Have you heard the term "doula" floating around and are wondering what a doula is? The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a "doula" as "a woman experienced in childbirth who provides advice, information, emotional support, and physical comfort to a mother before, during, and just after birth".
I just found this awesome (and short) article written by a doula. She debunks 5 myths about doulas including:
1). A doula would interfere with the bond between my husband/partner and I during labor.
2). If I have a midwife I don't need a doula!
3). My doula will protect me against hospital staff.
4). I can't afford a doula.
5). All doulas wear patchouli and long skirts and they only like natural birth.
Have you ever had a doula? Would you want one? If you've wanted one but never hired one why was that?
No matter what birth you're after (epidural, med-free, cesarean, etc.) a doula can be so beneficial in being a support to you and to your partner and of course your new baby! I have never had one but I did have my mother-in-law come in as my support person and I jokingly called her my doula because she definitely filled that role; she just didn't have a certification stating she had been trained.
So even if you don't want a doula have someone there other than your husband/partner so that your husband/partner can be supported during the birth as well! We can forget what we learned in childbirth prep and having a gentle reminder from someone with experience can be so helpful, especially in a hospital setting when you're pretty much left alone in your room with a nurse coming in from time-to-time.