What’s the most important benefit of doula support?

Best Thing About Doula Support

stats4There are loads of benefits of doula support that have been shown in research. But for me as a doula what matters the most, although it is shown in the research, can best be seen in the individual stories told by that the people who have had doula support. Each time I hear a story if a birth supported by a doula there’s a theme that shows the family feels proud of and happy with their decisions.

Doula Support Brings Positive Feelings.

It’s brilliant that many women have easier birth experiences with doulas by their sides and as doulas, it’s really exhilarating to be there for those births that go exactly according to what the mum had planned. But birth is unpredictable and even for those women who do everything possible to help themselves, there is a chance that baby simply won’t ‘play ball’. Sometimes for a reason that becomes clear when they are born and sometimes for apparently no reason at all.  When birth ends up taking an unexpected twist such as transfer to hospital from home or baby needing to be born by c-section doula support still matters. Some might even say those births are the ones when the most benefit most from total unconditional support in making every decision is found.

 

Doula Support is all in the preparation

As doulas, we often notice that most of the benefit we offer to mums and their partners is virtually complete by the time we’ve finished our ante-natal sessions. The change in people from when you meet them and they feel so uncertain to when they realise and embrace their own power in their birth is amazing. We meet people who are worried about what this birth will bring them and whether they have the strength to face it. Then we provide information and support and we see them grow in confidence in their bodies and in their own ability to make the right decisions for themselves. This work during pregnancy is why, when we are there to support a birth, our main function is just in being there. On the day it might seem like all a doula does is stay calm and positive but that’s because we work hard to during pregnancy. The wonderful thing about women and their bodies is that for the majority of births this is enough for everything to go according to plan, to be hard work but satisfying and even enjoyable.

Doula support still matters when the plan goes out the window.

No one can make any promises about the exact flow your labour and birth will take and ‘more likely’ doesn’t mean it’s impossible for things to take a different path. What we can promise is that we will be there 100% with you. We promise to continue to support each decision that comes up with unbiased information and knowledge that the right decision on the day and in the moment, is the one that the birthing woman feels is right for her and her baby. This, above everything else, is the benefit of doula support. Being able to say ‘I may feel sad that things didn’t go the way I planned but I feel positive I made my choices and I know I’m amazing however my baby was born’.

If you have more questions about how a doula can support you why not read our frequently asked questions page.

(The rest of this series of pictures about the research on doula support is on our  facebook page