Doulas: A Luxary?

Ya know, it used to be that women giving birth automatically had the support of their mothers, grandmothers, aunts and so on.  However, with modern technology entering the scene we’ve all but done away with such support.

As  a result, people aren’t sharing birth stories as much anymore.  The average woman’s childbirth education comes from the media which almost always shows birth in a negative light.  It’s no wonder women are all too willing to embrace the epidural to save them.

There was recently a segment about doulas on television and it really struck a chord with me when the doctor said that doulas are a “luxary”.

She is sadly mistaken.

I recently received a call from a friend whose sister was in labor in another state.  Her sister went to the hospital and upon being checked out was told that she was only 1 cm dilated and to go home.

The woman went home but was in agony.  She was home, in pain and her mom and boyfriend didn’t know what to do besides stare at her when a contraction hit.  I’m sure they felt terrible, not being able to do anything and needless to say, the woman in labor wasn’t dancing for joy either.

So, my friend called me and we called them on 3 way.  I gave the mother and boyfriend some tools to help the woman through each contraction and I talked to the woman in between her contractions.

She labored for a good while at home with confidence.  They called me a few times throughout and even kept me informed once they went to the hospital.

In the end she had a beautiful little boy.

Of course I wish I could have been physically present to help them all through the whole experience but I’m glad I was able to help in some small way.

Today, I received a call from the new mom.  She thanked me for helping her and said that all of my suggestions were a big help to her.  She said she wished she’d stayed home longer as everything changed once she got to the hospital.  She wasn’t able to move around and it was a whole lot harder for her to cope.  She noted that after just having the experience, it would be a while before she did it again but she said it would definitely be different next time.  She said she’d either go to a birthcenter or stay home for the birth.

I’m willing to bet that if anyone asked this woman, her mom, boyfriend or sister if doulas are a luxary, they’d all reply emphatically, “No!”  Every woman deserves support.

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