This was the last and final question for our Labor Day Giveaway! The answer options were:
Continuous physical and emotional support
Guess what? They’re all correct! And, there are many other reasons expectant families choose to hire doulas. The reasons are as unique and diverse as the families themselves. Reasons I’ve been hired include: being the “partner” when one wasn’t available, helping to redirect or refocus energy if things got difficult, a second opinion for whether it was time to go to the hospital, reminders of birth plan wishes, and finally, to assure the birth partner that the birth was proceeding normally.
Let’s take a closer look at those three options:
Continuous physical and emotional support: This is seen over and over again in articles about doulas. Continuous means that as your doula, I come when you ask me to (usually around the start of active labor) and stay until after your baby is born. For extremely long labors, sometimes a backup doula will come in for a bit so I can get some sleep and be fresh for you. No matter how long it takes, though, someone is there for you and your partner. There are no shift changes, no other clients, etc. My sole focus is on you and your birth. Because we’ve developed a relationship prior to the birth, and because I’m there the whole time, I don’t need to be filled in on what’s happening. Emotional support means that while I have developed a deep caring for you and your family, I am still removed enough to remain objective when things get intense. Physical support means that sometimes I spend hours rubbing your legs while partner rubs your back, or I rub your back while you lean into your partner. Once, physical support meant I held up a “base” of pillows for dad so he could hold onto mom without hurting his back.
Informational Support: Informational support means that you get to ask anything and everything when you have a doula! I will scour my resources, tap other birth professionals, and present you with all the research so you can get the information you need to make an informed decision. This information comes without bias or judgment. Sometimes this is as simple as answering where you can get a nursing bra locally, while other times it’s a more difficult topic like finding a care provider that’s right for your unique family (remember to hire your doula early for this).
Partner Support: This is one of my favorites! It is a misconception that doulas replace or push out the partner of the birthing person. Actually, one of the main goals I have as a doula is to fully support your partner in supporting YOU. In my experience, a partner who has the support of a doula is able to really, truly, be “in the moment” because the pressure of being “the coach” is off. Partner gets to do whatever comes naturally, while also being able to tap into the knowledge of birth I have. This works out amazingly well, because although I may know more about birth, your partner knows more about you. Together, we make a fabulous team!