After writing my post a couple weeks ago on the common myths surrounding birth doulas, I thought maybe I should write a little something on why it really is important to have a doula attend your birth. You know, the benefits of hiring a doula. Or at least my personal take on why I feel it is really important to have one!
I asked around on twitter, Facebook, and in some of the childbirth circles I am active in to really poll people on what they thought to be the most important benefits since there are so many.
Of course the benefits of having a doula for your birth experience exceeds 5 reasons, I had to limit them somehow. To kick off my list I am going to start with one I think personally is most important :
1. Having a doula attend your birth lowers your risk for a cesarean section by 50%. The fact that doulas are helping to avoid unnecessary interventions that are commonly used in our modern maternity care system, which increase your risk for a surgical birth or complication that will lead to a surgical delivery, is is a life saver for many mothers who wish to have a natural birth.
2. Husband’s aren’t equipped to handle the kid of support many women may need during labor. This was a big one that mothers who used doulas for their birth experiences cited. I know that with my second birth, we opted to use a doula because I knew no matter how much I prepared my husband for the experience we both wanted, we needed the extra help. In the end, I had not only my husband and doula with us, but also my best friend. The more support a woman has, the better, she needs it all!
3. Women who use doulas have less negative birth experiences. This is also a big one for me when it came to my second birth experience since I was trying very hard to have a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean). Clinical studies have shown that women who opt to have a doula present for their birth have less negative feelings about their birth after the fact. I also find this very important today, because it is estimated that 1 in 20 women experience some kind of birth trauma.
4. Studies show that women who have doulas suffer from Postpartum depression less than those who do not. I think with the risk factors in our society today for postpartum depression, this is something extremely important for women.
5. Who doesn’t need an extra hand when they are in labor? Let’s face it, although our partners truly want what is best for us while we are giving birth, they can only do so much. Doulas are trained in amazing massage, and emotional support for getting you through those tough moments, as well as making sure your wishes are being met during labor. Something we often can’t focus on ourselves, or do not want our partners to worry about while we are trying to focus on the most important moments surrounding our birth.
Every woman and birth is different, but I truly believe all women can seriously benefit from the added support during labor and delivery. It makes a big difference!
What would you add to this list?
photo : flickr.com/sundaykofax