25 Little Things Your Doula Will Do During Birth That End Up Being Everything
Whoever said you don’t need a doula obviously never had a birth attended by a doula.
Sure, they may have survived, but it would have been so much better if they had a doula. Birthing a baby is one of the most physically and emotionally demanding tasks a woman will accomplish. It only makes sense that she should have continuous support throughout the experience.
Sure your husband wants to be a rockstar and help. But will he need a break? You won’t get one. But he might want a chance to pee or eat or even fall asleep at 3:30 in the morning.
Sure you have doctors and nurses. But they mostly will be looking at charts and listening to heartbeats. Their job is to pay attention to the medical side of things.
A doula though, a doula is there for you.
She will be there in the middle of the night. She will be there if things go quickly. She will be there if things take days. She is your person.
In the end, when you hire a doula, both mom and dad get a major win. A doula opens space for you two to bond as a family as she runs around and takes care of all the little things he would otherwise be in charge of.
25 Little Things Your Doula Will Do That Will End Up Being Everything
A doula will help you prepare for a good birth by
making sure you have solid information which allows you to make educated decisions
help you translate hospital speak into something understandable
inspire you to advocate for yourself
help you define a clear vision and plan for your birth
make sure you know what interventions will likely be offered to you and help you know how to communicate when you would want to accept or reject each one
When I was pregnant with my second daughter, my doula sat across from me as I sat on her couch and cried about my first birth experience. I was overwhelmingly scared to do it again. She helped me see the turning points in that experience. She helped me know how to better prepare so I did not end up in the same place again. She also helped me know that even if I did have an emergency, I would never be left alone and I would have someone by my side advocating for me and helping me use my voice. This was priceless.
A doula will help you not lose your mind
by reminding you that birth is normal
smiling when things are hard and giving your courage with her confidence
by counteracting that voice in your head that says you can’t do it
by providing you with ideas for pain management when you run out of them
by encouraging you to change things up if you start to feel defeated or deflated
My doula did amazing things with counter pressure, birth positions the works. But the number one thing she did was hold the space for me to do my thing. I felt like I was managing contractions fairly well until I hit transition. Then there it was, a contraction so big I felt like I could break in half from its intensity. At this moment, when I felt like going into panic mode, I looked at my doula. She smiled back at me. It was so simple. Without saying anything, I instantly knew I was safe. 2 more contractions like that and I was through transition and pushing. This was hard work, but not overwhelming for me. My husband was there breathing with me and holding my hand through this. His support was amazing and I will remember it forever. But without my doula’s presence, experience and confidence, I would have lost my resolve.
A doula will help you physically by
making sure you have a constant supply of water
spending hours squeezing your hips to get you the counter-pressure you are craving
bringing tools like a rebozzo or yoga ball for you to use during birth
going with you for a walk if you need a change
making you laugh with a dance party when you need to pick the energy up
My doula recommended that I buy the energy packs marathon runners use in case I got worn out towards the end of birth. I distinctly remember being in the birth tub and having her squeeze one of these into my mouth while my husband held my hands and my midwife listened to the baby’s heartbeat.
Everyone had a job and I was glad I could take that moment to fully rest between contractions. My team took care of me. I did not have to ask for what I needed. I could keep my focus on birthing my baby. Just as important as the doing of the things I needed, was knowing the things I needed. Which she knew even before I did sometimes.
A doula will free up your partner to support you by
telling your husband exactly how to press your back in the way you need
taking pictures so your partner can be right next to you instead of running around documenting everything
reminding your husband of the words you want to hear
helping your husband cope with the fact that he is witnessing you in pain and he cannot take it away no matter how much he wants to
being comfortable and confident that everything that is happening as you birth is normal and okay when he is not sure
Once your birth has begun, it is too late for your husband to prepare. He will want to be there emotionally supporting you. But will he remember how? A doula will make sure he doesn’t clam up, get nervous or overwhelmed. Rock-star husbands are often backed by a bit of valuable doula coaching.
A doula will support your partner by
giving him a chance to take a break from supporting you so that he can pee, make a phone call or get something to eat
making sure that you are not alone when it is 3 in the morning and he is exhausted and needs a nap
We often say that when a baby is born, so is a mother. But it is also true that when a baby is born, so is a father. This is a huge transition for the partner in your life as well. Having a doula means that your partner will have someone to encourage and guide him through the day as well. Often a doula can help a partner find his place in the birth room when otherwise he would be a little lost.
A doula absolutely does not take dad’s place but helps him show up in the most powerful way possible for you.
If your birth goes sideways a doula will help you by
translating hospital speak
bugging the nurses to keep you updated on how baby is doing
making sure you are not alone
A friend of mine ended up with an emergency c-section. Both she and baby were in emergencies. There was dad, standing in a room with a newborn baby that was less than 30 minutes old that was being taken one way, and a wife who was in trouble that was going the other direction. Their doula looked him in the eyes and said “go” so that baby would not be left alone. She stayed with mom and gave her clients husband updates until she was stable. The doula then stayed with the family in the hospital for another 24 hours to make sure everyone was okay. Mom never had to be left alone, neither did baby. Everyone ended up okay in the end.
A doula will do anything that is needed to support mom and dad.
Even when things are going well, a doula is worth her weight in gold.
But when things go sideways, that is when a doula becomes a member of the family as they show up in ways you never could have anticipated.
There is no surprise that dads who have experienced birth with a doula say they would hire her again and again.