Any mother will tell you that giving birth is a crazy experience. Some are more dramatic than others and that was the case for me when I gave birth to L’il E nearly two and a half years ago. My labour made a sharp left turn about 10 hours in and before we knew it L’il E was delivered via emergency c-section.
The recovery was painful. Not to mention learning how to breast-feed.
Naturally I have a lot of anxiety about doing it again and as I approach my 37th week my nerves are slightly rattled. Fortunately I’m feeling good because this time around I have the support of an amazing doula named Amanda Spakowski founder of The Nesting Place. Not to be confused with midwives, doulas are not medical professionals and they don’t physically deliver babies. Instead their purpose is to provide emotional and physical support to women and their partners throughout the labour process.
Below I’ve listed several reasons why the Hubs and I decided to hire a doula for #2:
1. You’re not alone. When you are in labour, the nurses and doctor at the hospital are in and out of your room, but the rest of the time you’re left on your own to figure things out (comfortable positions to get into, pain coping, deciphering all the medical speak etc.). A doula is there with you every step of the way and will keep you comfortable during labour and delivery.
2. Partner support. No matter what your partner says he isn’t going to know as much as a doula who has witnessed countless births. A doula doesn’t take your partner’s responsibilities away she’s there to provide support and encouragement to him when things become overwhelming. The doula’s role is to help guide both of you through the process.
3. It’s worth the investment. It’s not covered by OHIP obviously, but the service is available at an affordable price that provides you with peace-of-mind.
4. Better than a Google search. If I have any questions that are stressing me out I just email Amanda and she gets back to me with links to reputable resources and helps calm me down. In the weeks leading up to giving birth you will have a pre-birth appointment where she’ll walk you through the steps of labour and provide you with signs to look for and when to give her a call. This is especially helpful for first-timers.
5. No matter what, she’ll be there. You can’t always count on your OB to perform the delivery, but doulas only schedule one birth per month so you know there will be atleast one person by your side when the time comes who you have fostered a good relationship with. Unless she’s deathly ill of course.
6. Post-partum care. When that baby comes it’s overwhelming and let me tell you breast-feeding and caring for baby doesn’t just come naturally, you have to work for it. Having a doula that provides post-partum care visits is extremely helpful especially if you don’t have family living close by that can help you out.
So there you go. If you’re considering hiring a doula I highly recommend it. Amanda has been fantastic so far and I’ll fill you in on the experience in part two after I have the babe.