There is a lot of value in inviting a doula to join your birth team. It talks a lot about the impact having continuous support throughout labor and delivery can have on a birthing person. That is exactly what a doula is trained to do. They provide nonjudgmental, continuous support through the duration of a person’s labor.
There are a wide range of reasons people turn to doula support. One of the benefits she mentions is on the spot coaching. Another one is merely having that unbiased support person in the room. When a person’s goal is an unmedicated delivery, a doula is a great resource for more natural pain management. Doulas are not just good for the delivery room or the birthing person. A professional doula tends to benefit everyone on their birth team and can be a great source of support prenatally and postpartum. Doulas also are great at working cohesively with partners to work towards the birthing person’s ideal birth. If there is something out of their scope, a professional doula will refer their client to the relevant professional.
When a birthing person is given continuous, nonjudgmental, support there are multiple positive effects on their overall experience. For starters, they tend to feel safer expressing themselves when they do not feel like they are being judged. Therefore, they are more confident in making their decisions and more likely to reach out for help when they’re not as confident and struggling. Having continuous support also gives their partner the ability to take breathers, as needed, and to feel comfortable asking questions. This is a delicate time for them, as well.
When someone hires a doula, they are seeking more than just information and tips. They are hiring a source of support and on the spot coaching. Penny Simkin suggests that when you took little to no childbirth education, it might be a good idea to seek out a doula for support and guidance.
When your goal is to have an unmedicated childbirth, your doula can provide alternative coping strategies that consist of more than medicine. This is a lot of where the physical and emotional support comes into play. From validation and encouragement to light massage and double hip squeezes, doulas come with many tips and tricks.
Some people think even less to hire a postpartum doula than a labor doula. Postpartum doulas are great to make people’s transition into parenthood as seamless as possible. One significant benefit of having a postpartum doula is that they are trained to screen for postpartum mood disorders. They are well versed in the difference between a normal and an abnormal postpartum period.
Doulas are a great directory for your community, even. If they are not trained or familiar with something or it is out of their scope of practice, they know where to find your answers and meet your needs. It is not uncommon that they are in collaboration with providers, chiropractors, and massage therapists. Sometimes you might not know what service you need or that there was even a service offered.