Doula does it
What does a doula do?
If you think back to Little House on the Prairie days, Caroline Ingalls used to go to every birth. She wasn’t a midwife, she wasn’t a doctor, but she was there. That’s kind of what a doula is—we’re there to provide emotional and physical support.
How is a doula different from a midwife?
A doula does not do anything medical. A midwife will deliver a baby, she’ll do vaginal exams, she’ll listen to fetal heart tones. We’re just there for support. We’re all used to seeing a woman laboring in bed, and that’s not necessarily what a woman wants to instinctively do when she’s in labor—she wants to move around and work through what she’s feeling and experiencing.
How did having a doula change your second labor experience?
My husband is my best friend; we are very close. So I went into my first labor saying, “Oh, we’ve got this under control.” But you get in there and it’s a totally different experience. We didn’t know how to communicate with one another, and both of us were wanting to please the other one. When you have a third party that knows a lot about labor and delivery and how to help you through it, it helps the couple communicate better and it makes the process smoother.
Why are you a doula?
It’s very rewarding. I think after the first woman I tended to, I was on an emotional high for 24 hours. When I’m on call [at the hospital], I just go there and hang out and introduce myself to women. I’ve never had anybody turn me down, and after they give birth they say, “I am so glad you were here.”