Should I hire a Doula?
The Standard Doula FAQ
“Are Doulas necessary?
The standard question often uttered when considering to hire a doula is “what is a doula?” is something along the lines of, “A woman trained to offer physical, emotional, and informational support to a woman in labor.”
That is all well and good- but there is so much more than that phrase captures. It’s difficult to sum up in such a tight little sound blurb, but I will try and put my own unique spin on it.
“What do they do, actually?”
A doula’s job is to support you in gathering the right information so that you are able to make solid, informed decisions in a way that is beneficial to your family, with no judgement or influence.
As an experienced Labor Doula, having attended births professionally in Houston for the past 5 years, I have worked with families in many different settings. I do my best to help create beautiful, fulfilling and empowering memories as they welcome new little ones into the world. It is a day that they will remember for the rest of their lives and it is a story they will tell a thousand times to friends and family, to their own children. It’s an important story that can be absolutely beautiful under any circumstances. I believe that a Labor Doula is a valuable asset to every birth, if a client feels the need for that type of support. The role is incredibly fluid, changing with every woman, every family and every care provider. The role changes depending on what the woman (and sometimes her support team) need from the doula.
“Can My Doula help me figure out what’s going on during birth?”
A doula can translate what is happening in that moment, they can break it down to the basic necessary information and offer the facts while encouraging the client and their partner to think objectively- prenatally as well as during labor and even after the baby has arrived. When a client can’t seem to find the right position or is grasping for something to ease the intensity of the contraction, a doula can suggest a comfort measure, or encourage the clients support team to try a new tactic that hasn’t been explored yet. In the blur that is the immediate postpartum, a doula can help the client establish breastfeeding, a doula can offer the client support while the partner is with the baby, the doula can also fetch refreshments and sustenance for the new family while they are bonding. After baby is born, I help parents find their confidence and get some rest.
“Will my Doula be disappointed in me if I stray from my birthplan?”
A doula has the ability to offer an objective viewpoint. Not having any emotional ties or familial relations with the client allows for a clear analysis of the situation at hand. While a client is experiencing sensations that are all encompassing, she is vocalizing, sweating and seeming in distress, her family and friends in attendance can feel the need to rescue her, or be concerned that what she is experiencing is out of the ordinary. When decisions need to be made about interventions and augmentations, family and friends will often not know what questions to ask, or if the procedure is necessary or merely a suggestion. As a Doula, I educate my clients on what to expect, and how to choose.
As a Certified Professional Doula, I will be present as unwavering support, a source of encouragement, and an experienced guide for the entire family; throughout the entire journey.
Every family can benefit from that type of support, if they want it.