I was pretty adamant about the birth experience I wanted first time round. It took a lot of time to work out what felt best for me and Allister (Al) as we didn’t realise there was so much to consider being new to this and all! I felt pretty strongly about understanding my options and choices and felt with the support of Al that we did a pretty good job in expressing our wishes to our OB, but there was a piece of the puzzle missing and it wasn’t until we had given birth to our beautiful little Willow and gone home with our baby girl that I realised we needed a doula.
What was missing for me was that feminine element of divine wisdom and knowledge and nurturing that I didn’t have the privileged of experiencing through the grace of my own Mothers support. She lived out of state but did it mean that if she was local would she have wanted to be there and would she be able to offer me the unbiased support that I needed? (that’s a whole different topic that I will write about later).
Now to be clear, our Obstetrician was great and she did her job really well. What we didn’t know was the importance of having a relationship with someone (midwife/doula) who would offer us continuity of care & support of our wishes throughout.
Throwing my husband into a traditionally women’s role – lets face it ladies giving birth is women’s business and it is nice to have our men/partners present but I really got that in those moments that Al was having his own experience and also needed support & guidance.
There is something so unbelievably amazing that happens when women support other women and doulas are women of service who have been called to do this type of work. They are the sacred ‘space holders’ and ‘environment creators’ for you to feel safe while at your most vulnerable.
For me, having someone who knows what our birth wishes are and who can uphold those and create an environment that is going to be memorable for all the right reasons, for me is so important and special.
“A doula provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the expectant mother and her partner during labour, delivery and in the immediate postpartum period. The wisdom and emotional support of experienced women at birth is an ancient tradition.”
So here we are second time round and it was a no brainer to have a doula and what I am even more excited to learn is that there is a big movement to raise awareness and get the word out their about the wonderful work doula's do.
You deserve to feel special, nurtured, supported and your wishes upheld… sure things happen and we have amazing medical professionals who can assist. We are blessed to be in this day in age to have such life saving procedures available to us however birth is natural and shouldn’t be treated as an illness. Doulas help us tap into our own divine wisdom and knowing to trust our instincts and dive into the unknown by letting go.
I have not yet given birth to our second child but already feel immense support by our doula and the resources she has provided us.
This is just my opinion of course and once we have had our baby I will give another update on how our labour went and what the experience was like with a doula being present.
Cochrane Summaries completed a review on the use of continuous support for women during childbirth. Hodnett ED, Gates S, Hofmeyr G, Sakala C
July 15, 2013.
By having continuous support in labour increases the chance of spontaneous vaginal birth, had no harm and more women were satisfied.
Historically women have been attended and supported by other women during labour and birth. However in many countries, as more women are giving birth in a hospital rather than at home, continuous support during labour has become the exception rather than the norm. This may contribute to the dehumanisation
of women’s childbirth experiences.
Supportive care during labour may involve emotional support, comfort measures, information and advocacy. These may enhance physiologic labour processes as well as women’s feelings of control and competence.
Women were less likely to use pain medications, were more likely to be satisfied and had slightly shorter labours.
Babies were less likely to have low five-minute Apgar scores.
The study concluded that all women should have continuous support in labour.