Some people have not heard of a doula before and others are well informed about who they are and what they offer. Personally I did not know what a doula was before the birth of my first child. I did my research, created a birth plan, and headed to the hospital with a plan but also relying on my doctor to provide the best birth experience for me.
The birth of my first child didn’t go as planned. My birth plan went out the window as soon as I was admitted to the hospital (on our 4th trip in 2 days). I was exhausted, it was my first child, and I didn’t have support to stick to “my plan”. My daughter was still delivered safely and both of us were healthy but her birth had not gone the way I had hoped.
By the time I got pregnant with our second child I knew I wanted her birth to be different. I wanted to be more prepared to have the birth I desired….enter in a DOULA. In the time between having my first child and getting pregnant with my second I had met a doula. She told me about what she did and why. I knew having a doula was the answer to my desire for a different birth story. For me the cost was definitely worth it despite being an out of pocket expense. Having someone there to support me and my husband as I prepared myself for what I assumed would be another long labor seemed invaluable. I had someone who I could talk to about my concerns; someone who had experience and knowledge of labor techniques and positions, and most importantly someone who would be with me the whole labor.
The birth of my second child was very different than my first. I did even more research, I hired a doula, and made a birth plan that was respected and followed. I felt more confident in my body’s ability to birth naturally and felt fully supported throughout the whole labor.