I can’t tell you how many times we hear folks say AFTER they have given birth “I wish I would have hired a doula”. It breaks our hearts every single time. We felt this was such an important perspective to share. So when someone recently said these words to us, again, and broke our hearts, again, we decided to ask them some specific questions about their experience. It’s better to hear it from them than it is from us.
Fran Annis was so generous to share her experience with us. Here is what she has to say:
What would a doula have been worth to you?
A stress-free labor and delivery experience. No one knows how their labor and delivery will go, especially with a first-time birth. A doula could have provided emotional and physical ease during labor and may have helped us determine when a good time for us to head to the hospital was, which that alone could have saved us hundreds of dollars.
Why would a doula’s extra support have been needed?
A doula would have helped me to have realistic expectations and could have helped me understand information that was being shared with me in a way that I can understand. A doula would have also helped empower me to ask questions and understand my options.
I did not know that when it was finally time for me to be admitted for a room in labor and delivery, that I would have a nurse with little to no experience (who was taking directions from others over the phone at times). I was also not expecting that my doctor would be absent for most of the labor and delivery. It would have been wonderful to have continuous support from someone who had experience and could give me the guidance and support that suited my situation best. I was very sad, disappointed, and exhausted after attempting a natural birth and later had to have a C-section. A doula’s support before, during, and after my labor and delivery would have far outweighed the cost to hire one.
I was also surprised and frustrated that after the delivery, nurses come in to check on us every 1-2 hours. While I understand that they are simply doing their jobs and it’s for our well being, it makes it extremely difficult for any new parent(s) to get much needed rest. I have to wonder if there is a better way. A doula would have been able to at the very least, educate us on this so we would have had realistic expectations.
Did you know about doula support before you gave birth?
Why didn’t you hire one?
It seemed too expensive at the time, but after receiving all the bills from the hospital, a doula would have been a drop in the bucket. Honestly, I could have avoided some unnecessary trips and a doula may have even made differences in the procedures that took place that may have saved us more than what it would have cost to hire a doula.
What would you say to someone trying to decide?
You might think that your doctor and the hospital/facility will take care of all your needs, but they can’t possibly provide that for everyone. A doula can provide you with peace of mind, sound advice, a positive experience, and the support you really need during and after labor and delivery. They can also save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars.
While a doula can not guarantee any particular outcome, a doula can certainly give calm reassuring guidance, educational support, physical support and much needed emotional support during a families most vulnerable life transition; labor, birth and the postpartum period.
While nurses and doctors are filling their very important roles during the labor and delivery process, the demands of their jobs do not allow them to give any laboring family continuous support. A doula is able to give your family the personalized one-on-one support that is so very needed during this fragile time, adding a deeper layer of intimacy to your birth experience.
We are here to help you feel prepared, empowered and confident. We are here to help create a positive life long memory of your birth and postpartum experience. If this is something you desire from your birth and postpartum experience, please call or email us today to let us know how we can best support you. We care about your needs and desires.
Did you decide against doula support only to wish later on that you would have hired a doula? Please share your experience with us in the comments below. We want to hear from you.