What Is a Doula and Should You Consider One?

Photo Credit: Bobbi Tolman

To Doula or Not to Doula. That is the question.

I had the good fortune of being recommended an amazing doula early on during my first pregnancy. She has been a part of over 2000 births in her tenure and all the OBs in the area know and respect her. I was only 3 months along and was able to get on her calendar.

My first delivery was ridiculously fast. Or maybe, shall we say, I labored at home probably a little too long. I skipped triage and was sent directly to delivery when we arrived at the hospital to check in. I was in the delivery room for 90 minutes before being wheeled to recovery and I only had to push for 20 minutes. It was SO fast, that thank goodness we had our doula with us! My little had a few complications because of the speed in which he arrived into the world and if it weren't for our doula, we would've had a negative experience coupled with worries and mass confusion.

When we were pregnant with our second, I knew I wanted my doula with us again. They say subsequent deliveries are faster and if we needed to prepare for anything faster than our first we would need help! But instead we had a much different labor experience - literally labored for 3 days with stops and starts and again if it weren't for our doula there would have been much more worrying and certainly not the overall-amazing experience that we had.

A doula is someone who is your advocate and can give you sound advice when you need to make important decisions when you can barely remember your name because a contraction, or "surge" as my D liked to call them, feels like your body is being violently sucked into an abyss from the inside out. They are someone who may be more knowledgeable than you are because they've seen it all and can quickly calculate outcomes as you and your partner are trying to remember to breathe. They are someone, who can tag-team it with your partner or can quickly call for medical assistance if needed.

Having a doula is a personal decision and as long as the baby comes out, hey, there is no "wrong" way to do it.

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