While many people recognize the benefit of a doula for first time parents, not everyone realizes how much a doula can help even experienced parents. I've been fortunate to work with couples welcoming their first baby and couples welcoming their fifth baby! I asked some of these parents to share with me how they think a doula helps, and here is the response from one. I loved what she said, so I'm going to quote what she said directly! I'll share more responses from other parents in the future.
- Every labor is different. And when you know better what to expect, it doesn't necessarily make it easier while going through it. Unless this is an out of hospital birth with midwives, I think doulas are tremendously helpful in hospitals especially.
- Doulas are often trained in helping with pain management. Like when I was having giant son (baby #2), I felt like my hips were being ripped in two as he descended (really remember thinking that) and my doula offered some sort of pressure that helped tremendously with the severe back pain from that.
- Depending on the doula, they can also be birth photographers and offer PRICELESS photos of the birth. These are nicer photos than just typical family birth shots. These are ones that capture the emotion of the experience as well (I did this with baby #5 and seriously regret not doing it with the others).
- Every birth, it's helpful to have that one person who can be back up for whatever you need (even for c-sections) so that hubby can stay with the family. A doula is very helpful with this.
If you choose the right doula, they can enhance the experience of any birth. They can assist with so many different things. I think the first birth it's probably most important to have a doula (or out of hospital midwife), but their support & encouragement & helping make things just that much easier is tremendously helpful in any birth...and any photos are awesome with every birth.
So, I vote is for the *right* doula to assist at every birth. My right doula happens to be you, Heidi! 😉 Because you are freakin awesome.
You can tell her answer made my day, of course! But I thought it would help others understand why a doula can be an important resource at any birth - your first or your fourth! I've written before that we didn't hire a doula until our fifth birth, which was an out of hospital midwife attended delivery. Still, when we were expecting our sixth our doula was one of our first calls! Later my husband will be sharing some of his thoughts about why a doula benefits a dad. It should be an interesting post!