Okay, so it’s your third trimester, you’ve decided whether you wanted a midwife or a doctor, a home birth or a hospital, but the question still stands; do you want a doula? Maybe you’ve heard your friends say that they aren’t necessary, but the truth is you have to determine what will be necessary for your labor. Comparing your pregnancy to those of other people you know may be a little difficult, because each pregnancy is unique in its own way.
Maybe we should start with what a doula actually is. She isn’t a doctor, nor is she a midwife. She doesn’t perform any medical duties, so now you’re probably asking; what does she do? She provides support, both emotional and physical, during pregnancy and childbirth. There are different types of doulas for different stages of pregnancy. For example, an antepartum doula is a support system for a woman who was put on bed rest. She would simply help to alleviate stress and worries from the mother. And a postpartum doula would do the same for a mother who just recently gave birth.
Doulas help to give the mother support, and also to let the partner relax too. Going through labor is tough, and it’s easy to forget some of the things you and your partner have learned. With a doula, you don’t have to remember it all. You are able to relax, allow your partner to just be there for you, and bond with your family. The doula is able to relay what your needs are, keep things in order, and help you relax.
If you are interested more in finding a doula for you, you can first start with talking to your health care provider. There may be doulas who work at the hospital or in birthing center that you will give birth at. And once you find a potential doula, be sure to interview her. Finding one with the same beliefs and values surrounding pregnancy may ensure that you get the best doula for your particular needs.