about dividing your time and love between two (or more) children. Regardless of your family structure, your doula can help you confidently navigate your unknowns.
- don’t have to breastfeed. Some women can’t breastfeed or choose not to. That is fine! Just because you’re hiring a doula doesn’t mean you need to breastfeed. Our doulas can educate you on proper formula preparation and storage and won’t make you feel bad about how you’re feeding your baby.
- don’t have to like being pregnant. Some people think that doulas must love pregnancy, but what your doula thinks doesn’t matter! It’s awesome if you love being pregnant and you’re having a “great” pregnancy. But it’s also fine if you don’t like pregnancy and the nausea, mood swings and body changes aren’t your fave. You’re hiring a doula to support you and to validate your feelings – nobody can tell you that your feelings are wrong!
- don’t have to be crunchy. It is true that a lot of women hire a doula to help them have an unmedicated vaginal delivery and support them with breastfeeding, babywearing and cloth diapering. But you don’t have to want any of that! You can swear by essential oils and chiropractic care, or you can strongly believe in medication, epidurals, and allopathic medical care. The choice is yours and it is the right choice!
You should never change who you are, especially when hiring a doula! Get to know your doula and let her get to know you so she can provide you with the support and encouragement you need. You are the expert on your baby and it is your doula’s job to support you and help you feel confident as a new parent.