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Why Hiring a Doula is a Great Idea

So you're expecting a baby & maybe a friend or midwife has mentioned something called a doula? What the hell is that you ask? Well look no further & I'll walk you through some of the reasons hiring a doula can be a great idea.

A doula is a trained professional who provides emotional, physical, and informational support to families before, during, and after childbirth. Doulas are not midwives or nurses, but we can provide a valuable role in the birthing process.

That sounds great but what specifically can a doula help you with during pregnancy & birth?

Hiring a Doula can help you:

  • Feel more prepared for labour and birth

  • Make informed decisions about your care

  • Cope with the pain and sensations of labour

  • Bond with your baby after birth

  • Recover from childbirth & establish breastfeeding

If you are considering hiring a doula, there are a few things you should keep in mind. Doulas typically charge a fee for their services, so you will need to factor that into your budget. You should also make sure that you find a doula who is a good fit for you and your family. You can interview a few & find the one you feel most comfortable with. We as doulas all understand how important that can be. After all we will be working really closely together.

Doula training and certification varies, so it is important to find a doula who has been trained with a doula school that has your values at heart. I trained with Leila Baker at Side by Side Doulas because she is one of the only fully inclusive & intersectional doula course creators accredited by Doula UK, the major organisation in this country for doulas. Doula UK by the way is a great place to start looking for a doula & have loads of information like 'what to ask your doula' & support if you need financial help to hire a doula.

You can find them HERE.

Now let's look at some of the stats from the Doula UK survey. Here are some of the great things to expect when you work with a doula:

  • 92% of people who hired a doula were breastfeeding exclusively where the national rate was 82%. Those who hired a postnatal doula a whopping 60% were still breastfeeding at 6 weeks compared with only 24% nationally.*

  • 66% of births supported by a doula had spontaneous vaginal births & many of those were at home. *

  • Those using a doula had shorter labours, were less likely to need pain relief & feel much more satisfied with their labours. **

  • Having a birth companion provide continuous support in labour led to better outcomes in general.**

Hiring a doula is a great way to ensure that you have the support you need during and after childbirth. You can choose to have a doula to support you during birth or one to help you postnatally or both. Don't forget, your doula is there to help you & your partner but we will never get in the way of your relationship. We work to support, not take over & your partner is the one who generally will know you better than anyone else in the room.

If you are considering hiring a doula, be sure to do your research and reach out to some of us. I can guarantee you'll be very welcome and if there's one thing we love talking about, it's birth & parenthood.

* Taken from the 2021 Doula UK Annual return

** Taken from the Cochrane review, Bohren MA, Hofmeyr G, Sakala C, Fukuzawa RK, Cuthbert A, 2016.

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