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Benefits of Having a Doula

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Congratulations! You are expecting.

Now, you might be tempted to start shopping our adorable sleepers and begin picking out a stroller, but here is a brief list of things you need to do immediately...
  1. Tell your partner the good news!
  2. Call your doctor or midwife to confirm your pregnancy
  3. Make sure you are taking a prenatal vitamin 
  4. Start researching if you might consider having a doula!

So, what is a doula, and do you really need one? Great question – in Episode 1 of our podcast, 40 Weeks to Forever, we spoke with doula Rhiannon Langford from The Birth Boss about evidence-based birth, how to work through pregnancy anxiety, and how to find a doula that will support you during it all.

In this article, we are sharing a snippet of what we learned in Delivery Doulas, and Diapers [For Mom].

Doulas vs. Midwives

The first question most people have about doulas is how they are different from a midwife. A midwife is a registered care provider, and takes the place of a doctor for your monthly checkups, also having a huge hand in the delivery itself.

A doula is not responsible for your medical care but is someone who brings information to your attention, encourages you in your birth and post-birth experience and advocates for you throughout the process.
You would start your pregnancy and say “who do I want to be the person who’s primarily responsible for my medical care?” Then you make the decision at that point if you want to go for midwifery care, your family doctor or an OB.
- Rhiannon Langford
Essentially, a doula is your biggest cheerleader!

Finding a Doula

Remember how many wedding venues you looked at before your big day? How many photographer portfolios you swooned over? Well, finding the right doula for your family requires the same kind of research. When you’re giving birth and feeling vulnerable, there needs to be great trust and understanding between the doula and the client. So you’ll want to make sure that you have great chemistry, and that you appreciate their presence.
I always say finding a doula is a little bit like dating. So you want to have a really good rapport with the doula. Most likely, they’re going to be in the labour room with you – so you want to have a level of comfort.
Rhiannon Langford
Look for someone who you connect with and who helps you feel calm, strong, and confident in your delivery choices. Word of mouth from your crew is also a great way to find someone that you might “vibe” with. Here are some great Q’s to ask during the interview process:
  • What is your experience?
  • Have you been to the place where I’m planning on delivering my baby?
  • Have you worked with my OB or my midwife before?
  • Do you have any tips for my birth plan right off the bat?
  • I really want a water birth, have you done a water birth before?

Not to worry, there really is a doula for everyone and with a little research, or even a referral from a friend, you'll find someone that just feels like the right fit.

Jolly Jumper

Pregnancy Cushion


The Role of a Doula

A doula is someone who comes alongside the birthing person to help them navigate the nuances, celebrations, and challenges associated with childbirth. You can ask them questions throughout each trimester, and they will do their best to educate you throughout the process. They can help you process the emotional side of things and give advice as needed.

Feeling nauseous in the first trimester?
Let your doula connect you with a great recourse.

Looking for informational support?
Text your doula rather than going down another “Dr. Google” rabbit hole.

Doulas help gather evidence-based research and then become advocates for you based on the decisions you choose so that you and your family are as prepared as possible for delivery.

The Role of a Doula

Beyond the big day, a postpartum doula can be there to help you and your family through the healing process as you begin your journey into parenthood and the fourth trimester. Shocker of the year – the birthing person often comes home in a diaper just like baby. There is a lot of recovery ahead, and when you pair that with the exhaustion of adjusting to a newborns schedule, it sure is a lot to handle.

Wouldn't it be nice to have a guide during such a monumental life-changing moment?

Enter your postpartum doula.
...You don’t have to remember every single little thing that you read on the internet or in your books or in your infant care class. You have someone there to be your point person, to offer you guidance and emotional support when you’re feeling really vulnerable.
Rhiannon Langford

Don’t be confused, a postpartum doula is not a live-in babysitter – but they can offer support when you need it the most. Think – making you lunch while you have a shower, holding the baby while you while you look after yourself, or for those who have had a caesarean, it’s invaluable to have a doula to help you with even some of the smallest tasks while you recover.

The Choice Is Yours

Whether you decide to hire a doula, work with a midwife, or use your family doctor, it is important to talk to your partner about what you want your birth experience to look like, regardless of the way the baby arrives. There is so much that cannot be predicted, but creating a trusting and loving environment for your baby to be born into is achievable.

Now, let the fun begin!

Check out our Related Content below to help prepare yourself for bringing home baby!

The information provided in this article was taken from our podcast, 40 Weeks to Forever, where we spoke with Doula Rhiannon Langford, also known as @thebirthbossco.