Mum-to-be essentials: Why doulas are a good idea
Mum-to-be-essentials: The birth of your baby is imminent. Your packed hospital bag is ready for action. The birth plan questions are prepared. You’ve also been practicing those breathing techniques. Hubby has also promised to be on hand-holding duty throughout the labour. So why would you want to hire a doula? Well, this is one of those occasions where a little more support goes a long way.
Doulas are trained in childbirth and should be considered mum-to-be essentials for a first time mum. However, unlike midwives, whose role is to physically deliver newborns, they provide emotional support to new mothers before, during and shortly after birth. Here are seven reasons to hire a doula for the birth of your baby.
Mum-to-be essentials that don’t break the bank
The going rate for a doula varies widely. The average cost is £30 per hour. That usually includes two antenatal sessions and two postnatal sessions.
Doulas help lower birth risks for a mum-to-be
Studies show that interventions, epidurals and C-sections are reduced when doulas are present at births. The possible reasons for this include, first time mums might feel a sense of safety because she has an established relationship with her doula. The added support may also result in her feeling less pain.
Doulas have a lot of knowledge
An experienced doula will have attended a high number of births. She is therefore likely to have a lot of knowledge to share on everything from delivery to postpartum care. Ask your doula to have antenatal meetings with you before and ask questions about delivery and postpartum care. A doula will also be able to advise on newborn care and anything else that may be concerning you about the postpartum period. This is a mum-to-be essential you can’t afford to miss.
Doulas are there for YOU
Giving birth is probably the most physically demanding experiences a woman will ever go through and having someone in the room you feel close to is very important. Your midwife is there for the medical, your husband will no doubt be mopping your brow, but a doula is very similar to that of a mother or sister. It’s a great way for first-time mothers to create a positive labour experience.
Doulas help dads
Of course, self-care for new mums both before and after birth is essential, but it’s important not to lose sight of dad. A doula can help dad feel empowered by encouraging him when and where to support you.
Your midwife might be grateful
Midwives are very supportive and understand the benefits of doulas during the birth. This is particularly true if the labour ward is busy and your midwife isn’t able to spend as much time with you as they’d like. On top of this, you can ask your doula to stay with you when your newborn arrives and support you through the initial bonding process.
A doula will advocate for you
You may have a birth plan in mind, or have ideas about how your want your postpartum experience to be. A doula’s job is to help you achieve that. That said, a doula should not stand in the way of medical advice. If circumstances take a different turn, you must be prepared to go with what your midwife or doctor recommends.