What’s a Doula & Why Do I Need One?


I became obsessed with everything birth after suffering two consecutive miscarriages and desperately wanting to be a mom. After listening to podcasts on the topic of conception and labor and delivery, I realized I needed a doula. My doula opened the door that led to everything available to us locally in the birth world.

Giving birth is a life-changing experience. When I experienced it myself, a passion grew within me to help women during this special time. So I became a birth doula!

what is a doulaWhat is a birth doula?

A doula is a labor companion that is usually professionally trained to provide labor support. Labor support can include an array of things such as pain management strategies, positioning to help labor progress, assistance with birth planning, and finding local resources.

They also provide emotional, physical, and educational support.

Generally, a doula will be on call for you 24/7 at about 38 weeks pregnant. Once you are in labor, they will join you when you feel you need the extra support. They will help advocate for you during your labor, help manage pain, help support your partner, and will usually stay for a few hours after baby is born.

Will a doula replace my partner?

This is one of the most common misconceptions about what a doula is. A doula in no way wants to replace your partner during this special time. They do not have an emotional tie to your family in the way your partner does and can keep a clear and focused mind to help you during this experience. A good doula will help your partner navigate what is going on as well and will direct them in ways to be most helpful to you.

Why is it important to hire one?

A doula can bring so much to the table to help with your experience. For me, I truly believe that the way a woman perceives their experience will deeply affect them for the rest of their life. With that being said, a doula is well versed in birth, can provide peace and calm to the experience, can direct you to resources in the community, help you build a birth plan/preferences, advocate for the choices that you’ve made during your labor, help you navigate the hospital (if that’s where you choose to birth) and provide postpartum support.

As a nurse myself, I know that even the most well-meaning health professional cannot provide as much one-on-one care during their shift as a doula can. And that can make a huge difference during labor and delivery.

Postpartum can be a difficult transition and having a doula is important because we can direct you to resources if you need help. It also helps to have someone you’ve developed a relationship with see you postpartum and debrief about your birth. I find that women are more likely to open up to me, as their doula, about difficulties they may be experiencing postpartum. Then, I can guide them in finding the help they may need.

I think we can all agree that it takes a village to help us navigate motherhood. I’m glad that there are people like doulas that help us navigate the beginning of our journeys as moms.


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