It’s no secret that at Lil Helper we think mom’s are amazing. Every mom deserves every support possible, including during pregnancy and birth. That’s why we asked Victoria of Thyme & Tenderness to share all about her work as a birth doula with us!
Have you ever heard of or met a Birth Doula? In recent years more and more families are becoming aware of the profession and how a Doula can benefit expecting families.
What is a Birth Doula?
A Birth Doula is a professional who helps guide you through pregnancy, labor, and postpartum. Doulas fill the gap of care that, oftentimes, doctors and midwives are unable to fill. Doulas offer informational, physical, and emotional support to the families that they work for.
Need someone to vent to about fears or worries about your pregnancy? That is what a doula is for! Need someone to help you educate yourself about all your choices in pregnancy and birth? A Doula will help you! Think of a Birth Doula as your pregnancy “personal assistant”.
Benefits of Hiring a Birth Doula
It is often a misconception that only families who are planning an “all natural” birth, or a home birth, hire doulas. This simply isn't the case. No matter what type of birth you are planning for, there is a Birth Doula available to assist you!
Doulas tend to be sources of calm and comfort for the families who hire them. They help to soothe families of their fears and worries. Doulas offer the families they work for reassurance, praise, and encouragement throughout the whole pregnancy, labor, and postpartum period.
There actually have been several notable medical and scientific studies that show that there are significant documented benefits when families hire a doula!
Families who hire a Doula experience:
- 25% decrease in the risk of Cesarean
- Shorter labor by 41 minutes.
- 38% decrease in low APGAR scores
- 31% decrease in feeling dissatisfied with their birthing experience
Pregnancy and Labor can be a very scary and uncertain time for many families. Even when a family is planning on utilizing an epidural or even a planned cesarean, a Doula will make sure that the family is as supported and comforted as possible. Doula’s not only aid ones in labor and pregnant, but they also aid family members as well.
It can be hard for a partner to see their loved one in pain or going through such an immense change as pregnancy. A Doula can be a source of comfort and guidance to partners, assuring them that all is well and how they can best support and care for their partner and baby.
Where and How To Hire a Birth Doula
Many times families don’t even know where to begin in their search towards hiring a Doula. The Doula industry is one that often thrives on “word of mouth” referrals. So it can be difficult to find a Doula if you don't know anyone who has ever hired a Doula before.
Fortunately nowadays, many Doulas are online trying to reach families more. A great place to start your search is www.doulamatch.net. There you can search Doulas in your area and contact them for an interview.
It is usually recommended to contact several Doulas to interview. Although the price of services can play a huge factor in who you hire, it is important to remember that when hiring a Doula you are not only hiring a service, but you are also hiring a person and their personality.
Your birth space is sacred, and you should feel safe and secure with the people you welcome into your birth space. Ask yourself the following questions when interviewing a Doula:
- Does this person make me feel calm and safe?
- Can I see myself being friends with this person outside of my pregnancy and birth?
- Is this person going to respect both myself and my partner?
If you answered yes to all of those questions, then you’ve found your Doula!
Pregnancy, labor, and Postpartum is already both an exciting and sometimes scary time. Make it a little easier by hiring a Birth Doula!
Victoria is a Maryland USA based SAHM who has also worked as a Birth Doula for the last five years. She enjoys cooking, baking, and running a Youtube channel and TikTok account dedicated to cooking, cleaning, homemaking, and motherhood.