With baby boy Ahnen due in early September I am in the heat of preparing.
Being a hypnobirthing instructor and having taken a hypnobirthing course in the past I feel I have a slight upper hand in the preparation department. But this does not mean I know everything and don’t need any additional help or guidance.
I know from my training and my personal experience that every birth is so completely different.
The biggest difference in this third birth experience is that I am planning to give birth at the local birthing center with midwife-led care instead of a hospital with an OB. I not only believe this will provide a more relaxing and less invasive birth experience but also some additional stress for my husband.
Que the doula conversation.
Just in case this is the first time you have heard the term doula I will give you a quick run-down.
A doula likely has professional training with a certified program/organization to provide physical and emotional support to both the birthing person and birthing partner. Their primary goal is to help you have a safe, healthy and positive birth experience. They do this by providing support during the end of pregnancy and during the labor and birthing process through relaxation techniques, answering questions, and being there for whatever, you need.
A bonus for many doulas is that they also offer birth photography services – which is something I am interested in this time around.
My husband, Chris, has been a great support through my previous two births but has voiced how emotionally draining the whole process is feel helpless on the sidelines while I do all the work. I think this is one place a doula could really help. It would take some of the pressure off Chris to be and do everything for me during labor and birth.
Chris does not complain and finds me heroic for undergoing two completely unmedicated births. He also finds the process of birth fascinating. And although he is 100% on board with my birth center birth, I know he is a little nervous that if (big if) something was to change and I needed to be transported to a hospital this would be an extremely scary situation for him.
Another place the doula would be of high value. The reassurance to him that things will be okay, no matter what turn the birth takes.
Benefits of a Doula (And the Downfalls)
Aside from my personal thoughts on how a doula could help Chris and I this time around, they also provider numerous proven benefits to laboring people.
39% reduction in C-sections*
15% increase in likelihood of a spontaneous vaginal birth
An average of 40-minute shorter labor times
31% decrease in the chance of being dissatisfied with the birth experience
I don’t know about you but all that sounds pretty great!
The biggest downfalls of hiring a doula are:
Finding one that makes you feel comfortable and that you connect with
The cost - $800-$2500 depending on your geographic location
As of now I am still undecided, but I plan to start interviewing a few doulas in my area to see if I feel connected to them. I have shown myself I can birth without one but believe my birth could be even better with the right doula.
Check back in the next couple weeks to see what my final decision is.
If you have any experience with a doula or advice for hiring a doula, I would love to hear them!