What happens when you give birth without a Doula
When I gave birth to my second child, she was posterior and the back labour was hard. My husband was exhausted and I had no idea how to deal with the back pain I was feeling. We got through that birth. But, I remember thinking “there has got to be a better way to do this whole giving birth thing.”
That thought changed the course of my life.
I eventually found out about a training that I could take to help women get through birth in a better way, with more knowledge, confidence, comfort and empowerment. I jumped in with both feet and began my life-long education in birth and supporting women and their families. At one point during the first birth I supported, I remember having to sit on the hospital room floor, overwhelmed with the emotions, sounds, raw and sacred nature of birth. I knew my work would be hard but it was a moment when I understood that I belonged there. We-support professionals- belong in those birthing rooms.
Do you know what you gain when you hire a Doula?
That question has me thinking about the gaps that exist when Doulas aren’t present in expecting families’ journeys. It’s that same gap that I noticed at the birth of my second child. The very gap that led me to become a Doula-so I could fill the void I instinctively felt and knew was there when my daughter was born.
To understand what you stand to gain when you hire a Doula, it helps to know what the gaps are without one.
I remember having to see different doctors and nurses throughout my pregnancy and birth and wishing I had at least one birth professional who could be there for me all the way through my experience, someone who could be a constant support.
Without a Doula, you might not get to enjoy the benefits of having a relationship with that one birth professional and support person who remains a constant presence through your whole experience.
I remember, during the back labour, wishing that I could have someone with me, helping me figure out how to work through the back pain, maybe even improve the situation.
Without a Doula, you might not know what to do when you face certain challenges in labour, like back labour, which require some strategy to help the baby turn and to make you more comfortable. You won’t have a guide, by your side, the whole way through your birth experience.
I remember, when my husband was exhausted and dozing off, wishing that there could be someone there with both of us to take the pressure off him and me for trying to negotiate rest and contractions.
Without a Doula, you won’t have that extra support person you can both rely on to keep supporting both of you when fatigue sets in.
I remember spending that whole day under the bright lights in the labour room, instinctively wishing for a quiet, dark, private space but not really knowing how to achieve that or feeling focused enough to start telling nursing staff to turn lights off etc.
Without a Doula, it may be harder to follow your instincts in a setting where birth is treated as a medical event instead of an instinctual one. It may be harder to feel validated in what you feel you need, ask for it, and have someone provide it for you.
I remember the times I really struggled during that labour, wishing for someone to be there to encourage me AND my husband to keep going, to try something new to help manage the pain, to give us more strategies, but mostly, to encourage us continually.
Without a Doula, you might miss out on the encouragement and affirmations that every expecting couple needs to hear to make it through the hard work of labour. You might feel alone and unheard or unseen, except during routine checks by nursing staff.
I remember not always knowing how to communicate well with nursing staff and even my doctor, especially as the pain of labour increased and wishing I had known how to better express my needs and ask questions about my care.
Without a Doula, it might be harder to make informed choices in the heat of the moment. You might not have the preparation and guidance beforehand to learn to communicate effectively, even when in pain, what your needs and choices are regarding yours and baby’s care.
I remember, after my baby was born, not really knowing how to protect our little “new baby bubble” that I wanted us to stay in. I wasn’t sure exactly how to savour the moment, what was important in those first few hours or how to achieve them. Both my husband and I were exhausted, too.
Without a Doula, those first moments and hours with your baby might fall into the hospital routine, without the guidance to bond, nurse, and practice important things like extended skin to skin. Without a support professional watching over those precious first hours and guiding and supporting you with your physical and emotional needs, that important time can become a time when you focus on your exhaustion and feeling overwhelmed, or even feeling pain instead of bonding as a family and patiently initiating feeding your baby.
I remember feeling so lost at home with a newborn who cried all the time and wasn’t nursing well. I spoke to a nurse over the phone, but oh how I wished someone would just come to my home and sit with me and help me troubleshoot the nursing challenges, and be available by phone day or night.
Without a Doula, you don’t get that ongoing, personal support (including middle of the night support or home visits) when you get home, from someone knowledgeable and trained to help you navigate the challenges of postpartum recover, healing and breastfeeding.
Doulas fill real gaps that exist in maternity care. I felt those gaps when I was giving birth to my first two babies but I thought I just had to get through it, that this is the way it is, that there is no better way. The truth is, Doulas are YOUR better way to a better birth and positive start with your baby. Doulas belong in the birthing room, supporting, guiding and encouraging families.
Professional Birth Doula
Serving Timmins, New Liskeard & all communities in between!
**If you’re giving birth in the Timmins or New Liskeard area, and you’d like to meet a Doula and see if my services are right for you, book a free consultation so we can chat. It can be done by phone, Skype or in person at a coffee shop near you!BOOK MY CONSULTATION