Disclosure :: Do you have questions about doulas and the role they play? Today, our sponsor The RN Doula answers the question, “Why should I have a doula present for the birth of my child?”
“Asking your husband to be your sole guide through labor is like asking him to lead the way on a climb of Mt. Everest. He may be smart and trustworthy, you may love him, but in the Himalayas you’d both be a lot better off with a Sherpa!” – Pam England
My first childbirth experience was beautiful, cathartic and slightly unbearable. My husband and I were as prepared as we could possibly be, for first timers who were about to embark on the unknown journey of a natural childbirth. Aside from the miraculous and empowering moment when my dewey newborn was placed on my chest for the first time, I really just remember being too emotionally and physically exhausted to completely soak in those first few hours. I also remember really only speaking twice, once to tell my husband to turn on our birth playlist (immediately followed by yelling at him to turn it off) and then to tell him he had bad breath. The funny thing is, my sweet and slightly traumatized husband (a.k.a. “coach”) also said only two things over and over again for nearly 12 hours, “Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth” and “We’re one step closer to meeting our baby.” He was so overwhelmed, he couldn’t think of anything else to say. Bless his heart.
When it came time for a birth plan the second time around, the most common question we got asked was, “So, are you going to have a natural childbirth again?” Although I really wanted to, I truly couldn’t imagine going through another 20 hour labor with “Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth.” I wanted to have a successful and calm birth of course, but I really wanted my husband to have a more relaxed experience the second time around. He wasn’t even able to take a bathroom or dinner break with our first. Although not disappointed with our decision to have a natural labor in the slightest, I do think things may have been different had we had a doula present.
Here are 5 Reasons Why Every Birth Should Have a Doula::
1. A doula is an all-around support system. Not only do you as the laboring mom need support and encouragement, but your birthing partner needs the same! Labor is work (hence the name) for everyone involved, and your doula provides your support person a much needed break, which helps keep them focused and energized to ultimately support you.
2. A doula will gently guide you back to the basics of childbirth classes. In the heat of the moment, it’s difficult to remember when to breathe, what stage of labor comes next, or how in the world to best position your body. This is where your doula comes into play. She reminds you of the things you learned in classes or helpful information she provided you. She offers words of positive affirmation and suggests position changes, both to give you relief and comfort.
3. A doula knows the questions you need to ask. Once again let the doula guide you through this path she’s already walked. Doulas provide you with need-to-know information and help you understand any medical procedures, medication suggestions or decisions you are asked to make during labor and delivery. She helps guide you through these decisions and allows you time to process all the information before decisions are made. Sometimes just taking a few moments alone with your partner can help you clear your mind and calmly continue with the birth of your babe.
4. A doula understands the language of birth. The doula takes the difficult world of medical terminology and jargon and translates it into easy to understand information. This of course keeps you well informed and provides you with a higher level of comfort during labor and birth.
5. A doula provides a calm birthing environment. The doula stays calm and encourages a peaceful environment when you need it most. Moms understandably lose focus during the difficult parts of labor, and partner that with exhaustion, stress, nerves, and excitement, it can be near impossible to stay calm. She is there to remind you that all of these emotions are normal. She strives to keep you relaxed and focused on your birthing partner, who will ultimately become the best “Sherpa” for your journey of birth.
To learn more about the services of The RN Doula, who is also a certified Hypnobirth Coach, visit Jonny at www.theRNDoula.com or visit her Facebook Page. She would love to be your “well traveled Sherpa” and help guide you and your birthing partner through your journey of birth.