What is holding you back from hiring a doula? I’ll have to claim bias in saying that every expectant family should hire a birth and/or postpartum doula. But still…people have their reservations. And I get it. There are lots of reasons why a doula won’t fit into your lifestyle…right?
Doulas are only for people who don’t want the epidural.
Your doula should meet you where you’re at. I have had clients planning to have an unmedicated birth, planning to utilize IV pain medications and/or the epidural, and I have even supported clients through a planned cesarean. Doulas are trained to support you however you choose to bring your baby earthside, as long as it is within our scope of practice. If you have interviewed with a doula who is pushing their views on you, interview a different one. If you do not particularly care for the personality of the doula in your area with all the accolades, interview another one. If the rest of your support team feels uncomfortable with the idea of a doula’s presence, continue your search until you find one that fits well with your family. We are plugged into the community in so many ways, and are happy to refer you to other vetted support personnel if needed.
Doulas are only for people who want a home birth.
I have supported clients at the hospital, birth center, and in their homes. As long as your birth is assisted, it is within my scope of practice.
Doulas are for people who don’t have family and friends around to help them after delivery.
A doula does not replace the special care you will receive from family and friends, but rather is an addition to your private support team. You family and friends come from an emotionally invested place of love. Your family and friends have careers and their own families. You may start to feel guilty about the amount of help you need or have trouble voicing your needs along the way. Help from your loved ones is valuable and important but sometimes you’ll make choices that your family doesn’t agree with. At these times, your doula can be there to help you feel confident in your decisions. She has experience and knowledge about the variations of infant care, parenting style, bottle feeding, and breastfeeding and even sleep training. Prepare yourself for the adventure of parenting with a professional by your side.
Doulas are EXPENSIVE.
How much does a doula cost? “Doulas are a luxury, not a necessity.” Let’s unpack this for a second. If you google birth outcomes with a doula , the evidence speaks for itself. If a doula can really turn your birth experience from a traumatic one to a positive one overall, that alone might be worth the difference for you.
One valid reason I sometimes hear is that a doula is not in the budget. If this is the case for you, I suggest that you consider making changes to your new baby budget to allow it. Is there something on your registry that you might be able to find used from an online mom’s group? I see popular, pricey baby gadgets like DockATots and mamaRoos posted in the Wilmington, NC Mom groups https://www.facebook.com/groups/pregnantintheportcity/?ref=group_header pretty often. Sometimes they’re barely used or brand new because not all newborns are hip to the fact that these sleep aids work for other babies. Or perhaps you can add birth doula services to your registry, or ask a few close friends to gift you a birth doula as their shower gift.
A second idea would be to contact me to see if we could come up with a payment plan or some other arrangement that would allow a birth doula to work for your family’s budget. There are also circumstances in which families may qualify for special discounts or promotions (i.e. military discounts, scholarship opportunities, etc.). There are also specialty programs in the Cape Fear community that you can apply for doula support at no cost to you.
I don’t need a doula because this isn’t my first rodeo.
You have older children and know what to expect after your baby is born. You’re confident with infant care, your postpartum body, feeding your baby, and everything that comes with it. What can a postpartum doula do for you?
I find that when working with families who already have children, they’re busier than ever. Older children still have the same needs for care and attention that they did before the baby came. Doulas can help by caring for the baby so that you can spend time with your older children. We can also assist with your older children, actively engaging them, preparing meals, etc.
Doulas make your postpartum recovery a lot easier. You may have a different experience this time than you did before. Even parents who have breastfed several times before can run into new challenges. You may have health concerns that require more rest or you may just be a little extra tired with a new addition to the family. All of your regular duties surrounding your children and your home will still be there once your baby comes home. Doulas can help manage all of these needs, and you never have to feel guilty about asking us for help!
I can’t find the right doula for me.
Inviting someone into your birth experience is not to be taken lightly. It’s one of the most intimate life events. So how do you go about choosing the right doula? It may sound strange for me to recommend other doulas, but I suggest that you hold in-person interviews with at least two, preferably three, doulas. The purpose of an interview is more about feeling out the connection between you and the doula than it is about discussing details of their services.
If you’re in the middle of your search, I wish you the best of luck in the finding the right birth doula. Please contact me to schedule a free consultation if you’d like to learn more about working with me.