This photo has nothing to do with doulas, clearly. I just like it. I've been interviewing doulas lately, which feels a little bit like free therapy for the expectant mother. In giving them some background on my pregnancy so far, I've been able to express my ambivalence about my doctors and chat a lot about how I would like my labor experience to go (or at least, how I would like to feel.) It's helped me to articulate a lot of things and I really appreciate the relationship building aspect of the whole process.
Now, don't get me wrong. My doctors are great (I go to a group practice, so I rotate through the OBGYNs for each visit and one of them will be on call when I am in labor.) However, it's a busy office and sometimes I feel my appointments go like this: blood pressure, scales, pee-in-cup, everything okay?, off you go...
And I'm left with a question on the tip of my tongue but sort of feel squeamish about asking because everything seems so routine and on the clock.
So I knew from the get go that I would struggle in the hospital without a bit more TLC. I want all the clinical stuff to be taken care of, but I also want to feel like a special case. Women may have children every day, one-born-every-minute, etc., but for me this is a momentous first. What I love about the concept of a doula is that she visits you at home before and after birth, she comes to your house for the early stages of labor, and is with you throughout the whole experience. It's a lifeline for you and for the dad, as she can explain what's happening to him in non-medical jargon and just generally keep everyone as relaxed and positive as possible. She also acts as an advocate for you and helps with the initial breastfeeding (carrying on with you at home if need be.)
For me a doula has become my non-negotiable. I seriously don't know how women do this without them.