We recently had coffee with Ann Douglas at Silver Bean Café and chatted all about her love for doulas! Ann is the author of numerous bestselling books about pregnancy and parenthood, including The Mother of All Pregnancy Books and The Mother of All Baby Books. She is also the weekend parenting columnist for CBC Radio. Her website is www.having-a-baby.com and she is @anndouglas on Twitter
By Ann Douglas
You’ve no doubt heard the buzz about doulas—professional labour and postpartum assistants who offer support to women and their partners during labour, birth, and beyond. What you might not realize until you’ve experienced the magic of doula care first-hand is just what a far-reaching impact a doula can have on your life.
A doula can help you to feel good about your birth experience. A study conducted by a group of researchers in California found that women who had the support of a doula during their babies’ births were more likely to feel positive about their birth experiences than women who did not have the benefit of such support. While 82.5% of the women who had the support of a doula during labour rated their birth experiences as “good,” only 67.4% of women who laboured without the support of a doula felt similarly positive. Add to this the fact that mothers who labour with support from a doula tend to have shorter labours with fewer complications and fewer interventions, and you can see why so many moms-to- be opt for doula care.
A doula is a gift that you give to your partner as well as yourself. Having the support of a doula frees your partner up to do what partners do best—providing you with unconditional love and no-strings- attached support. It also makes it possible for your partner to practice self-care during labour, birth, and beyond. Your partner knows you’re in good hands when you’re being supported by a doula, so there’s no need to feel guilty for taking a break to have a quick snooze or to enjoy a healthy snack.
A doula can help you to find your “parenting village”—to tap into community services and supports and to connect with other new parents. If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a village to support that child’s parent—and your doula has the keys to the village! Why waste valuable time trying to research all your options when you could be doing something far more important, like cuddling with your baby or catching up on sleep?
So, as you can see, there are all kinds of compelling reasons to hire a doula. Doulas are your go-to guides to all things parenting as you prepare to make this exciting transition in your life.