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!
Back in January, we introduced you to a feel-good cause to inspire your New Year's resolution: a walking challenge to help raise funds for the amazing cancer fighters at The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. I took part in the challenge with the Brit + Co team and ended up walking 105+ miles in January — it was awesome.
This spring, there's a new challenge on the horizon, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Big Climb. The ask: On May 15, 2021, you can step up to take cancer down by committing to climb 1,311 steps, walking 3.2 miles, or doing 440 chair step-ups at home as part of the Big Climb. If you need some motivation to bring movement back into your daily routine — look no further!
As always, it's free to sign up, but climbers are encouraged to set a fundraising goal to help beat cancer. We'll be organizing another Brit + Co team to step up, and I hope you'll join us too! Keep scrolling for a peek at where I'll be completing the challenge in my Los Angeles neighborhood around the hidden Silver Lake Stairs. Happy climbing!
Never underestimate the power of an accountability buddy! I asked my in-laws, my partner, and a few friends to join me so we can keep each other motivated and accountable in completing the challenge — virtual high-fives all around! Also, my dog Fox is a great climber, too.
An aesthetically pleasing backdrop is a huge motivator for me! I'm fortunate to have all sorts of painted steps around my neighborhood to keep the challenge interesting, but you can also keep cool inside with at-home chair step-ups.
Don't forget to share your progress on social — #BigClimb!
Feel free to break the challenge up if you need to by tackling half the distance in the AM and half at sunset. Here's me 1,311 steps later and ready for a break — but, think I earned this one!