Recently, we posted on our Facebook page and asked what people had heard about doulas, or what questions they had about using doulas. One of the comments:
Should a momma hire a doula even though she has had 1, 2, or more births without a doula?
So, what does a doula offer to a family who has already had one or more children? This is such a great question! Typically, we think of doulas in reference to first-time parents, because they haven’t yet had the experience of giving birth and don’t know what to expect. But once you’ve had a baby, you know what to expect, right?
The truth is that no matter how much any of us know about birth, no matter how many times we’ve done it…each pregnancy, labor, birth, and baby are different. Having someone by your side to bounce ideas around with, to help you research, to support you no matter what…these qualities don’t become less beneficial just because you’ve already done it once. Or three times.
I’m going to get a bit personal here. I have four children. It was during my fourth pregnancy, birth, and postpartum time that I needed the most support. Although my pregnancy was normal, I had unusual (for me) anxieties that I just couldn’t quell. I needed someone to listen who wasn’t my husband. He is a kind, loving, and supportive person, but he also needed to not be worried about me and I needed to talk about how I was feeling…over and over and over again. I was lucky to have a midwife who patiently listened any time I called, but I also knew that she had other clients or might have been up all night at a birth. After our baby was born, I had a difficult time recuperating and suffered from a mild bout of postpartum depression. I kept thinking to myself … this is my fourth kid and I’m a doula, why can’t I get my act together??
While I hope none of you experience that, it was a stark reminder to me of why doula care is always valuable.