First off, congratulations on your pregnancy!
As a new mama, I know what a rollercoaster this ride into motherhood can be!
Pregnancy, birth and postpartum can be a mix of excitement, fear, joy, uncertainty and whether it's your first or your fourth time, it can also be overwhelming in every way imaginable. But guess what - it's all normal! I want to assure you - all your feelings are valid!
You are going through a massive transformation and through the highs and emotional lows, it is truly a beautiful metamorphosis. Your sweet baby is making you a mother and there's no greater love or feeling in the world. I promise you that. Let the adventure begin!
Looking back, one of the best investments I made was in hiring professional support to guide me throughout my pregnancy, labor, birth and early postpartum period. Here are 3 (of many reasons) why you should 100% invest in a full spectrum doula.
Before I begin, let me share that not only have I gone through the experience myself in hiring a birth and postpartum doula, but I am now officially a certified full-spectrum doula too! It was an area that sparked my interest during pregnancy and now I get to share my learnings and work with all of you, so here we go!
1) Empowerment & Emotional Support
Emotional Support - Certified Doulas are amazing (and I personally think naturally, intuitively caring) individuals who provide you and your partner with science-based birth education, empowerment and emotional support throughout your pregnancy. They help by answering any questions, concerns or worries you may have, but are especially supportive during the homestretch of labor and childbirth - and beyond during those first precious days and weeks after birth. As a doula, a major part of our role is to help reduce and ease your anxiety and provide reassurance to both you and your partner or whomever you decide will join you on your special birthing day (or days - yes sometimes it can take a while!)
Empowerment - If there's ever a time in your life to seek support, let me tell you - THIS IS IT! An incredible doula will absolutely empower you during your most trying, emotional and stressful moments. Their encouragement, information, and advocacy will help guide you when life can feel overwhelming with information and through their support, can help you feel prepared and confident for what is to come as you embark the journey of motherhood! I will never forget my Doula, Claudia cheering me on throughout the 3 long hours and 5 minutes I spent pushing my little guy out. Trust me, it makes a huge difference having that nurturing, caring, confident support by your side from someone who has been there and given birth herself!
2) Labor Support & Advocacy
Labor Support - Nothing in the world will prepare you for the pain and waves of contractions but I promise you that having all the information, support and pain reduction tools like my doula's TENS unit made a HUGE difference in my birthing experience. When I felt stuck and was struggling with intense pain, she reminded me to focus on my breathing, to drink water, to move and to walk to the bathroom to empty my bladder (because guess what - baby needs all the room he needs to descend and come out!) Labor support is only one of the many ways your doula will support you and it's certainly needed, especially during emotionally draining and stressful couple of days.
Advocacy - This was something I hadn't even considered but was educated on by my doula from the very start. When you choose to birth in a hospital which I did, it is so important to have a birth preferences document ready beforehand to hand to your doctors and nurses with all the vital things you want in preparation for your birth experience and for your baby. Delayed cord clamping was one of my preferences and thanks to my doula I was able to ensure my baby, Gio had absorbed all the cord blood before doctors clamped and Vito, my husband cut the cord. This is one of many things you get to discuss and choose when you work with a doula who will prioritize advocating your desires and needs.
3) Partner Education & Support
Now, let's not forget your partner! Yes, oh, I know you will be the one physically going through the experience but I can assure you that your partner is in this with you too emotionally and they deserve the support and education too. Wanna know why? Well, if for whatever unimaginable reason your doula can't be there to support you, we want to ensure your partner or friend or whoever you choose to join you on your special baby's birthing day - is fully prepared for the big event and has a number of tools they can access to help YOU when you're facing doubt, pain or worry.
Doulas not only support mama during the tough times, but also provide guidance and hands on education to your partners. This allows partners to be active and participate in the process without feeling overwhelmed or unsure about how to help. The doula's presence can definitely help your partner feel involved and be reminded on what they can to help YOU feel supported, strong and more than capable. If you ask my husband, he will tell you that as stressful as giving birth it is for mama, it's also a stressful day for your partner too. They do worry about you and baby the entire time. A doula is essential to help ease that stress for everyone involved!
If you are currently expecting a bundle of joy and would love to learn more about how a full spectrum doula can support YOU during this life-changing journey, click the button below to fill out a quick form and I'd love to connect with you.
Wishing you a beautiful, healthy and happy pregnancy!