The simple answer is NO! Doulas are great for everyone, regardless of your birth plan!
Regardless of where you deliver, a Doula is a great person to have on your team. Doulas are proven to play a large roll in birth outcome; just by having her knowledge and voice present to advocate and protect you.
It is no secret that providers often suggest options during your pregnancy/birth that are not beneficial or are proven harmful. Having a Doula during your pregnancy, birth, and postpartum can help you make more healthy choices. Part of a Doula’s job is to share factual based information with you surrounding everything pregnancy, birth, and postpartum so that you can make a healthy choice for your growing family.
Having her voice in the room could be the change in your birth outcome! For example: You have stated that you do not desire Pitocin during labor. You are in labor and it is taking a while to progress fully. Providers are known to hook up Pitocin to your IV without warning or consent (because you signed over rights for them treat as they see fit). If you have a Doula she would catch this slick action and make you aware. “Hey mama, the nurse is trying to hook up a Pitocin drip. Are you okay with this?”
When provider’s choices of care action are the 3rd leading cause of death and our maternal and infant mortality rates are the highest out of all developed countries, it may be in you and your infant’s best interest to have a Doula during pregnancy and present during labor!
Especially for women in the following categories. These women are proven to have an increased chance of adverse birth outcomes:
- Socially disadvantaged women
- Low income women
- Unmarried women
- Primiparous (First time moms)
- Giving birth in a hospital without a companion
- Those who experience language/cultural barriers
- Hispanic and women of color
If you are having a medication free hospital birth, a Doula would be great to have in your corner; seeing to it that your plan comes to be if at all possible. She can help you avoid pharmaceutical means of pain management by providing counter pressure and rebozo use.
If you have a planned cesarean, a Doula would be beneficial to have with you! She could update you on each step; giving you assurance and comfort that all is well while making sure your desires are advocated for and met.
If you are having a home birth, a Doula is great to have as well. She can help with other kiddos, getting you water/snacks, help starting dinner, assist in pain management techniques, and far more!
Regardless of social class, ethnicity, multiparous or primiparous, or desired birth plan, a Doula is for you!
Be sure to keep in mind that Doulas are not one size fits all, they are not equal. There is not a single Doula that is for everyone but there is a Doula out there for everyone who desires one! Be sure the one you choose is a good fit for you and your needs!