Having a Baby? Get a Doula!

I had always intended on discussing baby stuff on the blog, but I haven’t done much of it yet. Brody is just over 7 months old now, so maybe I should discuss some of the things that brought him into this world, like a doula.

Kat had decided she wanted a doula for her birth, and being the smart husband I am, I agreed to it. When I was working at Grant MacEwan we had a doula training class offered through the division I worked for, so I knew a little bit about what they do, but not a lot. We had gotten a couple of names of doulas from people we knew, so I decided to call them and set up an appointment. The first one was waaaaay over-the-top, gushing about how this was a blessed event, and she was so privileged to be considered for this event. After that call, and an email, Kat and I both decided she wasn’t right for us. A doula shares a special moment with you, and you have to be comfortable with them, and we weren’t comfortable with her at all.

The second person I called was Ricky Issler at Comforting Hands Doula. The first call was just to get some information on another service she offers (more on that in another blog post), and to set up a meeting to talk about her doula services. She was warm on the phone, but definitely not over-the-top like the first girl was, and we arraigned to meet in a coffee shop nearby.

I think it took 2 minutes for me to decide I wanted Ricky as our doula (though, the decision wasn’t really mine). She carried herself well, spoke softly, but with confidence, and looked like a warm person. They say first impressions are important, and Ricky gave off a great first impression. She explained that a doula will work for us to facilitate the type of birth we (meaning Kat) wanted to have. Kat wanted to have a natural child birth (nope, no drugs), so Ricky would work with us to help us achieve that. One thing that’s important to have is a “birth plan,” things you want, and don’t want when it comes time to have the baby, and while all the craziness it happening in the room, the doula watches over things to make sure your birth plan is being carried out. If things aren’t going according to plan, she’ll mention it to the father to deal with. This was our first child, and we really didn’t know what to expect, so the thought of someone being there for us was very appealing. If complications arise, doctors may not always give you all the options, and the doula is there to step in an advise of some other choices that can be made, or say “Well, you could do that, but that goes against your birth plan because of these reasons.” It’s like having an advocate with you… a warm, caring advocate.

We kept in touch with Ricky before the birth, calling her a couple of times when we had questions or concerns. She came over to our place on Christmas Day when Kat was starting her labour, and helped get everything ready for the hospital. Ricky and I took turns giving Kat massages to make her feel more comfortable, and Ricky told us when we should leave (actually, it was more of a “we need to go now, or she may be having it in the car”). She stayed with Kat when we got to the hospital and I had to do paperwork, massaged her when I got too tired, and we exchanged looks when the nurse was being a pain-in-the-ass. She was also there to take photos when he was born, which was great because I was busy having my hand crushed by Kat.

I can’t imagine going through the whole birthing process without having Ricky as our doula, and I recommend everyone get one if they’re having a baby. Doulas are awesome!

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2 Comments

  1. Just came across this thread while reading about CstPower. Wanted to leave my 2 cents.

    I’ve had several friends become new dads in the last couple years. All of them agree, get a Doula! A Doula is a god send as far as liaising between the doctors/nurses and yourself. You can rest assured that the medical system won’t bully you into things that are convienient … then you can focus on what is indeed best for the child. One of the wonderful side effects from having our Doula around was she did a wonderful job translating what my wife REALLY wanted me to do!

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