Or someone who will hold her hand during contractions. She also needs someone who will help deliver and care for her baby.
Support comes from many different people: the doctor, the nurses, the father, the laboring woman’s mother, and the doula, to name a few.
Oftentimes, the doula’s role is nonexistent. Many women choose not to hire a doula for their birth.
Here are five reasons women don’t hire a doula.
Reason 1 – She does not know doulas exist or what their job is
I meet people all the time who have never even heard of the word “doula.”
It’s not until I start to explain the doula’s role during childbirth that they see just how beneficial this service can be.
This is what I tell them: A doula is a labor support professional who wears many hats. She supports the expecting couple and helps them accomplish what they want from their labor.
She is trained in knowing a plethora of comfort measures to assist the mother in handling labor.
She is the clients’ advocate at the hospital and is experienced in childbirth.
She provides information and education before, during, and after labor to help the couple make informed decisions.
She helps the dad or partner to be more involved while also relieving him or her when they need a break.
In addition, studies have proven that doulas improve the outcomes of deliveries. A doula helps moms and dads know they have choices and rights during labor.
More women should be aware that a doula is an option for them and just how much she would benefit from having one during pregnancy and childbirth.
Reason 2 – She cannot afford the fee or thinks it is a waste of money
Another reason many women choose not to hire a doula is monetary.
There are so many expenses surrounding the birth of a baby: hospital fees, baby equipment, diapers, etc.
How can someone possibly afford to pay for a doula who can do the same as a husband or grandmother?
A doula is worth every penny she charges. Her role is different from any other role in the birthing room.
She has the experience and medical knowledge similar to a nurse. But she also has a close bond with the mother that the hospital staff lacks.
Doulas affect the birth experience in a positive way. She gives the mom a voice and informs her of her choices every step in the process.
Just how important is it that the mother has a positive birth experience? Ask any woman you know, whether young or old, to tell her children’s birth stories.
She can recall small details and tell you exactly what happened. You can even see the emotion in her eyes.
You can tell if she had a good experience, and she will forever feel the emotional pain if it was a bad experience.
There are ways to make sure you can afford a doula. You can cut back on other expenses for awhile, like eating out.
You can ask for several people to contribute to your doula fund as your baby gift. Many doulas will even work out a payment plan with you.
Reason 3 – She is very private and only wants her significant other in the room
Privacy during labor is definitely understandable.
Many women prefer not to have strangers seeing them in their most vulnerable time. There’s nothing wrong with wanting modesty.
It is possible, to some degree, to maintain that modesty. But once transition hits and then when the mother’s ready to push, modesty is impossible.
Most women at that point don’t even care.
Consider that several nurses, the doctor, and other hospital staff will see you naked.
Like a nurse, your doula is experienced in birth and nothing she sees will shock her. But unlike the nurse, the doula knows you better and works for you, not the hospital.
Doulas are also respectful of their clients. If a client wishes to have a lot of alone time with her significant other during labor, the doula will respect that wish.
She is there for you when you need her and she gives you space when you don’t.
Reason 4 – She is planning a cesarean section
Sadly, approximately one-third of women have cesareans in the USA. Many times it is a legitimate reason, many other times it is not.
A lot of women don’t realize they have a choice after one C-section to have a vaginal birth.
This is something worth looking into if a mother is interested. For more on successful VBACs, click here.
Nevertheless, there are times when a planned cesarean is necessary. In these situations there may not appear to be a need for a doula. A doula can still be helpful, though, even for a woman planning no labor.
First, only half of a doula’s job is spent in the delivery room. She is available for support, information, and resources throughout pregnancy and the postpartum period.
A doula can also help women cope with the emotional aspect of a C-section. Many women feel sad or afraid to have this surgery.
They can feel disappointed that they won’t get to experience a vaginal birth. The doula can support her, encourage her, and prepare her for the upcoming cesarean.
In addition, the doula can be with you during the delivery, with the approval of the anesthesiologist.
It’s nice to have the doula there to stay with the mother if the dad has to take the baby to the nursery or to help the mother get immediate skin-to-skin contact.
Postpartum help is also available, such as breastfeeding support and tips for recovery.
If you know you’re having a cesarean, but would still like the benefits of a doula, tell a doula about your situation. You may be able to get an adjusted rate.
Reason 5 – She thinks a doula won’t support her choices
A major doula misconception is that doula’s only support medication-free labors. Or that they impose their beliefs and wishes on the laboring woman and her partner.
A good doula does neither. This is not her birth. It is not her baby.
Her job is to ensure you get the birth experience you want, to the best of her ability. No matter what the mother’s choices … about anything.
If your doula is uncomfortable about your birth desires (which she should know before you even hire her), it is her responsibility to inform you of that and to decline working for you.
If, though, you feel a lack of support from your doula at any time, talk about your concerns. She should be willing to correct her mistakes. If she’s not, perhaps it is best to look for another doula.
To Doula or Not To Doula
For one reason or another, many women choose not to hire a doula. It is the woman’s right if she doesn’t want a doula at her birth. She must decide what is best for her.
For those who do decide to hire a doula, they understand just how valuable this person can be.
They appreciate her supportive spirit, her knowledge, and her experience. The choice to have a doula present during childbirth is not a decision often regretted.