Are Doulas only for “Natural Birth?” What if I want an epidural or cesarean?

Now that the holidays are over and we are starting 2019 off with a bang, I would like to discuss one of my favorite topics- HOSPITAL BIRTH WITH A DOULA. Yep, you heard me right. Believe it or not, most of my births are hospital births, and my target market is mainly women birthing in the hospital NOT at home. Why? Maybe because these women need me more? Or maybe because here in Mississippi without midwifery regulation, probably 95% of births are in the hospital setting if not more! To help the most women- these women are my main focus. Sounds funny for a doula to say that doesn’t it?

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Almost every day somebody says to me “so you are basically a midwife right?.” Wrong. So wrong. I don’t only attend water births where a mother is hypnobirthing and breathing her baby down into a pool of rose petals (though- I have attended a birth EXACTLY like this... Check it out on BirthTube on Facebook!). More often, I attend a mother birthing in a hospital with monitors, nurses, doctors, IV lines, medications and more. 

Hospital birth can be just as beautiful as home. I have seen amazing mothers make it through inductions like fierce warriors, cesarean mothers who’s lives were saved by a surgical birth, and PLENTY of mothers with epidurals power through some intense long labors. I have also helped moms do it all natural in the hospital with a little help of nothing more than some IV fluids. Guess what they all had in common? They all gave birth. And they did it WITH A DOULA, IN THE HOSPITAL.

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For some reason, there is a theory that doulas can only support natural birth. Many doulas even frown upon women who choose an epidural or cesarean without medical necessity. I hear it from clients and friends alike time and time again. This my friends is a fallacy! Inductions aren’t always bad- neither are epidurals or cesareans. They are important tools that help women birth their babies and save lives. As a doula, it is not my job to tell you what kind of birth to have. It IS my job to make sure you are educated in all of your choices and supported REGARDLESS of the choices you make!

I believe in judgement free, common sense birthing. And by that I mean all of this, my philosophy:

I believe a mother will birth best where she feels safe, comfortable and relaxed. This may be in a traditional hospital, birthing center, or even her own home.

I believe every birthing family should have accessible evidence-based information regarding all prenatal, childbirth, postpartum, and baby care procedures.

I believe that we need to trust that our bodies know what they are doing, we were built for this. I also believe that medical interventions exist for a reason and can save lives.

I believe pregnancy is not an illness in most cases that requires “treatment.”

I believe that a due date is an approximation or a guess, not an expiration date and that the average pregnancy lasts longer than 40 weeks.

I believe a partner should be just as involved in the birth as the one birthing. A doula is there for the partner as well as part of the birth team. Not a replacement for the partner.

I believe a doula should not be biased or push their own agenda onto the family. I believe it is YOUR birth and I support you in YOUR choices.

I believe that a mother should be free of guilt, no matter what her decisions are regarding interventions, lifestyle choices, or other procedures. I aim to be a safe, judgement-free space for ALL birthing mothers.”

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Bottom line folks- doulas are for everyone. Not just the select few that want a natural home birthing experience. As one of the top doulas in Central Mississippi, I want to see healthy and happy mothers and babies THRIVING not just getting by- from conception well into the postpartum stage. When a baby is born, so is a mother. Judgement free postpartum care is EQUALLY important here. Whether you breastfeed, use essential oils and make your own laundry detergent or you formula feed and are fine with good old Tide detergent (I’ll let you guess what we use in my house!). I want to support you and your growing family in whatever way works for you. 

Here’s to a 2019 where we all are thriving. Especially mothers through pregnancy and postpartum.

Need a birth or postpartum doula in Mississippi in 2019? Shoot me an email! Let’s see how I can help!

Leah

leah@doulainmississippi.com