Embarking on pregnancy or parenthood soon? You have likely heard the advice from everywhere. What to do to conceive. Ways to rig the gender in your favor. Whether or not you should vaccinate or breastfeed. The list goes on.
Plenty of people will tell you what they think is best for you and your babes, but ultimately, it is best for you to decide. We here at Apele are an all-women owned and run company. All of us have experienced motherhood and pregnancies. We’ve discussed (and respected) the many different parenting styles and choices of each other.
One topic that recently surfaced between us was the purpose of hiring a doula. We felt that with so many questions and so much knowledge within our own company, we could share the wealth here so you could make an educated decisions on whether hiring a doula is right for your personal birth plan.
Here, we list the top responsibilities of a doula and why you may wish to consider one:
First, let’s define what doulas are and what they do. They are non-medical birth coaches or guides that help women and their partners achieve the kinds of births they desire (or as close to it as they can get as they help support you In your journey and preferences as much as possible.)
Because of this support they provide both during pregnancy and oftentimes through the postpartum period, a 2016 study reported that having a doula can reduce your chances of preterm birth and caesarean section.
Pregnancy and Post partum can come with pain and discomfort. Your hormones are going haywire and things that you didn’t even know could be an issue, become a chronic nuisance. With doulas, you can expect that they have a good idea of what you may experience and also the connections within your community for outsourcing professionals that can help. Be it chiropractors, midwives, nutritionists or similar, from morning sickness to miscarriages, they’ve likely seen and heard it all, while getting some quality care options to get you through.
Sometimes, your birth plan goes awry. Whether it was a planned c-section turned premature labor and delivery (with or without time for meds) or a natural-planned process that turned emergency surgery in the blink of an eye, doulas can be there to offer expertise with managing fear, pain, disappointment and unrealized expectations. Having information and emotional support you need to quickly adjust to changes in your birth plan can make all the difference in your mood.
Delivery complications. It is not uncommon for some women to experience some unforeseen “damages” during delivery. This can include anything from vaginal tearing to c-section incisions or even breastfeeding aches and infections. Doulas will likely not just recommend herbal and medicated options, but some even offer in-home care including household chores and caring for your baby when you simply need rest or aren’t strong enough to endure just yet.
Breastfeeding, should you choose to nurse, can present its own challenges and practice. Doulas typically have a good idea about latching and nursing techniques. Some are even lactation specialists or at least know of some they can call upon to help you with that liquid gold!
Ultimately, doulas are dedicated professionals who are just as in love with your growing family as you are! Consider interviewing some to see if it is something you’re interested in having as part of your pregnancy and post partum care. Even if you don’t choose to utilize their services, you may learn a thing or two that will benefit you during your beautiful birthing journey!