How Doulas support moms through pregnancy, birth, and postpartum
I sat down with Emmy nominated host, Amber Hankins, from Life Style Live on WISH-TV to share about the importance of the work that we do as birth doulas in our Indianapolis community and the benefits of having a birth doula on your birth team!
In the interview, I shared with Amber that here in Indianapolis, I’ve not seen it discussed enough on just how impactful childbirth education classes are for expecting moms, as well as the diversity of options that are available for women to support their fertility wellness and balance hormones naturally using lifestyle changes that can promote healthy prenatal and postpartum experiences..
That’s where doulas come in.
A doula is someone who is able to provide both physical and emotional support during labor and delivery, but the list of benefits does not stop there.
In my consultation meetings, whether it’s with first-time moms, second-time moms, VBAC moms, holistic moms, crunchy moms, I often get asked to answer this question:
What are the benefits of hiring a birth doula?
As a professional in birth work, I love this question for many reasons.
One reason being is that it shows me the mom I’m talking to already has such a strong sense of self-advocacy, which is an important skill to have through pregnancy, at birth, and in motherhood.
The second reason I love this question is because I believe that how a doula answers it is what differentiates them from other doulas. This is also helpful information to have when you’re a mom interviewing potential doulas to join your birth team. There is no right or wrong way to answer this question. How the doula that you ask answers “what are the benefits of hiring a birth doula” will simply give you really great insight into their own unique doula-style, which will help you, as a mom, decide if that birth doula is right for you, your body, and your baby.
So, what are the benefits of hiring a birth doula?
Physical, mental, emotional, and informational support are essential ways that doulas assist you at birth. Research shows that having continuous support from a doula on your birth team leads to the most optimal birth experiences, including:
Lower risk of a C-section
Less use of pain medicine
Reduced risk of vacuum or forceps
And, more likely to feel satisfied with your birth experience
Besides these evidence-based findings, I wanted to highlight a few other less commonly talked about benefits to hiring a birth doula.
Here we go, 3 Benefits to Hiring a Birth Doula.
Doula Benefit #1 Childbirth Education
As a doula, I love providing childbirth education to help empower the mommas I serve. It’s my goal to equip you with the resources and information that you need in order to know what all of your options are when it comes to your health and the health of your baby.
One benefit of hiring a doula to be on your team is that you get direct access to a trained birth professional who can connect you to the educational resources and childbirth assistance that you need, often more in-depth and more personalized than what hospitals can offer. Becoming educated on childbirth options allows you to better advocate for yourself, your wellbeing, and your preferences. Just because something is common or a standard practice in the hospital does not mean it has to be a standard practice for you. Please question everything, educate yourself, and do your research, momma. Only you know what is best for you, your body, and your baby.
Doula Benefit #2
Women's bodies are incredibly wise. The process of pregnancy and childbirth emphasizes this in so many ways. Another benefit of hiring a doula is the prenatal support that you can rely on through the sacred and beautiful process of pregnancy.
I believe that our bodies were created to do hard things, to heal ourselves, and to be able to find the calm in the storm - this is what childbirth is. I also believe that women need to feel deeply supported through this process so that you can feel safe and trust in your body to confidently navigate the unknowns of labor and delivery. The presence of a doula throughout your pregnancy provides just this kind of emotional and physical prenatal support. From constant support throughout pregnancy to continuous support throughout labor and delivery, having a doula on your birth team is proven to improve birth outcomes for you and baby.
Doula Benefit #3
There is so much emphasis placed on birth itself that I think sometimes moms forget to consider what happens after baby arrives.
The third benefit of having a doula on your birth team is the postpartum support that helps you with recovery.
From newborn care to breastfeeding support, there’s a learning curve that takes place as you get to know your baby and your body heals. While you navigate this new beginning, the 4th trimester is a time for you to really lean into support from your community, including your doula!
During the early postpartum days, the support that doulas can offer includes guidance and advice for your recovery from pregnancy, labor, and delivery. Doulas can help you process your birth experience and provide mental health check-ins, while connecting you to resources as needed as you adjust to all of the changes.
Most doulas can help with all forms of feeding, offer guidance as you learn newborn care, such as tips for common issues like infant sleep, gas, and simply understand how to comfort your baby.
While your body recovers and you bond with your baby, personally I also like to provide postpartum support with light household assistance like laundry, meal prep, or help with any older children.
There you have it, momma! My top three benefits to hiring a birth doula!
If you’re an expecting mom here in Indianapolis, we have an amazing community of doulas who help you do your research, know your options, and advocate for yourself!
If you're curious, please reach out. I’d love to support you during this sacred time.