“You don’t need one. I’ll be your doula,” said the husband of a former client.
They were lying in bed, late at night, dreaming and planning for the birth of their second baby when the pregnant woman made a mental note that she’d need to call the doula in the morning.
“I know what I’m doing. I won’t be freaked out like last time; I’ve been through this before.”
And then a few months later I got a text.
It was frantic: “I 100% regret not getting a doula. Do you do last second support?” I typed back, “How last second are we talking? Are you due in a couple days or are you in labour right now?”
She replied back, “I’m at the hospital right now and alone and they’re talking about inducing me and I’m freaking out.”
That was the conversation I had via text just a couple days ago.
This woman in labour was a former client. She had a great experience with us 6 years ago. When her husband told her “I’ll support you,” she had faith in his dedication and enthusiasm for their birth plan.
And then, three weeks before their due date he asked her, “hey, did you hire a doula?” She went into labour before she could call to make an appointment.
Hiring a doula is a really personal thing.
Some women don’t want any extra assistance during birth. I’ve seen many partners that are really in tune with their spouses and fearless about supporting their needs. Doulas would never wish to interfere with the connection between couples.
And, then there is the issue of choices during birth. Some people feel a doula might somehow influence them in a way they don’t wish to be influenced. Or, they feel that their planned use of an epidural precludes using a doula and really makes her redundant.
We definitely have a place in births where the partner is the main support person and where epidurals are the preferred coping strategy. A Hamilton Family Doulas doula would never impose some external agenda on a woman in labour.
We love supporting people find their own path through birth and parenting, so we weren’t at all offended that this previous client and her husband chose a different plan for this birth. A plan that didn’t include us.
But, we were ready to jump into action at a moments notice when she changed her mind and knew she needed a doula by her side.
Within 30 minutes we had paired this client with a doula who headed immediately to the hospital. The doula didn’t know what to expect and had never met the client previous but she was ready for anything. She helped the client cope with the unexpected changes to her birth plan. The doula listened to the woman’s frustrations and no amount of swearing through contractions phased her. She kept the whole birth team connected and working together to create comfort and support until the baby made her appearance.
Women definitely experience benefits when they hire their doula earlier in pregnancy. However, if you should find that you need help last minute – or last second – we will be there for you.
You can find more information about birth doulas and links to get in touch with us on our Birth Support page. We’d love to talk to you about your plans for birth.