Should You Hire a Doula? 5 Things You Need to Know
Celebrity moms like Molly Sims have happily talked about laboring with a doula, but is it something that the average person can get into? For the uninitiated, doulas might seem like a crunchy option for the uber-organic pregnancy set. But in reality, doulas are available for every kind of birthing process, including home births, fully medicated hospital births and everything in between. Below are a few tips to help clear up the basics of who a doula is and what to expect if you hire one for your baby’s birth.
1. Who Are Doulas: Doulas are trained labor and delivery coaches. They’re essentially professional birthers. You may be picturing some earth-mother type with crystals and patchouli, but in reality, they’re often real women like you who are hooked on helping other mamas bring healthy babies into the world. In a nutshell, a doula’s a hired expert and helper who can provide prenatal consultation, labor and delivery support and postpartum care.
2. How a Doula Is Beneficial: In a study by the American Journal of Managed Care, the presence of a doula at birth shows to reduce the need for assisted births (by c-section, forceps or vacuum extraction), reduce labor time, minimize the use of drugs during birth and can provide an overall more positive delivery experience. A doula can also give support to your birth partner so they can provide effective support to you. Doulas are also a great resource for women who do not have birth partners or who have partners who may be squeamish or otherwise unreliable throughout labor and delivery.
3. What a Doula Does: A doula’s services can include everything from education about the birthing process, assistance with creating a birth plan, support throughout labor and delivery and help once you’re home with the baby. When the big delivery day comes, a doula will work with you to support the labor you’ve planned. This can include providing pain management techniques, answering questions when you’re not sure what’s happening and being an advocate for your comfort and preferences. She’s 100 percent on your team and looking out for you.
4. What a Doula Won’t Do: Doulas are *not* medical professionals and they won’t perform medical procedures, give medical advice, prescribe medication or get in the way of medical staff. Doulas also won’t get between you and your birth partner, unless it’s requested.
5. How to Find a Doula: There are quite a few ways to start searching for a doula. Some OB/GYN practices and birthing centers fully embrace the doula experience and may have some referrals for you. So it’s not a bad idea to start by asking your doctor or hospital if they know of any good doulas in their professional network. There are also a few sites — like Doulas of North America (DONA) and The Association of Labor Assistants and Childbirth Educators (ALACE) — to check out that can give more info on doula services.
Did you hire a doula for your child’s birth? Tell us about your experience @BritandCo!
Your relationship with your finances is one of the most important relationships you'll ever have, and you can't avoid it. That said, for many of us, the pandemic only added to our financial stress. If you find yourself feeling frazzled, just remember that financial insecurity isn't a net-worth issue — it's a mindset issue. And, we happen to have plenty of advice on how to turn your money mindset around so you can take charge of your funds once and for all.
To start, feeling secure begins with a strong foundation, and there's no better time than now to get started stacking the bricks. It's easy to get swept up in the January "new year, new me" mentality, but really? Any time is the right time to get yourself in order. You don't need to wait for a new year, a new moon, the right moment, or a sign from above. You don't even have to start on the first day of the month — you just need to start.
Introducing NerdWallet: A Safe and Reliable Money App
To help with that, we've put together a list of the just-right-for-you ways that NerdWallet can help you monitor your financial outlook. Haven't heard of them yet? NerdWallet is a personal finance company that helps consumers make smarter financial decisions. Their website and app let you compare different financial products, find articles and tools to make financial decisions with confidence, and keep tabs on your finances (hey there, credit score, I see you!) all in one place. Plus, NerdWallet has over 75,000 glowing reviews in the App Store (and a 4.8 star rating) if you want to read up on any more testimonials.
Tim Chen, NerdWallet's CEO and co-founder, started this financial journey in 2009 after his sister needed help finding a credit card. Even with an economics degree and a Wall Street background, it took awhile for Tim to find the right recommendation (so don't feel too bad when it takes you a while, too). Their mission is to bring clarity to all of life's financial decisions.
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