Worth her weight in gold

October 5, 2010

I am referring to a good doula.

One of the best decisions I made during my pregnancy was getting a doula. And not just any doula… it’s important to find one that you are comfortable with and trust.

I had a hospital birth. If you are hoping to have a natural labor and delivery in a hospital, I highly recommend you have a doula present. Mine made me feel confident in my decisions and was able to coach me and my husband through the most incredible pain I’ve ever experienced (and I say “incredible” in two ways: 1) holy shit that effing hurts really bad; and 2) wow it is amazing what our bodies can do!).

Working with a doula BEFORE you’re in labor is so so so helpful. I think that was the most important part of my doula experience. She gave me so much to think about and really helped me prepare for what I was about to experience.

I am a planner. A list maker. It was important to me to have a well-thought-out birth plan. She really helped me keep it focused and gave me new things to consider (like what I wanted to do if I changed my mind about certain things, like pain medication, as well as how to handle things that may not go as planned).

Another wonderful benefit of having a doula was for AFTER you’re in labor. The attention you receive from your doula will vary, but mine visited me in the hospital and came to our house (with homemade veggie lasagna!) after we were home to make sure we were coping okay. To make sure breastfeeding was going well. To make sure we weren’t feeling overwhelmed. To see how *I* was doing. And, let me tell you, a lot of people come over during those early weeks and most have one thing in mind: baby. Some people didn’t seem to care a whole lot how I was doing, but rather wanted to hold a clean, happy baby. Only a handful of people offer to really help (holding the baby doesn’t help a new mother, and neither does waking a sleeping baby so you can see him while he’s awake or expecting a beverage to be placed in your hand within minutes of your arrival; making sure the mom is eating and showering and the dishes are clean and she’s getting some sleep does help).

Okay, I’m getting off track now. But I will wrap this up by saying that a good doula really is worth her weight in gold, as cliched as that may sound. I will absolutely have my doula for my next baby, and would recommend one to anyone who wants to be completely in charge of her own labor and delivery.


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