Right Click Block

Thursday, July 12, 2012

When I Grow Up: Part 1 (What is a Doula?)

It's official: when I grow up I want to be a doula like Leah.  This is Leah (everyone say HI LEAH!) and she's a doula.  What's a doula you ask?  Well...

The short definition of a doula is that she's someone who is hired by expectant parents to be their support during the birth of their child.  

But that is by far NOT a good enough explanation.  I hadn't really heard of a doula until I moved to the KMC area.  There's lots of babies being born in these parts ;o) so there is also a relatively large network of doulas.  Amber was actually one of the first people to introduce me to the idea.

And I wish I'd had one for Lily's birth!

The way that Leah runs her doula shindig is to be present as much as possible for the mom (and dad) before, during, and after the baby is born.  She will meet regularly with her clients, attend prenatal appointments with them, answer the gazillion questions of an expectant mother, provide tons of information and support, and of course, attend the birth.

Obviously the whole being there for the birth part is a big deal.  I cannot imagine how awesome it would have been to have another woman in the room who knew EXACTLY what was going on when Lily was born.  Jesse and I had no clue what to expect and I was so scared!  My midwife was pretty awesome but also pretty soft-spoken.  I wish I had had someone there to help keep the communication open and clear.  Someone who speaks labor-and-delivery and also new-mom language.

Studies show that the absence of fear in labor leads to an easier delivery.  Studies also show that having a doula attend your birth is pretty much going to guarantee that you're a baby-momma-rockstar.  By which I mean you will be more likely to deliver the baby the way you want.  You know, your birth plan and all?  Your doula will be all over that.  And she'll be with you the. whole. time.  Moms, can you imagine?

Statistically, women who have a doula at their birth are more likely to deliver vaginally and without intervention.  Oh, and faster.  Doula-attended births are usually shorter.  Moms also have a higher likelihood of being satisfied with their birth experience if they have a doulas, no matter how it turns out.  It's pretty amazing what doulas do for a momma!

So basically, I want to be a doula when I grow up.  More like, I want to be a doula when my girls grow up a little.  And when I get the chance to learn a little more about what this doula-ness is all about... Leah's offered to let me shadow her.  More on that later!

But being that kind of support for an expectant mother would be a dream come true!  You already know that I'm all about natural labor and I really feel strongly that if a momma wants to go that route than by george she absolutely can!  And I would love nothing more than to be there supporting her in that.  

(If you're curious for more info check out Leah's website and then if you want a Daddy's perspective check out this blog post.  He's absolutely hilarious!)


  1. That's so awesome you were able to have an experience like that! I've always thought I would want to be a Labor and Delivery/Recovery nurse. Not so sure now!! :o)

    1. There are so many parts of being a nurse that I just could not stomach... so I'll leave that to my sister and I'll just be a glorified baby momma cheerleader!

  2. hehehe - the midwife who delivered Steph actually told me I should be a doula, so I have heard of a doula before. thought about it for about - - 15 minutes - - then went back to my life (not thinking about it) - - but I think you would be good at it!

    Oh and you told me to say hi to Leah, so HI LEAH (and hi Leah Free also who commented before me!)

    1. Well you can live vicariously through me being a doula then!

  3. Reason #542 why I'm pretty sure we were twins separated at birth. Ever since I started doing this whole breastfeeding peer counselor thing I have been thinking the same thing!! I think you would be an awesome doula. You helped me so much with all of my pre-labor stuff (birth plan, book recommendations, all of my MANY questions). You would be so great at it!! :)

    1. Aw I miss you friend. Maybe we can end up on the same side of the world together someday and we can make a partnership... Double Doulas!