Are you looking for things that you can do in order to have a more empowered and positive birth experience? Here are 𝗧𝗵𝗿𝗲𝗲 fantastic things that I recommend as a birth doula to help you have a more empowered, positive labor and birth journey!
1. A trusted care provider
Who your care provider is (either an OBGYN, Midwife, or co-care with both) & where you give birth are the biggest determining factors of what kind of birth you will have, regardless if you have all the birth education & doula support in the world.
Studies have found that in order for women and birthing people to feel that their birth experience was positive, that they need to achieve their priority expectations [Hauck]. It is important that you invest time and energy in finding an OBGYN or Midwife who respects you & your birth goals/priorities, makes you feel comfortable asking questions, & a birth place that has policies that support the type of birth you are preparing for. 𝘍𝘰𝘳 𝘪𝘯𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘯𝘤𝘦, 𝘕𝘰𝘵 𝘈𝘭𝘭 𝘏𝘰𝘴𝘱𝘪𝘵𝘢𝘭𝘴 𝘈𝘭𝘭𝘰𝘸 𝘝𝘉𝘈𝘊.
How could you have a positive birth experience if you hire a care provider who feels very differently about birth compared to you? For instance, if a care provider feels that birth is an emergent situation that requires close management and intervention and you would like an intervention-free birth, some things might go differently than you were preparing for.
I have worked with several fantastic Oklahoma OBGYNs and Midwives who have been supportive and respectful of my doula clients. This is why I have a preferred provider discount & home birth discount for my doula families. I believe that respectful and supportive care makes such a difference!
2. Doula Support
Doula support has SO many fantastic benefits, including increasing your chances of a positive birth experience ! As a birth, bereavement, and postpartum doula, I nurture and support my doula families with emotional, physical, and informational support throughout their pregnancy, birth experience, and their postpartum period. As a doula I respectfully advocate on my client’s behalf by supporting the birthing person in their right to make decisions about their body and their baby. My primary responsibility as a doula is to the my clients —not to a hospital administrator, nurse, midwife, or doctor.
Benefits of hiring a doula
Research has found that when a birthing person has continuous labor support from a doula– someone who is NOT a staff member at the hospital & who is NOT part of their social network during their labor experience there is a:
- 39% decrease in the risk of Cesarean.
- Shorter labors by 41 min on average.
Doulas Provide Emotional Support
Doulas are Incredibly Helpful Navigating pregnant & birth Information
Part of my commitment to my doula clients is to provide them with informative, evidence-based resources so that they can make informed choices about their care. These resources include books, videos, local & online classes and more all tailored to my client’s needs and goals.
This streamlines the educational process for families.When it comes to physical birth support, As a doula I provide clients with everything from foot massages, labor position & birth tool assistance, to counter pressure during contractions throughout their labor and birth journey. This physical support can also be a huge help for partners/spouses making it a more positive birth journey for them as well!
3. Child Birth Education
The Importance Of Child Birth Classes
There are several reasons why I feel child birth classes are so important for families that I included it in my doula contract under ‘Client Obligations’. Some of the benefits of birth education classes are:
- Increased confidence for labor and birth among parents who attended classes
- Higher likelihood of breastfeeding success
- Improved communication between parents and their care providers
- Decreased need for analgesic medication (epidural) in labor
- Increased satisfaction with birth
- Families who attended child birth classes are also significantly less likely to have a cesarean surgery. [Chalmers]
The significant difference in the cesarean surgery rate among those who take birth education classes and those who do not is nearly 20% among first time parents! While hiring a doula onto your birth team is a fantastic way to increase your odds of the benefits listed above, the educational responsibility of becoming informed about birth cannot be removed because of doula support.
Chalmers & Kingston, 2009; Enkin et al., 2000
“Evidence on: Doulas.” Evidence Based Birth®, 5 July 2021, https://evidencebasedbirth.com/the-evidence-for-doulas/.
Hauck, Yvonne, et al. “The Influence of Childbirth Expectations on Western Australian Women’s Perceptions of Their Birth Experience.” Midwifery, vol. 23, no. 3, 2007, pp. 235–247., https://doi.org/10.1016/j.midw.2006.02.002.