When I gave birth to my son in June of 2015, I planned a home birth with midwives. I did not plan on having a doula. My son ended up being Occiput Posterior (sunny side up) and he was stuck on a lip of my cervix that wouldn’t go down on its own. I realized after we transferred to the hospital that every woman needs a doula, which as a doula myself, I should have known. A woman laboring with their partner is the most beneficial scenario for labor, just the oxytocin that flows between a couple is enough to get labor progressing well. That being said, we are human, everyone needs a break and there is something about having another woman’s energy in the room that provides laboring women with an extra boost to their ability to get through labor. Doulas are extensively trained in massage, helpful laboring positions and what tools to use when needed to get through each contraction when a woman feels like they cannot possibly continue on their own. Doulas are also advocates for women in the hospital to help couples understand what is going on, what their options are if their birth wishes stray for any reason and to give the couples the information needed to ask questions and stay in control of their birth decisions.
Labor and delivery are a woman’s most powerful introduction to motherhood. If a woman does not feel like their needs are met, their questions are answered and that their super woman powers are enabled, it can lead to many negative feelings about their birth and self doubt as a mom. This is why doulas are hired. We believe in the amazing super powers of women. My favorite quote is “There is a secret in our culture and it is not that birth is painful, but that women are strong.” – Laura Stavoe. We as women are made to grow and deliver babies. Our bodies are amazing and we deserve to feel that way. More and more studies are coming out to say that Home Births with a Midwife is just as safe as a hospital birth for women with a low risk pregnancy’s. Why? Because we have the primal instincts if we can just let go of our need to control every piece of the puzzle, we can allow our bodies to work the baby down the birth canal and out into the world on its own with very little physical and medical assistance from our laboring team.
We have hospitals in place so that if a women needs or wants assistance for any reason, they have the ability to do so. Many women get interventions that they do not need nor ask for. It is these times that doulas are helpful to empower the laboring couple to remind the medical staff of their birth wishes if these interventions are not medically necessary.