Doula Myths and Truths
Myth: We just cannot afford a Doula.
Truth: A Doulas support during your pregnancy and labor is truly priceless! The birth of your baby is one of the most important days of your entire life! The vast majority of every couple who hires a doula says it’s worth every penny! There are so many ways to make hiring a Doula doable. Most doulas will make payment arrangements for you. Additionally, many couples now have a Doula-fund as part of their baby shower in replace of gifts. If finances are the only thing holding you back, please, please talk to your Doula!
Myth: Doulas are not necessary because the nurse (partner, family member, friend, fill in the blank) is there.
Truth: A doula does not perform any medical related skills (such as checking vitals, vaginal exams, etc.). She is the only member of the maternity care team who is focused completely on the mother's well-being. A doula is not emotionally involved with the laboring woman, as are other family members and close friends. The doula remains calm and objective when she sees the laboring woman in pain. She knows many different ways to help from both her training and experience.
Myth: Doulas only attend home births.
Truth: Doulas attend births at home, at the hospital, and at birth centers. She will remain at home with the couple until it is time to go to the hospital/birth center (where applicable).
Myth: A doula will intrude on this intimate, private family moment.
Truth: A doula can actually act as a guard on your privacy by running interference on excess staff and facilitating communication between you and your caregivers so there is less need to check in on you unnecessarily. Your Doula can help you maintain a private, soothing atmosphere. She can also preserve your memories of these intimate moments by documenting them for you by taking photographs and/or notes.
Myth: A doula will interfere with medical advice.
Truth: A doula’s role is not to interfere with medical advice. She facilitates communication between all involved and encourages her client to ask relevant questions so she can make informed choices. Doulas do not make decisions for their clients. Doulas meet with the couple several times before labor (during their prenatal sessions) to thoroughly cover many medical procedures and possible interventions so that the couple is prepared in advance of the benefits, risks, etc. of any procedures ahead of time.
Myth: The doula will try to replace my husband/partner as my main support person.
Truth: A doula enhances your partner’s support by helping him to relax and have confidence in his role. Your Doula and your partner can make an excellent team together because Doulas know a lot about birth, and your husband/partner knows a lot about YOU. Doulas can support your husband/partner by meeting his needs, offering him rest when he is tired, and assuring him that things are progressing normally. Having more than one support person ensures that you get the support you need while the team is able to support each other, supporting you.
Myth: A doula only helps with natural/un-medicated births (or my Doula will be upset with me if I opt to have an epidural or pain medications)
Truth: A doula is there to help support a laboring woman to help ensure a safe and satisfying childbirth as the woman defines it. Doulas are there to support you and your choices. This is your birth! It is never my place as your Doula to be upset with your choices!