A question that I get asked at almost every consult I attend is if I hired a doula for my births. The answer is no. Now, Lauren didn't hire a doula for her birth either because she was unaware that was even a thing, and she would absolutely hire a doula for any baby she has in the future. I on the other hand knew about them with my first and still chose not to hire one.
Don't get me wrong, doulas are incredible support. We know our stuff! We can answer your questions and have incredible tips for comfort that go far beyond counter pressure and double hip squeezes (that we can do for hours by the way because we work our "guns"). We provide not only physical and educational support but we also provide emotional support to get you through whatever emotional block you may be dealing with. In other words, we are invaluable support.
So why did I choose to forgo this support then?
Honestly, it's because not everyone needs a doula to have an amazing birth experience.
Some women need tons of support during their labors and those women could greatly benefit from a doula. Do they have to have one to have a good birth experience? No. Can it help enhance their experience? You bet.
Some women worry about how their partner will react and choose to have a doula attend her birth to help provide support to their partner. Could a doula be beneficial in this situation? Absolutely! The last thing a laboring mother needs is to be worrying about her partner's emotional state. We know that fear (or worrying) will create additional tension in the laboring mother which will create pain. So just by having a doula there so she won't have to worry about her family, it can automatically enhance her birth experience.
Then you have women like me. I don't like a lot of excitement. In fact, I tend to go into labor at night after everyone has gone to bed and I will wake my husband up after things start progressing and I think I'll be having a baby soon. I don't want anyone around me. I instinctually knew that I was going to be one of those people that needed to labor alone and that's exactly what I did with my babies. So a doula doesn't make much sense for me to have at my birth.
Typically if we are sitting down with each other having a consult, you've already decided that you believe a doula will be beneficial to you, your family and your birth.
However, a doula is not for everyone.
A doula can be a luxury for one woman and a hindrance for another.
For every single birth that I've attended, my clients have always told me that they couldn't have done it without me. These women sought me out and hired me to be at their birth because they felt that what I offered was valuable. They were positive that I could help give them a voice and encourage them to make decisions during their pregnancy and birth that was right for them and their family. And every single time I have exceeded their expectations.
However, I did not desire this level of support, and that's okay!
But no, I did not hire a doula.