Ten years ago if you had heard someone say they hired a doula for their baby’s birth you might have assumed they were having a home birth and were a hippie. That’s who hires a doula, right?
It wasn't necessarily true then that only hippies hire doulas and it's certainly not the case today. Nowadays almost all of the births doulas attend are in hospitals and the women they serve are far from a ‘hippie’.
The women who hire doulas are women like you and I. They are modern, diverse, intelligent and up to date with the latest information. They have read or heard about the positive impact a doula can have and after careful thought hire one for their baby’s birth.
So what does a doula do and why are so many women hiring them?
To best answer that question a quick history lesson is needed. Before it was the norm of giving birth in a hospital, a woman would have had her baby at home and she was attended to by a lay midwife and female family members. Her mother, sisters, aunties or close friend would have been familiar with childbirth because they would have seen or experienced it. They would have provided continuous physical support and emotional reassurance and helped make the woman feel safe and nurtured.
Birth is hard work, and is made easier by being surrounded by people you trust to give you encouragement, loving touch and nurturing care.
When birth moved from the home to the hospital the medical care was increased but the emotional support was lost. Up until the late 1970's a woman having her baby in the hospital would have given birth with only a doctor or nurse present, she would not have even been allowed to have the baby’s father in the delivery room!
Thankfully this is different now and partners usually play an active role in supporting women. It is also increasingly common for women to ask a trusted family member or friend to attend to give additional support. Women have been reminded that birth is easier when you are surrounded with people you trust and who support you unconditionally.
But some women don’t have a trusted family member or friend to ask, or maybe they do but they know they have different views on pregnancy and birth and they don’t want to feel judged at such a vulnerable time.
This is where the benefits of hiring a doula come in.
When a woman hires a doula she gets the
trifecta of birth support.
Not only does she get the benefit of continuous emotional and physical support but she also has someone who is familiar with and knowledgeable about birth, and the best part - a doula is not going to judge her choices!
A doula serves her in a professional capacity so she doesn’t need to worry about her doula disapproving of her choices or having to negotiate the complex emotions of dealing with family. A doula isn't emotionally attached to her the way her mother or sister would be so can remain calm and level headed when things get tough.
The thousands of women that hire a birth doula do so because it combines the best parts of the ‘old’ ways with the best parts of the ‘new’ modern world.
So this is why so many women are hiring doulas these days. Women are seeing how valuable a doula is in the birth room and they want that extra level of support for their birth.
If you are interested in learning about how I can help you feel confident and reassured for your baby’s birth contact me today to schedule your free consultation.