9 reasons to hire a Birth Doula

The support expectant parents receive from birth doulas can be invaluable. Birth changing. Life changing. Because with a doula, as well as being by your side during birth, a lot of our work is actually done before labour even begins. As doulas we work with you during your pregnancy, arming you with information and knowledge, walking through the options and choices you have, supporting you with your decision making, helping you to understand how your mind and body work when it comes to childbirth, so that by the time labour begins, you're at a place where you feel confident, safe, relaxed and ready. 

Here are 9 reasons to hire a Birth Doula:

1. You'll receive emotional support during pregnancy, labour, birth and the early postpartum period

Maybe you're thinking, "well my mum/partner/bestie" can do that. And that is great if you have someone else that can provide you with support! It takes a village, right? However, a doula has been specifically trained for this role, to provide comfort, support and encouragement impartially, without any judgement or bias, and has likely supported many births before so able to bring a sense of calm and reassurance.

2. You'll have all of your questions answered

Often at antenatal health appointments with your midwife/consultant, time can be short and you might feel that you didn't get a chance to ask everything you wanted. Or perhaps, as always happens to me, you think of a question after you've left your appointment! Your doula will have a wealth of knowledge to draw upon, and if there's something they don't know the answer to, you bet they'll be able to signpost you to someone who does know! Your doula is usually available to chat to between sessions too, so you can get answers pretty much 24/7, not just at scheduled appointments.

3. Doulas love evidence

Sometimes hospital policies and protocols aren't based on medical evidence, they can be based on avoiding litigation for example, or simply because it's the way it's always been done and nobody has ever questioned it. Doulas provide information based on the most up to date research and we will provide information about all of your options, not just what may have been offered to you by your care providers. That way you can make an informed decision that is best for you. And we will never tell you what you should do, rather we will help you figure out what YOU want to do and then support you to do it.

4. Doulas support your birth partner to support you

It's a common question, "will my partner feel pushed out if I have a doula?" And the answer is no! This is one of the reasons that the antenatal sessions are so important as we will get to know you and your partner if you have one. We'll work together as a team and your doula will help your partner feel confident to provide the right support when it's needed.

5. Doula support is linked to decreased rates of intervention

Studies have shown that there is a decrease in the rate of caesarean birth, instrumental deliveries and episiotomies when people have continuous support such as from a doula. You can read more on that here.

6. Doulas provide comfort

We know so many ways to bring comfort to a person in labour, such as using counter pressure, use of a rebozo, massage, relaxation techniques, positions to try, visualisations, the list is endless! And simply having the presence of your trusted doula there can be a relief alone.

7. Doulas will do the practical stuff

Need your birth pool set up? Done! Want some ice cubes? You've got it! Lights too bright? I'm on it. Need more pillows? Consider it done! We will take care of all of those little things so you and your partner don't have to. I've even taken care of pets during births!

8. Your birth matters to us

We will learn what's important to you, what are your ideals, what are your non-negotiables. We will familiarise ourselves with your birth plan so you don't have to answer questions. We will do everything we can to ensure that your wishes are honoured.

9. Doulas will help your postpartum journey get off to the best start

I am usually with my clients several hours after their baby is born, because I'll be helping them to get comfortable, to enjoy skin-to-skin, supporting those first few feeds. Running a bath or a shower, getting some food and drink. Tidying up, loading the dishwasher and the washing machine. So that when I do leave, my clients can just relax into that oxytocin bubble of bonding and resting.

My name is Sian and I am a doula, birth photographer, placenta remedies specialist and hypnobirthing practitioner supporting clients across Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex and Milton Keynes. If you're curious about how I can support you during your pregnancy, birth and postpartum you can get in touch here