"A Woman, as long as she lives, will remember how she was made to feel at her birth"-Anna Verwaal.
I was scrolling through Instagram one night after having to wake up to nurse my baby and came across a post acknowledging “World Doula Week” which runs from March 22, 2021 to March 28, 2021. Who knew that this was thing? I’m so glad it is. I have a huge appreciation for all Doulas and Midwives because us women, we need and deserve that care.
According to DONA International, a Doula is defined as:
” A trained professional who provides continous physical, emotional,and informational support to a mother, before during and shortly after childbirth to help her achieve the healthiest most satisfying experience possible”
During this COVID time, you are allowed to have one support person with you in the hosipital AND a Doula. I have to admit that I regret a lot of things that I did not do in pregnancy and one of them was not having a Doula during my birth experience. Yes, I did opt for midwifery services, and I’m so grateful for those women, but a little extra support would not have hurt. Had I had an additional support person with me throughout my pregnancy and after, I believe the transition would not have been as rocky for my mental and physical health. Perhaps the experience would not have been as traumatic for me had I had that extra level of advocacy. As I am writing this I am four months post-partum and still have flash backs of my labor till this day. Perhaps, I would have been the kick ass woman that I desired to be as a first-time mom had I had a bit more emotional support.
Here are some benefits of a Doula:
- Supports the birth you want
- Can help you deal with the unexpected
- Offers physical and emotional support
- Can help you have an unmedicated birth
- Can help mamas feel more positive about labor
I talk about my birth plan and expectations in my book and how I needed Erykah Badu too. When I was pregnant I discovered that Teyana Taylor was also expecting and would have Erykah Badu as her Doula. I thought, wow, I totally could use her services and thought of the price associated with it.
(Laughing in my middle-class salary range). I would’ve loved her energy. If you know Erykah Badu, you know what I mean, that pure goddess energy. I’m sure having her as a Doula would call for a very spiritual birth experience that would have allowed me to better connect with my ancestors and alllllll of that. I needed THAT energy. I romanticized it the same way that I am romanticizing it now in my book. Perhaps, if I have another child in the future I would be more prepared to experience birth in this way, now that I know EXACTLY what goes down. Let’s be real, you can read all of the pregnancy books, and watch all of the birth videos, but nothing can fully prepare you for the labor. Every pregnancy is truly different.
I’ve noticed those that had a Doula throughout their pregnancy and part of their post-partum were grateful to have that extra support. I heard nothing but great things about this. I am also pleased to see that Doula’s of color; especially black women, are now receiving the attention and respect that they deserve. I love to see it.
After giving birth to my child, I highly recommend first time moms consider getting one. I believe first time moms would especially benefit from both Doula and Midwifery Services. I think what scared me away from getting a Doula was the fact that most Doula’s were not covered by insurance carriers, but if you are fortunate enough to pay for the cost out of pocket or have your insurance cover this, then go for it.
To all of the many Doula’s out there helping mamas during this pandemic, thank you. I hope to experience this benefit with my next child.