A doula is an assistant who provides non-medical and non-midwifery support (physical and emotional) in childbirth. Depending on training and experience she may offer prenatal support, childbirth (birth doula) and/or postpartum. A labor doula may attend a home birth or during labor at home and in transport to a hospital or a birth center. A postpartum doula provides home care for the first six weeks (or longer in cases of postpartum depression) including cooking, breastfeeding support, newborn care assistance, errands and light housekeeping.
The Wikipedia definition sort of implies that a Doula only attends home births which is completely untrue. (at least here in Canada) Thank goodness! I have attended a great many wonderful hospital births as a Doula in the past right along with every other Birth Doula in this city. Doulas are welcome with open arms in hospitals (at least I always was).
Most people do deliver in hospital in fact. Sadly some people have a great fear about delivering in hospital, but I can assure you that you have a great many birth choices in hospital (it's your birth after all, and you aren't ill you're having a baby)! And in hospital you can do a lot to set the mood for your birth as well ♥.
*You really can. It is your birth experience and nobody elses.
This isn't a commercial for hospital births but you may wind up birthing in a hospital whether you plan to or not.
When I speak like this in a room full of pregnant women there is the occasional look of terror. But everything is ok. It really is. Remember what Buddha said. Non attachment. Non attachment is the best thing to practice when making a birth plan/thinking about your birth plan etc. (I highly recommend making a birth-plan even if it is only for yourself)
Because it requires you to research and think about decisions that may come up.
Hospitals aren't the bad and nasty places they have sometimes been made out to be. In my opinion anyways. I'm sure glad they are there! (I've been in the trauma unit fighting for my life before so maybe I am biased) Know your choices. Be informed. Take the tour. Ask questions. How your birth is going to unfold may not be up to you, but so many other things are. It is up to you who you have there with you supporting you. In Canada we can choose our own caregiver...we are so lucky. But the big thing is being informed.
There truly is no such thing a a dumb question when you are expecting.
I have been to some very magical births in hospital (all births are). Beautiful wonderful empowering births, difficult and challenging and complicated births...what can you say about childbirth really? Each one is different. Different and unpredictable. Every single one. But one thing is certain... every single one is just such a honour to be at. Such a magical incredible otherworldly, highest energy experience imaginable. On the one hand biological and on the other it's...well there just aren't even words really.
But home births, hospital births, water births, even c-section "births" (they are still births)! are just truly so miraculous, I will never get over it. I was seriously choked up yesterday at my first Roundhouse Baby & Me yoga class of the summer as the room was packed full of mom's who previously were in my prenatal class. Meeting their babies for the first time, and looking at them and watching them, witnessing their mothering... Just watching their whole transition to motherhood really (gulp) gets me every time, and for as long as I do this I know it will. They are soooo beautiful.
Anyways, I could go on about this forever!! (but I won't! I've gotta fly!)
I just wanted to a pass this clip along that a girlfriend Tara sent me yesterday. It's short, but it took me on a trip down memory lane remembering my days as a Doula, and I wanted to put the Doula bug in your ear!
If you are expecting, do yourself (and your partner) a HUGE favour and have a Doula. People who have had Doulas would not again give birth without one. This city is crawling with them. Ask for recommendations from your friends, your Midwife/Caregiver and meet a few of them. You WILL find the right Doula for you.
And remember that a Doula supports "you" and "your birth experience." You and your partner. Totally.
It is all about you baby! And you have lot's of choices! *remember that*!
Oh, and many Doulas's are very affordable. As well, there are many Doulas who are just starting out looking for births to attend. And they're free!! (I attended lot's of free births and so does everybody else)
Get informed, practice yoga and have a Doula at your birth and you'll be laughing!
Well, I'm outta here for now!
It's another scorcher, enjoy, keep cool & hydrated and have fun!
I intend to ♥ xo