One of the first questions I get asked as a doula is what my birth philosophy is. This question is one of my favorites because it is one of the biggest reasons I decided to become a doula. My birth philosophy is this “A non-judgmental, safe birth where the birthing person feels supported and cared for”. We are all so different. Each person has their own likes, dislikes, needs and wants. What worked for my labor and delivery may not work for you. There is no right or wrong way to have a baby. The more births I attend and birth stories I hear the more this point has been driven home for me. At the end of the day the best birth is one where mama and baby are healthy! My job as your doula is to support you in your definition of a perfect birth. Home birth or hospital; epidural or not; breastfeeding or formula; midwife or OB. My job is to support your decisions in your journey to parenthood. During times when you aren’t sure what to choose, I can point you towards the evidence-based research to help you make your decision. I will never pressure you to make a decision one way or another. Most of all I will never judge your decisions. You know what is best for you and your family. I want to support your family.
I decided to become a doula because I saw a hole in maternity care. There was a lack of support for me as the birthing person. This is due to patient load and the fact that the nurses, doctors, and midwives are there for a very specific reason and they do not often have the time to support emotionally and physically. They do such an amazing job at keeping everyone safe and they need to focus on that. That is why I feel having a doula is so important. Your doula will stay in the room with you the entire time (apart from a bathroom break here and there). She has a lot of knowledge about ways to ease pain and help keep negative feels at bay. She is someone you can discuss your fears, disappointments and struggles with. Someone to validate your feelings.
Some partners feel a doula will take away from their experience. As a partner you bring very important tools to the delivery room. You bring love, history and caring. These are invaluable in labor. Your partner needs you as well! Your doula is there for you as well. Again, labor can be very long and you may need a break, food, or water. Your doula can either bring you these things or support your partner while you leave. It can also be very emotional to see your partner in pain. Your doula can talk through your feelings, help validate how you feel, and ease your fears.
Evidence Based Birth wrote a great post about Doula’s complete with evidence surrounding how they can help in labor. I have linked that article here: https://evidencebasedbirth.com/the-evidence-for-doulas/
Ultimately, there has never been a woman who has said, “Wow I had way too much support” after her child is born. Becoming a parent is one of the most amazing, terrifying, beautiful, and challenging transitions you will ever make. You will leave that room a completely new person. You deserve as much support as you can get!