After trying to have a natural birth on my own three times, I finally hired a doula for my fourth child. Now, there is no way I’d ever want to give birth without a doula! Having a doula at your birth has been shown to
With that said, why would a doula decide to hire a doula for her own birth? Why would I, a woman who is trained to support birth, need the support of a doula at my birth? Let me tell you why.
1. You can’t exactly do a double hip squeeze to yourself!
And while my husband is amazing, like seriously, as I am writing this he is taking all the kiddos (4 in total) roller-skating! But back to my point, he may be amazing, but he doesn't know all the tricks to comforting a laboring woman. As a laboring mom, I may not be able to explain to him that I want his hands on my butt bones for counter pressure while I growl out through some pushes!
2. Nothing can replace the intuition of a skilled doula!
A doula isn’t just there to massage your back for 18 hours of childbirth. She is carefully attending to your labor progress.
I can’t tell you how many times I have suggested a change of position to a woman whose labor has stalled and all of the sudden things are moving again. Having a doula that can give wise suggestions could be the difference between a vaginal birth or a cesarean.
3. Doulas are for dads too!
When a woman is in labor, there are two major players, mom and baby, but dad needs support as well. A partner is emotionally invested and will instinctively move into a territorial, protective mode when he sees his wife in active labor. Having a doula to reassure him of the natural process is so helpful. Having someone encourage your partner as he comforts you is equally important. He needs to feel capable and empowered to support you!
And who knows, dad might like to eat a whole meal, or go to the bathroom, maybe get a cat nap in, and a doula can give him that opportunity without ever leaving you alone.
And to quote my husband, “Having a doula allowed me to enjoy the birth of our fourth daughter. It took away the stress and anxiety of trying to meet my wife's physical needs. Instead, I was able to love and bond with her.”
4. You get to be a goddess for a day!
Sure, I would love a sip of water. Yes, a cold washcloth would be wonderful. Oh my, this heated rice sock is incredible. I’d love another grape! Massage? By all means, my lower back is killing me.
When you are in labor, having someone care for you and take care of your needs is priceless – why not soak it up!
5. Every birth is different
I have had four VERY different births. My fourth birth lasted five days, and if it weren’t for my doula, I would have given up my hope for a natural childbirth. I know that every birth is different and the unexpected could arise at any moment. Having a doula can help with the emotional and physical transition of the unexpected.
6. Sanctuary instead of stress.
Please don't make me be the bad guy. I don't want to be the mean, cranky laboring woman. I don't want to have to kick people out of my labor space because they don't have the respect to see I need peace and quiet. So even though I am a doula, I need a doula that will help protect my space!
I am not the only doula who feels this way. I asked over 250 doulas if they would hire a doula for their birth, and the overwhelming majority answer was yes! So that's why this doula and hundreds of other professional doulas would hire a doula for their birth!
Disclaimer: I realize that there are exceptions to most scenarios. For example, some men are exceptional at filling the role of doula. Doula dads rock! Some women remain so engaged with their labor, that they do not need the intuitive directing of a doula. Other moms do not need a quiet birthing space, they enjoy the joys of conversations. I could go on, but I think you understand my heart.
I am a birth doula, childbirth educator, wife to an amazing man, and mother to four beautiful girls. I love serving families as they bring new life into the world!
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