Dr. Olivia Chubey, ND
And no. And Maybe.
It depends. On a lot of factors. Let’s break this down in an easy way. Take a few minutes and ask yourself the following questions:
- What is important to you in your birth experience?
- Do you have a birth companion?
- What kind of support do you expect from your birth companion?
- Are they capable of giving your that support?
- Do they have the tools and knowledge to support you?
If you answered YES to #2 but NO to #4 and #5.
You *might* be able to get away without a doula if you take a prenatal class that focuses on educating you and your birth companion on coping techniques, how to use them in labour, and common interventions – for example our Confident Birth Program. You may find that your birth companion may be enough, armed with the information they have learned to help you with your answer in #1.
If you answered YES to #2, #4, #5 you may decide to still work with a doula for one of the following reasons:
- I understand that my labour may be longer, and I value the idea of my partner being able to rest so that they may help me more after baby is born.
- My partner feels anxiety regarding whether they can be whatever I need them to be/remember it all etc, so it would be good to have knowledgeable and comforting help in addition.
(*Research has shown that the most positive birth experiences for fathers were ones where they had continuous support by a doula or a midwife.)
- I know that statistics show that moms have better birth experiences and less medical interventions when a doula is present
(*Although continuous support can also be offered by birth partners, midwives, nurses, or even some physicians, research has shown that with some outcomes, doulas have a stronger effect than other types of support persons.)
- I desire a low-intervention and/or no-intervention labour and understand the skill set and assistance a birth doula provides can support those goals even further then I can alone, or solely with my birth companion.
- I experience anxiety with hospitals, medical equipment, etc.
- I understand a birth doula may have other areas of help and support that they can share with me to smooth my transition into parenthood. (For example, Lactation Support)
- I feel birth is more than just a biological event, and would like to work with someone who treats it more holistically.
If you answered NO to #2, I would highly recommend a doula.
If this has piqued your interest or you’d like some more questions answered, you can book a complimentary Meet & Greet with a doula from our collective today! We’ll spend about 15 minutes with you in a video chat to answer you personal questions and help you decide if we’re the right match to support you in your birth!
*Evidence Based Birth, “Evidence on: Doulas”, May 4, 2010, Rebecca Dekker, PhD, RN.