Many people have asked me (and probably every other doula out there!) why they should hire a doula if they’re having an epidural, a C-section, a premature baby, or a fully medicated birth. Today, I spent quite a bit of time exploring those questions for myself.
My first birth was a surgical birth that resulted in a premature, ill baby. A doula would have been absolutely incredible, but I did not have one. My second birth was a VBAC, and I don’t know that I would have made it through without my rock-solid husband and my doula!
Having a doula at your birth is great to help with stress or anxieties that may crop up. With an epidural or other pain medicaiton options, a doula is still invaluable as a support. There are still tricks and comfort measures that doulas know to help your labor progress and to help keep you focused and calm during your birth.
While most hospitals only allow one person in the operating room during a surgical birth, a doula can be with you before and immediately afterwards to support you, facilitate breastfeeding or even to help you process your birth.
During a premature birth, a doula can help you gather information on how your baby is doing, help explain medical procedures being done, and offer space for you to process all that is going on. They can help you begin storing breastmilk, if you’re interested, for the baby to use when able.
And the benefits don’t just stop at the hospital! I include two postpartum visits in my birth package that are often used to help debrief on your birth, screen for post partum mood disorders and help to line up any further supports a new parent may need in the immediate post partum period!
In short, don’t be afraid to hire a doula, no matter the kind of birth you are planning! It’s not my birth, it’s yours, and my job is to help you have the birth you want to have.