Sunday, April 17, 2011

You Hired a What-a? A Doula?

The conversation usually goes something like this ...

Me: "We're preparing for a natural childbirth. Our primary care provider is a midwife and we have hired a fantastic doula, Stephanie."

Typical Response: "Oh, so you're having your baby at home and you've hired a what-a?"

Okay, first of all midwifes aren't just for home-births -- we're having a hospital birth. Does that have me jumping up and down with joy? Nope. But, obviously the Lord had a plan for us when moved and were forced to switch from our birth center to a hospital (due to Kentucky's lack of birth centers!), because now that we know about my Protein S Deficiency, a hospital is probably a safer place.

Next, on to the whole doula business. Seriously. Where have you people been!?! In fact as I'm typing this out the spell check doesn't even recognize the word doula! So, let me do some edumacating ...

A birth doula is someone to provide emotional, physical, and informational support continually throughout the labor process. Unlike the doctors and nurses who will check in sporadically, a doula is constantly with you, walking and talking you through what's happening to your body, providing you with options for non-medicated pain relief, and being a pillar of comfort during a time of unknowns!

"So, are you saying that Daniel's going to be no help, that's why you need a doula?"

ABSOLUTELY NOT. Doulas play a support role for both mom and dad, and can even help INCREASE the amount of involvement from dad by teaching and helping him to be a coach to the extent that he wishes. Daniel is excited about our wonderful doula! He wants her there -- someone who can gently guide us through the process and be a calming force  in an otherwise hectic and pressure filled hospital environment.

And get this -- there are real statisically supported benefits to having a doula!

(From Numerous clinical studies have found that a doula’s presence at birth:
  • tends to result in shorter labors with fewer complications
  • reduces negative feelings about one’s childbirth experience
  • reduces the need for pitocin (a labor-inducing drug), forceps or vacuum extraction
  • reduces the requests for pain medication and epidurals, as well as the incidence of cesareans
Now that you know, share with others who may not!


  1. Whoo Hoo! As your doula (actually a Greek word meaning "servant"), I would just like to say "GREAT POST"! Unfortunately, with only two practicing doulas in west Kentucky, it's no wonder people give you the Dou-what?

    I'm so glad you are finally home! You can now stop counting weeks and start counting days. And I look forward to meeting Daniel BEFORE the birth! Take care of you and baby girl!

  2. Steph is great, you are in good hands :)

  3. I think she's wonderful, too, Ashley! We're so excited about her being a part of our big day!