My husband LOVES doulas really, he does; it’s not just because he is married to one, either.
Our first doula brought him a breakfast burrito, our second a Mt. Dew, and our third gently rubbed my back while he took some time for self care, aka, eating pizza.
Birth partners need energy, too!
- Doulas saved them money.
- Doulas helped move our births along quicker.
- Doulas allowed them to pay attention to US and worry less about the logistics.
- Doulas made them aware of things they had no idea they needed to know.
- Doulas improved our birth outcomes and satisfaction with our birth experiences.
If you don’t believe me, that’s ok! I have some science ready to back up those claims. Here are 5 myths about doulas and the facts you need to know.
Myth 1: Doulas Are Expensive
Most birth partners first thought when they hear about doulas is “What is this going to cost me?”.
That is ok! You are extra aware of your finances and want to make sure you are getting the biggest bang for your buck. We LOVE that about you.
Doulas in Utah typically run in the $600 – $1,200 range, depending on experience. But what if I told you that a doula will decrease the need for additional medical procedures that cost lots of money, which in turn saves you money on the total cost of your birth.
An updated Cochrane review on continuous labor support shows that, with a doula, the following things happen during labor and birth:
- 39% decrease in the chance of having a c-section
- 15% increase in the chances of having a spontaneous vaginal delivery (non-induced)
- 10% decrease in the need of any medication for pain relief
- 41 minute average decrease in the length of labor
- 38% decrease in low 5 minute APGAR score
- 31% increase in satisfaction with the overall birth experience
The typical epidural alone costs an average of $2,132! Yikes! The things listed above will help you save a ton of money on the overall cost of the birth.
Myth 2: Doulas Replace the Birth Partner
Dads need doulas, too. Doulas are not meant to replace anyone on the birth team, especially the birth partner.
A good doula will compliment the dad or other birth partner and encourage him to help support his partner in all the best ways, often time giving him tips or advice that he wouldn’t have thought of otherwise.
Doulas are constantly keeping an eye on what is going on in the birth space, making sure that, as long as medically safe, the birth is going as expected and that the mother’s needs and wants are being met.
Need ideas to help labor move along? A doula knows that. Need to avoid immediate cord clamping? A doula has your back. Need to know what other options may be available for induction? A doula can tell you.
Need to have an unbiased answer on the need for standard medical procedures like GBS testing, glucose testing, Hep B, Vitamin K, continuous fetal monitoring etc…?
A doula has access to so many resources to easily direct you to. Bottom line, she frees you up to really pay attention to your birth partner during the birth because she knows what is important to the both of you. Boom! Stress relief to the max.
Myth 3: Doulas are the Same as Midwives (So, what is a doula?)
Although doulas do work with midwives, their roles are very different. A common thing we hear a lot is “I have a midwife so I don’t need a doula”.
Midwives offer amazing care and we are so grateful for them and the more personal medical care they will give to you however, doulas and midwives have very different roles.
A doula will spend time prenatally with you just like a midwife only the visits are not what you would typically think when you hear the word “prenatal”.
Doulas usually come to your home or other place of choice and spend a lot of time getting to know you better and what you’re looking for in a doula. She will learn how she can best serve you, how you learn best, and ideas to help you cope through pregnancy, labor, and birth.
She will connect with you and learn more about the birth partner(s) so she can help them feel comfortable and involved on the birthing day. She will also teach you useful coping tools you can use together, educate you on what is normal during labor, and what you can expect to happen next.
She will provide continuous support before, during and after labor and may even educate you on dilation, effacement, and the stages of labor.
She will also help you understand complicated medical terminology and processes so you can go into the birth space feeling comfortable and educated.
Myth 4: Doulas are Only for the Mother
Doula’s help everyone in the birth space. Some of my favorite experiences as a doula have been calming the fears and uncertainty in the birth partner(s) by educating them and preparing them for what may be coming up.
I have been able to help turn less than ideal situations into ones that the birthing family can take ownership or their experience and create an empowering one despite nothing going “to plan”.
The best feeling in the world is when a birth partner looks me in the eyes and says “I am SO glad we got a doula!”
Doulas also help other children be involved, can update grandparents or other family and friends of what’s going on, and interact with hospital staff in a positive way to help facilitate an encouraging and uplifting birth environment. Anyone else involved in the birth? We are there for them, too!
Myth 5: Doulas are Hippies who Chant and Sacrifice Chickens During the Birth
If you don’t understand why this is not only funny but, a myth that needs debunking, you HAVE to subscribe to our podcast on Apple Podcasts and watch for SE06. We talk with 5 VBAC dads and grill them on everything from birth prep to VBAC to doulas. You DON’T want to miss it!
Speaking of the podcast… SE03 is all about how a doula will help prepare both mothers and birth partners for their birthing day!