I will be honest I didn’t know much about Doula’s until I got pregnant and went to a meet the Doula’s night at Mama and Me (a local business that offers prenatal, postpartum and child development classes and resources. We took a few of our parenting to be classes there).
A doula is:
a trained professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to a mother before, during and shortly after childbirth to help her achieve the healthiest, most satisfying experience possible.
There are Delivery Doulas and Postpartum Doula’s
A delivery doula will be there for you and your spouse on the day of your delivery to offer both of you support to get through labor, to give your partner a break if they need to get food or run out for one reason or another, help advocate for you, ask the questions you might not know to ask, make sure your birth is as close to your birth plan as possible. They meet with you before to help you and your partner establish a birth plan and they meet with you after your birth to check in and see how you are doing, make sure postpartum depression isn’t a concern and to give you resources should it be.
A postpartum doula is for families who need support after they are home from the hospital and adjusting to life as new parents. The postpartum doula will come to your house for a few hours a day and help you around the house, clean, do laundry, let you nap, basically wherever you need help they will help you.
Honestly, after learning about both types of doula’s they both sounded amazing and I wanted them both! Unfortunately, they aren’t something insurance covers and can cost a pretty penny.
I learned at the meet the Doula’s night that you can find more affordable doula’s if you find one that is in training and hasn’t taken their test yet. Doula’s in training need to attend a certain number for births in order to sit for their test so because of that some of them offer their services free or at a very discounted rate.
Thanks to this we were able to find a great doula at a price that worked for us. Honestly, I think their work is invaluable and I so appreciate the opportunity to have a doula for our birth.
Even though I got an epidural during labor I still found it helpful to have a doula, she always made sure I was doing ok, offered ideas and suggestions for me to be comfortable, positions to move so labor didn’t slow down, made sure Jeff was able to go get something to eat, visit with my parents in the waiting room, made sure he felt involves, helped hold my legs when it was time to push and made sure we were ok after birth.
Unfortunately our doula didn’t make it to the hospital until after I got my epidural and I often wondered if I could have labored longer without one if she was their earlier but I honestly don’t think I could have. Jeff helped me in every way he could but I think I had reached my pain threshold and whether or not she was there wouldn’t have made a difference.
I 100% would recommend having a doula if your practice doesn’t offer a midwife for your delivery. It was nice to have someone who was there for us the whole time and didn’t have other patients to go and check on. It was nice to have her support to write our birth plan, she asked us a lot of things I wouldn’t have thought to put into our plan. It was nice to have her support leading up to birth and to be able to text/email/call her for any questions I had.
If you are interested in finding a doula for your birth or for postpartum support you find ones in your area here. I also recommend asking friends for recommendations or joining a local mom’s facebook group and asking around on their, that is how I found mine! If you are local to Boston and would like my doula information feel free to email me or comment on this post!