Top 5 Doula Myths
I highly recommend that particular internet search. You'll have some great party conversation starters.
Oh, in case you've ever wondered, a 600 lb. woman did NOT actually give birth to a 40 lb baby. Tax refunds are not being delayed until October. And Bigfoot really does exist.
I did my research.
Top 5 Doula Myths of 2017
(according to Annie Willems, Certified Labor Doula and all-around amazing person)
1. Doulas only support natural birth.
A doula walks beside a family through pregnancy and labor without bias. Planning to give birth upside down in the woods by the light of the moon? Aiming for a quiet and peaceful homebirth... or planning to invite 26 relatives to join you? Headed to the hospital with the goal of as little medical intervention as possible... or trying for the fastest epidural ever? Do you have a cesarean already scheduled? Your birth is YOUR birth. A professional and experienced doula will be able to support you in your birth goals.
2. Doulas and medical staff don't get along.
Every profession has a bad apple or two, but for the most part, doulas enter your birth as a part of your support team. That team includes your spouse or partner, your family, your doctor or midwife, the nurses, etc. At PNW Doulas, we trust that you have chosen your entire support team because you want them to be a part of your birth and you have confidence in their abilities. Our goal is to support you while being a part of the team.
3. A doula replaces my partner in the delivery room.
Answer: So incredibly FALSE!
Doulas do a bit of a dance during labor. We're constantly watching what's happening and preparing to step in or out as needed. Stepping in might be refilling the cup of water, grabbing a warm towel. massaging shoulders, running bath water, giving some good hip squeezes, quietly helping mom focus, etc. Stepping out often involves giving the partner a good massage method and letting them take over or setting a chair next to the tub for your other half and leaving the bathroom. Our job is to provide support for the family- not just the person giving birth. And making your partner feel 'replaced' is the opposite of providing support.
4. A doula will advocate for me.
This is actually a very common misconception. A doula's goal is actually to empower you to advocate for yourself. We won't go to your doctor and speak for you, but we will give you the information, questions, and words you can use to seek your own answers.
5. If I have a midwife, I don't need a doula.
We love midwives. A lot. The personal care they provide is wonderful. But a midwife and a doula have two very different areas of focus. While your midwife cares for your emotional needs, she is most focused on the health of you and baby (as she should be). Your doula is with you continuously and has a constant finger on your emotional and physical needs. One does not replace the other.
Annie Willems is the Co-Owner of PNW Doulas and a Birth/Postpartum Doula specializing in anxiety, high risk, and loss.