Imagine what it would feel like to give birth feeling supported, informed and involved in all your choices?
What difference do you think it would make if your birth support team helped you believe in yourself?
I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Birth is a normal, everyday physiological event that your body was designed to do naturally. In fact, according to nature’s design, birth is meant to be a joyous and ecstatic life experience.
Sure, birth can be hard work and for a small minority of women pregnancy and birth can present problems. But, the fact is for the vast majority of women pregnancy and birth are healthy transitions in life and yet this healthy state of womanhood is increasingly medically managed as an illness. It has become so normal for our culture to view pregnancy and birth according to the medical model that for most women the first thing they do when they believe themselves pregnant is visit a doctor for confirmation and book in for an ultrasound.
And fair enough, it’s exciting and extra special care is part of enjoying being pregnant. However our culture has come to provide that extra special care comes in the form of ongoing medical tests and measurements that do little to prepare a woman for birthing or motherhood, and does a lot to instil fear that pregnancy and birth are risky business.
Wouldn’t it be special to enjoy a model of antenatal care that treated you like a pregnant and birthing goddess?
Why a doula can be the Rolls Royce of birth support…
It’s common to believe that private health insurance and a private hospital means a ‘superior’ level of maternity care, but this depends on your vision of the birth you want. Choosing a private hospital means an obstetric model of care and therefore a medically managed birth by default. This is because an obstetrician is trained in intervention and surgical delivery methods, and may not ever have experienced normal, uninterrupted physiological labor.
If your vision is for natural childbirth then this not be the best model of care for you.
Unfortunately, many women don’t realise until they’ve had first hand experience that the medical model of care can lead to a medically managed birth often involving routine, unnecessary interventions. Due to patient demands, hospital midwives can be limited in the care they can provide and are often in the difficult position of having to comply with hospital protocols. The medical system may provide for the physical management of your birth experience, but isn’t equipped to support for your mental and emotional wellbeing; the essential ingredient of love and comfort that allows women to feel safe, reassured and in control of their experience.
Although your partner can be a wonderful source of support in labour, your partner is not trained in birth support and it’s unfair that partners are now routinely expected to assume this role. It’s all new to them too!
Evidence shows women birth best when supported by people they know and trust, who are able to stay with them continuously throughout their labour, and who understand techniques to be with women that promote normal, natural physiological childbirth.
And so, I give you the doula.
Doula is the name given to a birth support person who provides one-on-one continuous support of a non-medical nature and is instead trained in alternative, traditional and natural methods of being with women during labour.
A doula will develop a relationship with you and listen to your fears and concerns, providing support for your mental and emotional wellbeing during pregnancy, birth and beyond.
A doula will guide you through your birth choices and help keep you informed.
A doula will support your partner and help your partner support you.
A doula will help you believe in yourself and find the resources within that you need to birth your baby.
A doula will hold the space for you to birth your baby and do so for as long as you need.
A doula is YOUR ‘servant to birth’ and there to support your unique needs. The primary aim of a doula is to provide for your emotional and mental well-being and your comfort. This is why, especially for women birthing within the hospital system, a doula can be the Rolls Royce of birth support.