Guest Blog Written By: Anna Rhodes, Birth Doula; First Embrace Birth Services in Oklahoma City, OK
You're about to have one of the most important, memorable experiences of your life. Three to five family members have already dropped less-than-subtle hints about being present for the big day, and you're wondering: How do I decide who to have present? And, how can anyone ask a doula- who is basically a stranger- to take a coveted spot?
If you are new to the idea of a doula, open thine ears dear one, I'm about to give you 5 reasons to join the weirdo brigade and bring an outside guest into your birth day:
1. Education- A doula provides valuable information and resources leading up to your birth as well as postpartum. Pregnancy can be overwhelming and you may have 1,000 questions, but we are here for all of it.
2. A familiar but not too familiar face- When it's time for labor, you may want someone close who knows you and your hopes for birth. a birth professional can keep your space calm, reassure your partner, and be more familiar than the nurses but less familiar than a family member. We know you enough to be a comfort but not enough for you to worry about what you do and say in your own space. We don't care if we see your bare bottom. We don't care if you snap at us in the midst of contractions. We are here for all of it.
3. Partner Support- Doulas are for dads and partners too, y'all! We make sure they stay hydrated, fed, and reassure them when they get anxious. If they want to know how they can help you, we show them how! And sometimes we give them bathroom and nap breaks, too. We are here for all of it.
4. Birth is normal to doulas- Guys, we have seen some things in our doula days. Sometimes it helps to have a presence that is familiar with birth in general. And we don't even flinch if you poop or puke. No need to feel awkward or embarassed around us. We are here for all of it.
5. We come when you call and leave when you stay. Phone ringer on loud at 38 weeks and beyond. Your doula will answer. We will be there as soon as you say you are ready. We won't come before we are invited and we won't loiter around too long afterwards. We will make sure you are settled in with baby and some food and be on our way. You won't feel alone and you won't feel crowded. This is harder to do with friends and relatives, but we listen for cues on entrance and exit so that your space is respected. We are here for all of it, but not too much of it! HA!
So why would you let a stranger into your birth space? Because a doula is a priceless birth team member. And you may not truly understand until you meet with one, so get some consultations lined up and see what the hype is all about!
Besides... we won't feel like total strangers after you've met with us!