I recently read in FitPregnancy magazine that one way to lessen fears of childbirth – c’mon, how could I not fear squeezing a watermelon out of my lady parts, really? – is to have a midwife or doula because they spend more time with you than the regular doctor before, during, and after the delivery.
Now, I wrote in a previous post my resistance to doctors and a hospital delivery. Doctors are generally incompetent and lacking in the personality department and hospitals suck. Of course, my insurance (which I’m very greatful to have), combined with my rural location, makes going to a birthing center or having a home birth not an option.
But perhaps hiring a doula is an option. According to Doula.org:
The word “doula” comes from the ancient Greek meaning “a woman who serves” and is now used to refer to a trained and experienced professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and just after birth; or who provides emotional and practical support during the postpartum period.
Studies have shown that when doulas attend birth, labors are shorter with fewer complications, babies are healthier and they breastfeed more easily.
A Birth Doula
- Recognizes birth as a key experience the mother will remember all her life
- Understands the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of a woman in labor
- Assists the woman in preparing for and carrying out her plans for birth
- Stays with the woman throughout the labor
- Provides emotional support, physical comfort measures and an objective viewpoint, as well as helping the woman get the information she needs to make informed decision
- Facilitates communication between the laboring woman, her partner and her clinical care providers
- Perceives her role as nurturing and protecting the woman’s memory of the birth experience
- Allows the woman’s partner to participate at his/her comfort level
A doula isn’t covered by insurance. According to Doula.com, one can cost $300 to $1,000 for the whole experience.
My doctor is nice enough but I leave nearly every appointment disappointed because I’m not getting any information and she’s always inching toward the door as I ask questions. I don’t want to have to teach myself everything and guide myself through this experience. I know Blake can’t possibly want the mounting pressure either. Is it normal to feel overwhelmed by all I’m supposed to know? Could a doula fill the gap?