Doula | Fit Pregnancy


Getting a Doula for Christmas

Heather wrote with some darn good questions. Her husband doesn't want to be in the delivery room. It'll be gross and he doesn't want to see Heather in pain. After some "discussion," she's talked him into being there but isn't sure he'll be much support. She's considering hiring a doula for labor support though she's planning on an epidural. Her doctor says the labor nurses at her hospital are great so Heather wonders if a doula is necessary. She's due on Christmas day and worries she'll get an inexperienced nurse without enough seniority to get Christmas off.

Do You Need A Doula?

Wouldn’t it be great if someone you trust volunteered to be on hand — even sleep on your couch — in case you went into labor in the middle of the night? What if that same person offered to walk in the woods with you in the last weeks of your pregnancy or adjusted her vacation plans to be with you during your baby’s birth?

My doula (pronounced doo-lah), Sue Ann Higgens, did all this and more when I was expecting my first child.

My Three Doulas

I often say about myself, “You can take the girl out of Connecticut, but you can’t take Connecticut out of the girl.” Despite living on the West Coast most of my adult life—first in San Francisco and now in Portland, Ore.—I still smack of East Coast Establishment. I own monogrammed hand towels; I reply to RSVPs; and I needlepoint. Yet lately, I have surrounded myself with doulas.

You Have To Take Care Of You, Too

Pregnancy was the healthiest time in my life. With baby on board, I finally found the motivation I needed to eat right, get enough rest and exercise. But the minute I delivered my son, my focus shifted entirely to him. I wanted the best for him, 24/7, and put myself entirely at his service. What new mom wouldn't?

Know Thy Doula

Moms-to-be who choose a friend or relative to act as their doula during delivery are more likely to have a positive birth ex-perience. In a study of 600 first-time moms, half were given the chance to select a close friend to be trained as a doula. Those who were assisted in the delivery room by a handpicked doula reported feeling better after the birth, as well as about themselves and their newborns, compared with women who did not have a doula.

Doulas Help Needy Moms

Speaking limited English and lacking experience in prenatal or postpartum care beyond raising her own four children, Maria Ordaz, 42, wasn't sure at first that she'd make a good doula. "I felt a little out of place in the classes," she says, referring to a program she attended in Atlanta to learn how to support women during childbirth.