Curious about what a doula is?
You’re not alone.
Doula’s seem to be rising in popularity. Before, they were thought of as something only hippie moms-to-be hired for home births or unmedicated childbirth.
Now-a-days more and more mainstream Mamas are choosing to add a doula to their birth experience.
Doula’s are trained professionals who provide emotional, physical, and informational support to women before, during, and after their baby’s birth. A doula is NOT a healthcare professional. They do NOT replace the care provided by your doctor/midwife, the nurses, or other medical staff.
Skeptical of the doula?
I’ve been there.
As a Registered Nurse who has seen more than my fair share of labours and deliveries, I never thought I was the kind of Mama who would want a doula. Where I worked Labour and Delivery, there simply were none! It was small town northern BC, which at the time had the highest birth rate per capita in Canada, and I never once attended a delivery with a doula.
With my first babe, Rowan, we felt we didn’t need one. I went into it knowing that whatever shall be shall be, and didn’t think we could influence the outcome of our delivery a whole lot.
BOY. WAS. I. WRONG.
Our labour was lovely. We played cards, walked hallways for hours, snacked and drank Gatorade behind my health care provider’s backs, bounced on my birthing ball… all the things I had planned to do. Until things got rough. When they got rough, they got REALLY rough. I was induced, and no matter how high they seemed to crank the Oxytocin, my contractions weren’t getting me anywhere. So they kept on cranking!
So what does this have to do with a Doula? No, a doula could not have changed the progression of my labour, or how my body reacted to the medication. But a doula could have given me some much-needed support along the way. My partner was wonderful, and supportive, but he wasn’t prepared for the labour we got. In hindsight, we could have GREATLY benefited from someone trained in helping women cope with the physical and emotional demands of labour.
So what kind of mom has a doula?
And since I’m a Registered Nurse, I believe in making informed, evidence-based choices. Here are some of the findings from research done on deliveries using doulas:
- Decrease in the risk of Cesarean Section
- Increase in the likelihood of a spontaneous vaginal birth
- Decrease in the use of any medications for pain relief
- Shorter labours by 41 minutes on average
- Decrease in the baby’s risk of a low five minute Apgar score
- Decrease in the risk of being dissatisfied with the birth experience
Once I found out I was pregnant with baby #2, the first thing I did was call the Midwife I had hoped to use. The second thing I did was ask for contact information for doulas in the area.
My situation is a tad different. I see a midwife, and plan to deliver 2.5 hours from where I live.
Why you ask?
I wanted a different experience. One more tailored to my beliefs about pregnancy, labour, a birthing. I wanted a healthcare and support team that I trust and feel comfortable with, and to me, the 2.5 hour trek is worth it!
Do We Have Doula’s in Fort McMurray?
Fort McMurray has lots of wonderful options when it comes to doulas!
Both Fort McMurray Doula Association and Higher Health Doula Cooperative have a variety of skilled and experienced doulas to help make your birth experience as close to what you had hoped it would be as possible!
Childbirth is unpredictable at best. Having a team of supportive people on your side is always a good idea. If for you that looks like hiring a doula, then great! If you feel confident in the team of support people you’ve made up with friends/family/your partner, then that’s fantastic! There is no one right way to birth a baby…
I want you to feel informed to make the right choice for your family! If you are looking for more information, or doula recommendations in the Fort McMurray area, please ask!
As always, there is never any substitution for a healthcare professional when it comes to pregnancy and childbirth! Mama Coaches are Registered Nurses, who are able to help you prepare for delivery of your sweet bundle through our Prenatal Classes. We offer both private and group classes to meet everyones needs. We will ensure you feel confident and prepared for whatever your labour journey brings your way. You can register for a Mama Coach prenatal class here, and be able to relax knowing that you’ll also get EMAIL and TEXT support up until the time your baby is born! Dr. Google is NEVER a good idea. Having a Registered Nurse at your fingertips is INVALUABLE!