As a doula, sometimes I hear “Why would I want a stranger in my birth space?” To put it simply, your doula is not a stranger! In fact, she may be one of the only “strangers” you know ahead of time at your birth. There will likely be many medical personnel including multiple nurses assisting with your birth whom you have never met. Besides perhaps your partner, your doula will be the only constant presence during your labor.
Most of my clients meet with me at least twice prior to their birth, and keep in constant phone contact. I like to really get to know my clients, as well as learn their hopes and desires for their birth. I find out what role they see a doula playing at their birth and explain how I can help.
Having a doula at your birth means having an extra set of hands to help with whatever you need. This can really come in handy when your partner needs to take a break and use the restroom or grab a bite to eat. Doulas also have the birth experience and knowledge necessary to suggest helpful comfort measures and answer any questions that you may have. A doula can be hands-on if you prefer, using massage and applying counter-pressure to painful areas, or a doula can simply stand with you, giving you affirmations as you labor. It is all about what you need in the moment.
Hiring a doula is nothing like having a stranger in your birth space. Doulas are an important part of your birth team. They work alongside partners and medical providers to make your birth go as smoothly as possible. Your doula knows you and your wishes for your birth and will do whatever possible to help you have a positive birth experience.