Childbirth is one of the most beautiful, yet nerve-wracking experiences. While each experience is different, you may want to consider hiring a doula for multiple reasons! With many benefits, not only will a doula be able to help answer your questions, but they’ll be there every step of the way, providing additional support and making you comfortable. Tanya of Tennessee Family Doula is sharing why having a doula at birth is important and more. Keep reading to see what she has to say!
Why should you hire a doula before you have a baby?
Tanya: Doulas provide emotional, physical, and informational support during pregnancy and labor! During pregnancy, your doula is available to answer your questions – so much better than Google! A doula can help you know what symptoms are normal and which ones mean you should call your OB/Midwife. Your doula provides emotional support, too, as you process through the ups and downs of pregnancy.
How far in advance is best to hire a doula?
Tanya: Our clients typically start looking for a doula at around 20 weeks. Something about seeing that little baby on the ultrasound makes it seem so much more real! We have some clients that hire us as soon as they find out they’re pregnant so they can take advantage of our informational and emotional support. We really do become a personal guide through the process.
What does a consultation look like with a doula before childbirth?
Tanya: We meet with the clients either in their home or in our office. We talk about their hopes and wishes for their birth. We talk about how we support both mom and dad through the labor process. We answer any questions the couple has about doulas, but also any questions they have about birth.
What are some ways doulas help during childbirth?
Tanya: Doulas provide emotional support through the process – birth is such a big life event that emotions run high. Doulas provide educational support – as doctors and nurses are in and out of the labor room, we provide information to the clients so they have a clear picture of how labor is progressing and help them work through any decisions that need to be made along the way. Doulas provide physical support – we help our client with positions changes, massage, counter-pressure, etc. Our goal throughout labor is to help our clients find coping techniques for contractions that work well for them. Our role is ever-changing to meet the needs of each client. No two labors are the same, so we customize our support for each client.
Is there a certain type of mom that works best with doulas?
Tanya: Every mom can benefit from the support of a Doula. We support all kinds of birth – medicated, un-medicated, and cesarean births. We are the personal pregnancy guide, Labor maven, and trusted confidante to each client that hires us. We listen to our client’s needs, both with our ears and our intuition, and make sure they always feel heard.
What techniques do doulas use during childbirth?
Tanya: We use various comfort measures during birth to help mom cope with contractions. We help mom with position changes, massage, verbal affirmations, and emotional support. We also recommend bringing various labor tools to the birth to enhance the environment. Items like fairy lights, essential oils, massage tools, comfy robe, birth affirmation banner, a comfy pillow and cozy blanket, etc.
Can you tell us about a doula’s role after the child is born?
Tanya: After baby is born, we stay with the family for 1-2 hours to make sure that , if breastfeeding, mom has support with the first latch, that dad has had a chance to grab food and take care of his needs, and to make sure that the new family is feeling comfortable and settled in. We also do a visit sometime in the first week following birth to check on the new family. We answer any questions about mom’s recovery, baby’s care, breastfeeding, etc.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Tanya: Our doulas work in teams of two. Your two doulas both get to know you and support you through pregnancy, and they share call for your birth. This ensures that there is never a back-up doula that you’ve never met showing up to your birth. We love the team approach! You get double the support, twice the perspectives, and you always know the doula that supports you during birth. We have several teams of doulas ready to support you!