6 Points For Birth Partners to Consider When Hiring a Labor Doula

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"HELP! My partner doesn't think we need to hire a doula."

Yikes! I've heard this before from clients and students of my classes. Sometimes, one partner REALLY wants to hire a birth doula and the other can't justify the expense or won't face the realities of the upcoming birthday. Let it be known that evidence shows continuous support can significantly decrease the risk of cesareans, NICU admissions, Pitocin, and medications for pain relief, as well as increase satisfaction with the birth experience altogether.

Here are my suggested talking points for reserving the services of a doula and seats in a childbirth class:

  1. Ask your partner how he or she plans to support your labor. Do they see their rubbing your back or squeezing your hips for 18 hours all by themself? Prior to labor, do they want to memorize optimal labor positions to facilitate progress and avoid a stall that can lead to medical interventions?

  2. Have they prepared to be your SOLE source of emotional and physical comfort? Will they be able to provide you with informational support and advocate for alternatives to proposed medical interventions? Here is an article I wrote for preparing labor partners for the big event. It's generic but what everyone should know in the LEAST.

  3. Who do they plan to have present on birthday to help THEM? Most partners want us to be present for them too, especially upon realizing the nurses won't be in the room but for an average of 10 minutes per hour prior to the second stage.

  4. Yes, preparing for childbirth with a comprehensive prenatal class is VERY helpful, but on birthday, recalling pertinent info on little sleep while watching your partner run a marathon is stressful. Doulas remove the burden from the birth partner's shoulders, relieves their stress and helps them enjoy the birthday/night/weekend. Birthday can be a wonderful bonding experience for you two!

  5. Is their hesitation due to financial reasons? You can get dependable support for less than $5 per day of your pregnancy. Think about that. Then think about the cost of a c-section and an extended hospital stay. Since doula support is a PROVEN way to reduce the risk of c-section, hiring an experienced doula who works well with your care providers WILL SAVE YOU MONEY. Many of our clients use their HSA/FSA debit cards to pay for childbirth services such as classes and doula support. Our agency includes our NPI number and taxonomy code on our order confirmations so you may attempt reimbursement from your insurance company or HSA/FSA accounts.

  6. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists say doula support is NECESSARY in the prevention of the primary c-section! Here's an excerpt from my blog post with links to the research:

"Today, approximately 60% of all cesarean births are primary cesareans. Although cesarean birth can be life-saving for the baby and/or the mother, the rapid increase in cesarean birth rates raises significant concern that cesarean delivery is overused without clear evidence of improved maternal or newborn outcomes. Published data indicate that one of the most effective tools to improve labor and delivery outcomes is the continuous presence of support personnel, such as a doula. A Cochrane meta-analysis of 12 trials and more than 15,000 women demonstrated that the presence of continuous one-on-one support during labor and delivery was associated with improved patient satisfaction and a statistically significant reduction in the rate of cesarean delivery (111). Given that there are no associated measurable harms, this resource is probably underutilized."

The most important thing a woman needs during labor is continuous support.

Read (and share!) this article by Evidence Based Birth. Here's an excerpt: "Labor support also increases satisfaction and the chance of a spontaneous vaginal birth. Although continuous support can also be offered by birth partners, midwives, nurses, or even some physicians, research has shown that with some outcomes, doulas have a stronger effect than other types of support persons. As such, doulas should be viewed by both parents and providers as a valuable, evidence-based member of the birth care team."

Additional links to help optimize your outcome:

Here is a our Google Testimonial page, which has a review by a father. Our FAQs may help with the broad stokes of working with us but these Q&As aren't specific to encouraging partners to hire professional support, except for this one.

Prepare for the biggest day of your life!

You will most definitely need to be prepared for your baby's birthday if you plan to go without the professional assistance of a labor doula. Attend a prenatal birthing class. Class registration, when purchased separately from a birth & doula package, costs a bit more than when it's bundled with birthday services but well worth the investment. Our intensive prep / ONE DAY childbirth class and the Birth Boot Camp comprehensive series will show in real time how much support your partner is going to need in order to effectively help you on birthday...