Have you considered hiring a doula for your birth? Whether this is your first baby or your fifth, hiring a doula has proven benefits including lowering your risk of interventions and increasing your chances of being satisfied with your birth experience. You can check out this article for an overview of the evidence for doulas: http://evidencebasedbirth.com/theevidencefordoulas/
Here are three ways that having a doula can make your baby’s birth day better.
1. Doulas help you make a birth plan, and they help you prepare for the unexpected. You have a lot of decisions you will have to make when you have your baby. You may not even realize what choices are available to you but as the birthing person, most of the decisions about your labor and delivery are yours to make. If you don’t know your options, you may miss out on having the birth that you want and you could end up totally stressed on your big day. Your doula helps you know what options are available to you at your chosen birth place and how to talk to your provider about your vision for your baby’s birth. But we all know that you can’t plan for your birth because labor is unpredictable, right? Well, yes and no. Labor is unpredictable but by thinking ahead about how you would approach various outcomes, you can relax and go into your birthing day with confidence. Doulas work with you during pregnancy to educate you about what to expect, and decide how you will handle the unexpected. Even better, they will be with you at your birth to help you advocate for yourself no matter what surprises may arise.
2. Your partner will love your doula. Trust me on this. Sometimes partners are a little reluctant to hire a doula because they worry about being pushed out of their role in the delivery room. Nothing could be further from the truth! Your doula wants to support your partner as well as you and together doulas and partners make an amazing team. Partners love doulas because it takes some of the pressure off. He or she can focus on loving you and being there for you instead of having to remember everything from childbirth class. Your doula can offer your partner suggestions and tools so he feels confident and relaxed. Also, if your partner needs to eat or take a break, she won’t have to worry that you will be left to handle labor on your own. In the end, your partner will be so glad you decided to hire a doula!
3. Doulas help set you up for breastfeeding success. Not everyone wants to breastfeed and doulas are for everyone, including mothers who choose to bottlefeed. But many women who want to breastfeed find it more difficult than they could have imagined. In order to breastfeed, most people find that there is no such thing as too many resources or too much support. Your doula will help you with everything you need to get your breastfeeding relationship off to a great start. When your birth is attended by your doula, you will be less likely to experience some of the interventions that may make breastfeeding more difficult. But even if you do experience hurdles, your doula will be your breastfeeding cheerleader and help you find resources such as support meetings, lactation consultants, and breastfeeding supplies.
If you are still not sure that hiring a doula is right for you, go out and meet some! Most doulas offer free consultations so you can ask questions and get a better feel for what each doula has to offer and find your best fit. A great place to find doulas in the greater Charlotte area is this website directory: http://www.yourcharlottedoulas.com/ .
Andrea Gerdes is a certified birth doula (BAI) and trained postpartum doula. Her journey to a career in birthwork began with her own births, each of which was very different and special in its own way. As a doula, she is passionate about sharing evidence based information with their clients so they can make the best decisions for them. She believes birth to be transformational and she enjoys supporting women and families through this transition. Andrea lives and works in Charlotte, NC. When not attending to the needs of her clients, you will find her hanging out with her amazing husband, homeschooling her three wonderful kids, drinking lots of coffee, or reading one of her many unfinished books. To learn more, visit her website , or her Facebook page .
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