Hire a Doula for Physical and Emotional Support
There are as many reasons to hire a doula as there are laboring women. Some partners are unable to participate in the birthing process, so a doula steps in to take over the primary care-giving role. Some women need an experienced woman to tell her she will be ok through everything, others like to have a resource to help them discern the best choices they will make for their medical or midwifery care during pregnancy. Some women need to be touched throughout their labor and birth, other women like to have someone who can give them ideas to help them cope with unmedicated contractions and still others who have chosen an epidural like to have someone who can be cool as a cucumber and play cards with her even as she labors. Some women don’t need the support as much for themselves as for their partner who needs someone there to look into their eyes and tell them the mother will be just fine. Supporting a woman in labor is a big job, and even the most prepared and supportive partner can use help.
Hire a Doula to Protect Your Privacy
If you are a first time mother, you may be concerned that if you hire a doula she’ll just be a stranger horning in on private time with you and your spouse. This is a perfectly normal concern, but there are a few things to consider before you make that decision. First, there is no privacy in a hospital. If you are birthing in the hospital, there will be a minimum of 3 other people in the room when you birth, and 2 will be total strangers to you. Adding a doula whom you have known for weeks or possibly months before your birth will not detract from a moment which should be intimate but will not be. Second, if capturing those intimate moments is important to you, you should hire a doula because part of her job is to leave a family to their intimate moments and to help protect them. She will know instinctively or from just a look that the couple needs time alone, whether in labor or after birth and can serve as an advocate to guard the family from unwanted intrusions.
Hire a Doula for a Trusted Partner
The choice to hire a doula is a personal one and each woman arrives at the decision to do so (or not) differently. Because trust and empathy are so important to the work of a doula, it’s very important for you to feel at ease with your doula before you hire her. This is one of several reasons why I make every attempt to meet with my clients as early and as often as possible during pregnancy so that we can begin to form a relationship and a trust that will help me to serve you better during labor.