A lot of pregnant women out there wonder what a doula will really do for them. And is it worth the expense? We would love to hear your thoughts and have them up on the site for anyone asking themselves this question.

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I looked into several local doulas before chosing my midwife's assistant, Nancy McDaid. I don't think I would've had the birth I had without Nancy. She calmed me down when nobody else could and was in constant contact with my midwife being the bridge between us before she was able to arrive. I recommend doula support to any woman who wants a natural labor in any setting. They know how to deal with hospital settings and their restrictive rules. They are just as suited to assist you at a birth center or your home. My best advice would be to shop around and ask your provider who they've worked with before and who they reccomend and then it all comes down to who you're most comfortable with. A friend of mine had like three different doulas and a bunch of family support people at her birth but I think every woman should have at least one.
A doula is such an important part of the birthing process in my opinion and experience. If you have a really good one that you trust, they make all the difference in the world during your labor. The best analogy I can give is this... A doula is a birthing coach. Look at professional athletes, they are the best in the world at the sport they play, but yet they still have and need coaches. Why? Because the coach is the person that not only keeps you going, motivates you, and guides you, but also offers their expert advice in helping to bring you to your full potential. A seasoned and trusted doula is priceless, and worth the expense (again, in my opinion and experience). I am so thankful for my doula!
From my experience, if you are having a hospital birth with an obstetrician, it is a great idea to have a birth doula on board. The OB does not cater to the delivering woman and L&D RNs are often so strapped with multiple birthing women that they cannot cater to you in the way you need, either. Husbands and sisters and moms are great, but there are techniques and pieces of information that it is nearly impossible for family partners to be wise to. Plus, the birth doula is a great objective individual who can help you fight for your choices in your birth. Not to mention, many birth doulas act also as postpartum doulas, helping you battle the afterpains, the challeneges of breastfeeding, etc.

I totally recommend a doula, especially for support when you have a physician on your case.
I am in the process of being certified as a doula through DONA.I went to the training workshop and learned stuff I didn't know after giving birth to 2 kids of my own! I know my births would have been better with the support of a doula.
If you want to have a natural birth with no unneeded interventions the studies clearly show that having a doula for support greatly increases your chances. With a doula women are:
26% less likely to have a cesarean
41% less likely to have vacuum or forceps use during delivery
28% less likely to use pain meds or anesthesia
33% less likely to be unhappy with their birth experience
That last one is very important...some things you will have no control over, and feeling like your wishes were heard and you were well informed of things as they happen can make a huge difference in a complicated birth.
Your doulas only job is to care for and support you!
Most doulas have a sliding scale fee so that every women who wants a doula at their birth, can. So I think the money is a non issue.
Unless you are having your baby at home with a midwife you feel comfortable and confidant in, HIRE A DOULA!!! They are worth every penny if you are going to a birthing center or the hospital, and VITAL if going to the hospital!!! Just my $.02

Margarett the Oklahoma Midwife
I found my doula through taking her childbirth preparation class, and was very excited to have her as part of my birth team. I had a home birth, and the woman I hired also delivered my doula's youngest child, so I was looking forward to giving them the opportunity to work together professionally. I thought the idea of that was really neat, and boy, did they ever end up making a GREAT team.
The evening when my contractions started getting more intense, I wondered what the point of having my doula there was. I already had my mother, my grandmother, my midwife and my very supportive fiance, Eric. I questioned what her purpose would be, considering all the support available. But those questions faded from my mind instantly when Jessica got there and put her magic hands to work. Of course my birth team was incredibly important, like I had imagined they would be, but no one had the experience and knowledge of the birth process (other than my midwife) than my doula, Jessica. She knew just where to apply counter pressure to my back, and had the greatest advice/helpful tips to give. I loved her presence during my daughter and I's birth journey.
I would highly recommend a doula at any birth, whether at home or in a hospital. My mom's perception of the "doula experience" was this: "Your midwife or doctor is there for the baby. Your doula is there for you!"
Yes, yes, yes they are worth it!!! I would not attempt a hospital birth without a doula.

There are always doulas in training who don't have to cost a lot if money is the biggest issue. An advocate who can be truly objective and there for you and your partner is irreplaceable.
YES! especially if you are having a hospitl birth. The nurses you see on "the Baby Story" are ONLY in there every hour or so to stick their fists up you to check your progress. 5 minutes tops, there are no touchy feely labor nurses anymore, I think they just don't have the time or energy for it. they are working like dogs in there.
I'm a doula and of course I'll say yes. I feel as women we love to have other women that have "been there done that" with us during birth. It's a sense of knowing they "know" what's going on emotionally and physically that's a very calming feeling. A doula has very many roles she plays. She can be a silent presence or a vocal friend that helps you through each contraction. She give outstanding information concerning hospital policy and what to prepare for. She can be the great strength you need to get through the fearful abiss of birthing smog of education and information. Each doula is different so interview many. You need to find a doula that fits your personality. If you are planning a hospital birth, A doula should be able to work well with the hospital staff, remembering they have a job to do while being able to advocate for the birth mom.
Some doulas are certified and some aren't. I wouldn't put all your efforts in a certified doula. Interview all doulas in your area. Certification doesn't create a doula. Her heart for a birthing family and her experience to help them through their time is what a doula is.
I think it depends on the type of person you are.
I originally wanted a doula, but thankfully I didn't waste my money, because my labor and delivery was perfect and I never felt like I missed having extra support.
If you are not a strong willed person, you need one in the hospital to stand up for you though. The nurse will catch you in a weak moment and intervene more than they would if the doula were there to advocate for what you want. It's good to have someone to bring you back into reality and remind you of what you are here to do. Labor can be long and really take a tole on you emotionally. It can wear you down and you don't want to have to compromise your original plan because you became vulnerable.
I am 26 weeks pregnant with my first child and have chosen to hire a doula (who is actually a licsened midwife). I was recently put on bedrest due to what appears to be a short cervix on my ultrasound (not yet confirmed by a second ultrasound) and have found that my doula has already been much more supportive, knowledgeable and useful than the dumb Dr. that I have. Doulas are great because they have chosen to do this not becuase they want to be filthy rich, but becuase they have a passion for the natural process of birth!
I'm a doula and have been for four years now.. I had a doula with my 4th birth and yes, it does make a difference.. You can look online and find all the benefits from having a doula. I recommend one no matter where you deliver. IMO it's more important to have a doula if you have a hospital birth since you have someone on your side and can remind you of your wishes in your worst moment of wanting a epidural but at a home birth sometimes the midwife can't be your doula. If births gets tough, you just might need one.

It's very much worth the expense but not all doula's charge a lot.. Depending on your location and how long someone as been a doula you might even get a doula in training for free.. A lot of times I've done births for nothing, I volunteer since my goal is to become a midwife, I do it for the birth experience and not the money.

Good luck!!!!

Candice
Doula, wife and SAHM to five blessings, praying for more!

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