When I was pregnant with my first child, I didn't even know what a doula was or why I might need one. I assumed that birth would come naturally for me (as well as breastfeeding) because it should be instinctual - some primal force that I just need to let myself fold into. After all, women have been successfully giving birth for centuries, why shouldn't I?
I was so in over my head. I wanted, from the bottom of my heart, to have an unmedicated birth (just my goal - not implying that it should be yours). I imagined that my primal self would set in and all would follow. The reality was that I hadn't prepared for this very big transformation in my life. There were a couple different reasons. I was unaware of evidence-based practices that I may need to advocate for & various other choices that could empower my vision of birth. I made the decision to invite my husband and mother to my birth solely on the reason that those were the two people most close to me - but that doesn't always equate to the right birth team.
What I really needed was someone familiar with the birth landscape in the US right now and who was passionate about helping women come into their power through education, support, and an unwavering commitment to MY birth vision. For the birth of my first child, I received an epidural after being unable to navigate without one. I endured many hours of riveting sensations before I became exhausted and defeated by my lack of dilation. I, ultimately, walked away from that birth feeling disappointed.
According to americanpregnancy.org -
Having a doula present at your birth shows improvements as high as:
50% decrease in cesarean rate
25% decrease in length of labor
40% decrease in oxytocin use
60% decrease in requests for epidurals
While I cannot know how my outcome could have been different with a doula, at least someone could have been there in the aftermath to help with processing my feelings and emotions after the fact. Often, this is an overlooked part of having a doula, as well.
Your birth experience will be a pivotal point in your life and you deserve to be supported. Your FAMILY deserves for YOU to be supported.
Being a servant of women, as a doula is defined, brings light to my heart. I want you to have all the odds in your favor for your best birth and I believe doulas are critical to have by your side helping you fulfill that goal.