To Doula or Not to Doula? That Is the Question!

Guest post by Diana Guidry 

During my first pregnancy, I thought that I had searched high and low on every mom group, internet forum, and plenty of google searches. I thought that I knew everything there was to know about pregnancy and childbirth. When I sat down to write my birth plan, I knew that I wanted to be induced by 41 weeks,

I wanted to breastfeed, and I wanted to give birth without an epidural. I thought by simply knowing what options my hospital would allow would equate to the birth that I wanted. The keyword in all of this was THOUGHT.

The day came when I was admitted into the hospital to have my daughter, much sooner than 41 weeks, and it would not be the natural birth that I had dreamed of. I was being admitted to have an emergency c-section that would be so far from my dream birth or options that I had planned on that I would be thrown into full-blown postpartum depression.

It wasn’t until many months after my first child being born that I heard the word doula for the first time. In fact, I had been talking to a new-ish mother that had just given birth to her second child, her VBAC baby, and I was thrown into a new world of birth possibilities. Looking back at the nine months I spent preparing for my daughter, I realized that I had only researched things I had heard other moms doing or the situations I had seen on tv.

I had not researched the risks of induction on myself or my baby, nor did I know about how inducing could lead to a long list of interventions and likely an epidural. I had just touched the tip of the iceberg.

The three years following my daughter’s birth I spent enjoying her life and healing from my traumatic birth. I also spent that time researching doulas in my area and the services they offered. The further I dove into birth, the more I realized that navigating such a wide range of possibilities and situations would be hard for any mother to do, much less one that was shoved into a chaotic emergency situation.

That’s why doulas have become so popular in today’s modern medicine culture. More and more women are realizing that birth is a natural experience that our bodies were made to do, and in no way should be seen as a medical condition in a healthy pregnancy.

“The goal of a doula is to help the mother experience a positive and safe birth, whether an unmedicated birth or a cesarean. After birth, many labor doulas will spend time helping mothers begin the breastfeeding process and encouraging bonding between the new baby and other family members.”- American Pregnancy (americanpregnancy.org)

The word doula is Greek and translates to a woman serving a woman. In the raw sense of this breakdown, you see exactly what a doula is designed to be for a birthing woman. She is a trained professional that can offer alternatives to tests that are run during pregnancy, can help you build your birth plan, offer evidence-based information at a moment’s notice so that you can make informed decisions for you and your family from beginning to end, as well as holding space in times that you need to dive within yourself and find your inner-warrior woman strength.

In honor of National Doula Week, I wanted to provide some statistics on how a doula’s work can have a positive impact on your labor!

 

  • 50% reduction in cesarean rate
  • 25% shorter labor
  • 60% reduction in epidural requests
  • 30% reduction in pain medication use
  • 40% reduction in forceps delivery
  • 40% reduction in oxytocin (Pitocin) use

 

Diana started her career as a Certified Hemodialysis Technologist in 1979. She retired in 2002 and was then successful in starting two businesses, as well as working as a Marketing Director for various online companies. She started working with Tranquil Rivers in 2019 as the Marketing Director and Aromatherapist/Herbalist. Her goal is to incorporate clean living and health awareness with every product created. Diana calls mid-Missouri home and helps take care of her grandson, who lives nearby.

 

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