Your Birth Plan: Is a Doula Worth It?

October 20, 2014  |  

Call it first pregnancy jitters or being super nerdy when it comes to researching the dos and don’ts of pregnancy, but I just want to know all the options out there. Thus, far this pregnancy has gone pretty smoothly, no complaints or worries. Always on the lookout for what’s best, I have even gone back and forth on whether or not I should use a midwife or stick with my doctor (love my doctor so she ultimately won). Now I am entertaining the idea of hiring a doula which begs the question just what the heck do they do?

According to the American Pregnancy Association, a doula is a professional trained in childbirth who provides emotional, physical and informational support to the mother who is expecting, is experiencing labor, or has recently given birth. It sounds like a buddy with pregnancy wisdom which is a pretty sweet concept and in many cases needed. Though they do not provide medical care many do know about the medical ins and outs of both pregnancy and delivery which can make a pregnant mama more at ease and prepared. They even help you create a birth plan along with contingencies should things not go according to plan (which they almost never do)

One of the biggest reasons I have been thinking about hiring a doula is because they are often thought of as a source of strength during delivery. Sure,I’ll have my husband there who, God bless him, will probably tell me sorry and rub my feet, but a trained specialist who can help keep me focused does sound nice. I also have been told that the doctors are in and out of the delivery room until it’s showtime so I already have it in my head not to rely on her too much, except to deliver my son. At least with a doula I can get her undivided attention, labor techniques to soothe the pain, answers to questions when I freak out, and just someone who can keep me centered on what I need to do.  Heck ,you can even hire a doula post-delivery to help out with the transition to having a little one in the house.

Want to hear something interesting about using a doula during your pregnancy? Studies are showing that having one can actually prove to be quite beneficial as the length of labor decreases by 25 percent and the overall cesarean rate by more than half. What’s also a bit crazy to me is that with a doula helping you out, the requests for epidurals goes down by 60 percent. Now, I know I am new to the pregnancy game but have heard some serious stories about labor and the blessings of modern drugs – so you mean to tell me there might be a way around it with a doula? Definitely worth a look! It’s also worth a mention that research shows having a doula has helped to reduce postpartum depression and increase the success of breastfeeding.

So now that I know more about the perks, it’s time to get down to numbers which unfortunately can vary by person. From what I hear doulas can cost anywhere from several hundred dollars to the thousand dollar region (and even beyond). Another downside is that they are very rarely, if ever, covered by insurance, which means yet another out-of-pocket expensive to an already pricey time in my life. Yet they do seem to have their benefits which definitely makes me give this a second look.

Would you use a doula or have you used one?

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