Doulas: Should You Hire A Labor Coach And What Are The Benefits
5 Top Reasons to Consider Getting a Doula
Should you hire a doula? Using a doula has many pros and cons. We’re going to talk about the advantages and disadvantages of hiring a doula and if you need one, or if they will be a waste of money. However, we are going to talk about their benefits in this article.
What do doulas do during labor?
You can boil it down to someone to support women in labor. They’re very hands-on in helping you cope with the pain.
- Rubbing your back
- Helping you breathe
- Support you emotionally
- Ease physical tension and pain
- Advocating for you
- Provide breastfeeding support right after birth
The benefits of a labor coach
There are several advantages to having a doula assist you and your partner through your labor and birth. Without going into all the scientific studies that seem to be quoted almost everywhere, I thought it would be interesting to discuss the top six from a more emotional standpoint.
Below are the benefits of hiring a labor coach:
1. Mothers who have a doula often feel more secure and cared for.
The prenatal and labor stages can be a very emotional and stressful time for many mothers. A good doula will be able to meet some of your needs as well as be familiar with many of the common insecurities that go hand in hand with being pregnant.
While it is very beneficial to have the support of a loving spouse, expecting them to be your sole support person is like asking them to coach a baseball game without knowing the rules or having ever played the game.
The type of emotional support that a doula (especially a doula who is a mother) can provide is immeasurable. In order to benefit from this unique support, it is essential to make sure that you and your doula have a great “fit.”
2. Mothers often have more self-confidence when they have a doula to support them.
Many women who are expecting a baby, especially if it is their first, experience self-doubt, worry about the labor process and anxiety about adapting to having a new baby at home.
Quite often a lack of self-confidence is directly related to lack of knowledge and experience. While most people know that a doula’s job is to support you emotionally and physically, it is also their job to share knowledge, impart their experience and help you and your spouse in the decisions that you make.
Related: HOW TO DEAL WITH LABOR FEARS?
3. Having a doula often results in shorter labor and fewer complications.
While this has been statistically proven, what matters more is why those results are achieved. My feeling is that on average, women experience shorter labor and have fewer complications for two reasons.
First, part of a doulas job is to educate you impartially. Providing you with the studies and statistics related to different procedures, medications, and interventions. The knowledge you gain allows you to make educated decisions that are right for you, not your caregiver.
Second, a doula is hired by you and is for you. A doula is on “your team” and is knowledgeable about the birth plan which she supported you in creating. It is straightforward during labor to fall victim to tunnel vision and lose track of your overall birth plan. A doula is there to honor your wishes and your goals so you can stay true to yourself.
4. Doulas can provide breastfeeding support when it is most needed.
My experience is that breastfeeding is most challenging during the first few days after the birth of your baby. I also have found that if a mother is going to give up on breastfeeding, this is common when it happens.
Following labor, new mothers are usually physically and mentally exhausted. The challenge of getting a good latch and dealing with a frustrated baby who is also having to learn to breastfeed can quickly become overwhelming. Unfortunately, the conflicting advice received from many nurses can become overwhelming and frustrating in the first few days.
Most doulas have also taken updated breastfeeding training, and the support they can provide during this stage can make the process go much smoother. The more natural the first few days of breastfeeding are, the more likely you are to continue.
Here are the best tips that helped me succeed with breastfeeding.
5. Mothers often have fewer negative feelings about their birthing experience.
With so much time to think about labor before it begins, it is easy for mothers to develop pre-conceived notions about how the birth process will or should go. Babies are rarely cooperative when it comes to timing or sticking to the birth plan you created.
A doula has an understanding of the many uncertainties and can help a couple of work through the birth planning process using realistic goals as well as create a backup plan. If, as can be expected, the birthing process does not go 100% according to the method.
Related: HOW TO PREPARE FOR NATURAL CHILDBIRTH?
Doulas often provide families with the ability to adapt more easily to having a new baby at home.
The experience of taking a new baby home with you is both exciting and overwhelming. There are many new routines to learn and shortly, life as you knew it no longer exists. A doula can not only draw on her experience if she is a mother and parent, but also the knowledge she has acquired through assisting other families.
Understanding little things like how to establish a routine, breastfeeding, what to expect after the first week at home and when to implement a sleep plan all go a long way towards making a challenging process easier.
In conclusion, moms who choose to work with a doula have reported higher satisfaction during childbirth, fewer incidences of postpartum depression, increased self-esteem, better mother-infant interaction, improved postpartum care and more breastfeeding success.
Have you announced your pregnancy yet?
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