If there were ever a day to truly need a cheerleading team, the day you go into labor would be it. While your partner may seem like plenty now, having a doula in the delivery room can be invaluable in ensuring you feel safe, comforted and confident. A doula is a certified professional who is trained to offer emotional and physical support to women in childbirth. Here are five reasons why we think every woman should hire one for the big day:
Doulas give you peace of mind
A 2012 Norwegian study published in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology concluded that women who fear childbirth endure longer labors by as much as 1 hour and 32 minutes. Hiring a doula whose sole purpose is to keep you calm and comforted may help shorten your experience. In fact, studies have shown that doulas often reduce the time a woman is in labor by 40 minutes.
Doulas help prepare for labor
Knowledge is power, right? A doula will often schedule a couple pre-baby home visits with you and your partner. You’ll get to know who you’ve hired and you’ll have the chance to talk over your wishes and fears for delivery – and ask any questions you’d like. What’s more, doulas are often available by phone or email, too. Meaning you have an extra resource to help calm your fears while you prepare for baby.
Doulas offer continuous care
There’s no telling how long you’ll be in labor. Whether that’s a few hours or several, there’s a good chance your doctor or midwife won’t be around the entire time. Your doula, however, is there for you and only you. Throughout the course of labor, he or she will be there to cheer you on, calm you down, offer a back massage or let you know what’s going on. A doula may even come to your home to help you labor safely before heading to the hospital.
Doulas can be your voice
We’ve talked before about how difficult making a decision during labor can be. Having a doula in the delivery room can be invaluable, as he or she is familiar with your wants and wishes and is there to speak on your behalf. A doula is there to help ensure you get the birthing experience you want – all the while remaining safe and as comfortable as can be.
Doulas round out your support team
Worried about there being too many cooks in the kitchen come delivery day? Doctors and midwives are more than open to you hiring a little extra help, as they should be familiar with the beneficial outcomes a doula can provide. What’s more, hiring one of these professionals can mean your partner gets a much-needed break too. Let him run to the bathroom and fetch a coffee in the early morning hours while your doula attends to your needs.
Will you consider adding a doula to your support team? Why or why not? Share with us in the comments below.