Thinking about hiring a doula for your birth? Wondering if they are truly worth the money?
Doulas are an excellent, and often overlooked, resource for pregnancy, birth, and even postpartum. But, a doula isn’t a new concept. This type of comforting labor support has been used since the Greeks in ancient times.
Because of the benefits a doula provides, more and more moms-to-be are hiring doulas throughout the U.S. But, doulas often come with a high price tag, so it’s natural to ask if a doula is truly worth it.
In this post, we’ll cover 7 incredible ways that doulas make birth better, and why they’re truly worth the price.
7 Reasons Why a Doula Is Totally Worth It
1.) They're There for YOU
With OBs and most midwives, they cannot be there with you 100% of the time. They often have other patients in labor to attend to or even other prenatal appointments. Doulas, however, will be there by your side for as long as you need them throughout labor and delivery.
A doula does not replace medical care though. Your doula is there to support you emotionally, physically, and mentally. She cannot catch your baby or give you medical treatment.
Throughout pregnancy and labor and delivery, your doula will also be there to provide you with educational resources, so you can make informed decisions regarding your birth. She will be there to help you have a safe and empowered birth. She will help you find your voice, so you can advocate for yourself.
2.) They're Trained in Natural Pain Management
Birth doulas are trained to provide you with natural comfort measures throughout labor and delivery. They can provide you with encouraging words, reduce your fears, and even help minimize the pain.
They’re skilled in natural pain management techniques, such as using a rebozo, breathing exercises, counter pressure, and massage. A doula knows all the best positions to help you manage your pain, shorten your labor, and get your baby into an optimal birthing position. She’ll walk the halls with you and help create a peaceful birthing environment.
3.) You're 60% Less Likely to Have an Epidural
Because doulas are so skilled in natural pain management, you’re more likely to get through labor without an epidural.
In fact, recent research has shown that you’re 60% less likely to request an epidural with the support of a doula. You’re also less likely to receive any kind of pain management when you have a birth doula.
4.) And 50% Less Likely to Have a C-Section
By using natural pain management techniques and being able to make informed decisions, you’ll be more likely to avoid the cascade of interventions with a doula by your side. Research has even shown that women that birth with a doula are 50% less likely to have a c-section than those that do not.
Of course, your doula will also help you understand when a cesarean is truly necessary, like with placenta abruption, severe preeclampsia, and fetal distress.
And if time allows, your doula can help you understand the benefits of a gentle cesarean and give you the confidence to request for one. If you do have to have a c-section, your doula will be there to help reduce any fears you may be having and provide you with the support you need.
5.) They Get Your Partner Involved, but Also Give Them a Break
Many moms-to-be fear that their partner will feel left out if they hire a doula. This is actually quite the opposite of what typically happens when you hire a doula.
Doulas encourage partners to actively participate in the birth. They give them direction on how they can support mom and provide them with reassurance.
Plus, with a doula, dads are able to get a break, without mom having to be left alone. This will give dad some time to grab something to eat, go to the restroom, and even catch some zzz’s during those long labors.
6.) They Assist with Initial Breastfeeding
Most doulas will stick around for a bit after your baby is born to help with initial breastfeeding. They can help with latch, positioning, and answer questions.
I found this extremely nice, because a lot of nurses aren’t the most helpful when it comes to breastfeeding, and you often don’t see the lactation consultant for another day or two after giving birth.
7.) They Ease the Postpartum Adjustment
The support of a doula doesn’t end at birth. Many doulas are also trained to nurture moms and support their families while they adjust to life with a newborn.
A postpartum doula can assist with meal prep, light housekeeping, errands, basic newborn care, and entertaining your older kiddos. They can provide you with breastfeeding support and help you determine if your baby is getting enough breast milk. She can even provide you with information for local resources, such as board certified lactation consultants, postpartum adjustment groups, and therapists, shall you need it.
As new moms, we often get told to remember to take care of ourselves, but sometimes with all of our responsibilities, that just simply isn’t possible. By having a postpartum doula, you will have the support and time you need to recover physically, mentally, and emotionally.
A Doula Makes a Difference
Birth is such an exciting, but scary time. And, there’s so many things you have to decide on, including whether you want a doula or not.
I know doulas can be quite pricey, but they’re certainly worth every penny.
With a doula by your side, you’ll be able to make informed decisions, minimize your fears and pain, and just have an overall better birth experience. You’re also less likely to have an epidural and cesarean section.
Your partner will feel more included in the birth, but also get a break. And, you’ll feel more confident with breastfeeding and adjusting to postpartum life.
A doula truly makes a difference when it comes to pregnancy, birth, and postpartum recovery.
What About You?
Do you think you’ll hire a doula for your birth? Share your experiences with birth and postpartum doulas in the comments below, and be sure to share this post with all of your expecting mama friends.