Doula or Don’tcha?

Do you know what a doula is?

Yep. I didn’t think so. Allow me to explain!

A doula is a trained professional that assists in the informational, emotional, and physical aspects of giving birth. The word’s origin is Greek and means: a woman who serves or woman servant.  So now you might be thinking…what’s the point in hiring a doula?

Well, there are many reasons, but for my husband and I, we decided that as first time parents, we wanted to do all we could to give our baby the best and grandest entrance into the world; which for us, includes a birth that is natural (meaning – without medical intervention). After watching “The Business of Being Born” our eyes were opened to the fact that you don’t have to be at the mercy of doctors and their ‘practices’ when it comes to childbirth. For after all, that’s really all they do…practice medicine. You can have your baby the way YOU want to, not the way that modern medicine expects (and even in some cases – forces) you to have.

Even through we desire to have a natural birth, we fully understand that some things cannot and should not be avoided in the case of an emergency. Cesarean sections, epidurals, Pitocin, they all serve their purposes. We just want them to be used only if they’re absolutely necessary, not just because the doctor feels that I’m taking too long have to my baby.

So on our journey to educate ourselves on the many aspects of childbirth, we decided to hire a doula. According to the website for DONA (Doula Organization of North America), here is a short list of benefits of hiring a doula:

Numerous clinical studies have found that a doula’s presence at birth

  • tends to result in shorter labors with fewer complications
  • reduces negative feelings about one’s childbirth experience
  • reduces the need for pitocin (a labor-inducing drug), forceps or vacuum extraction and cesareans
  • reduces the mother’s request for pain medication and/or epidurals

Research shows parents who receive support can:

  • Feel more secure and cared for
  • Are more successful in adapting to new family dynamics
  • Have greater success with breastfeeding
  • Have greater self-confidence
  • Have less postpartum depression
  • Have lower incidence of abuse

Sounds good, right?

We researched doulas in our area and are very pleased with the one we decided to hire. Her name is Tammy.

She’s been such a great resource to us already! She’s answered tons of questions, given me books to read, and just overall has offered a great deal of support and encouragement. Every time we meet we are more and more happy with our decision. She’ll be there with us for the entire duration of the birth, whether it’s 5 or 35 hours! She’ll be there to make sure I’m okay, my husband is okay, and that we have a knowledgeable liason with the hospital staff. Most importantly, she’ll do her best to help us achieve the birth experience that we desire. Yay for Doula Tammy!

Hiring a doula may not be for everybody, but we feel like it’s a right fit for our family. If you’re pregnant and or hope to have kids one day, I encourage you to at least do your research and understand everything that’s involved with having a baby – so that you are well informed. People spend more time researching a new car or computer than they do trying to understand the special process of bringing a life into the world.

For more information, please visit some of the links below:

Our Doula’s Website

DONA International

The Business of Being Born

Giving Birth Naturally

Love & Hugs,


Photo Credit: Tammy Leeper, Moondance Childbirth Services


Posted on November 10, 2010, in The Rattle: Everything Baby. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I wish I had did this kind of research when I was pregnant!! Ok, so I read some stuff about the different birthing positions & it all made sense to me!! I didn’t have to tear after the episiotomy!!! SMH!! Yeah, I had a rather large son, but the things I went through were not needed!! If & when I do it again……….

  2. @ Tracy…Yay – thank you for sharing! I’m glad you found the information useful!

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