World Doula week is from March 22-28th.
It’s fun to have a week dedicated to doulas. Who doesn’t like recognition for their calling?!
I want to post this picture:
I feel like an oddity in the doula community at times. I think I may be the only one who’s given birth and never hired a doula! With Diva, I had never heard of a doula. With Smushy, I knew what a doula was. I have to confess I did one sloppy Google search, looked at two fees, and then gave up because I thought we couldn’t afford it.
I really regret giving up. If I had contacted one of those doulas, they would have given me names of doulas in my price range. They would have told me to check out GBN’s directory page. In one click, I would have had an amazing list of doulas to contact. I would have started the process of interviewing and hiring a doula. Then, when I went into labor in August, I would have had my doula with me.
My doula, had I hired her, would have been able to reassure me that the prodromal labor that was driving me insane was normal. Chances are, when I described what was going on, she would have suggested that I should work on getting Smushy into an optimal fetal position. Optimal fetal positioning, more often known as OFP, simply means that your baby is in the best possible position for labor and delivery.
If your baby is in an odd position, your labor can seem to start and stop. If your baby is face up, also known as posterior, you can have some pretty intense back pain. My doula could have suggested that to me along with exercises to help transition him into a better position.
Of course, she also would have told me things to do in order to prevent him getting into a funky position in the first place. During a prenatal visit, she would have demonstrated the “good” ways to sit along with the “bad” ones. She would have shown Hubby some tricks and given him homework to practice them.
Once labor actually picked up and I was in the hospital, she would have noticed my consitant back pain. She would have applied counter pressure and shown Hubby how to. My doula would have helped me move into different positions to encourage Smushy to switch from posterior to anterior. She would have reminded me to drink! Snack!
When I felt overwhelmed and requested IV drugs, my doula would have helped me keep my focus through various activities. I know, without a doubt, I never would have taken the IV medication if I would have had someone who knew what to do. My poor Hubby was in over his head.
During our prenatal meetings and chats, my doula would have known how important family bonding time was to me. She would have help guard my safe space. Her presence would have changed many things. Since I can’t go back in time and force myself to really search for a doula and not to give up after one Google search, I can only plan for my next birth. While doing that, I can also spread the word about doulas to anyone who is willing to listen (or read!). I can’t stress the importance of labor support enough. I can, and do, stress how having a trained labor support professional can make a world of difference. My husband has since said I can hire as many doulas as I think I need. Now that I’ve met so many amazing doulas, I just may have to take him up on that. When you are surrounded by the best, how on earth do you narrow it down and just pick one?!
Happy doula week,