**We recently received this email from a previous client of Erin’s. It is a true testament to the value of a doula’s support, for everyone involved, and a shining testimony to the amazing doula that Erin is!**
This is an open letter, Dad to dad–or dad-to-be. I want to share the story of the birth of our daughter, and explain why hiring a doula is the best decision you can make when planning for your baby.
Our Birth Story
Initially, I was skeptical when my wife said she wanted to hire a doula. Of all the things to spend money on, I thought a doula sounds redundant since we’d be in the hospital with doctors and nurses. For me it came down to my wife’s comfort. It’s her body, it’s her choice. I put my frugalness aside for the sake of my wife’s peace of mind. (Ironically I think I got more piece of mind from the support). This is our first child, after all. Looking back now I know that hiring our doula, Erin, was the best birth plan that my wife and I made.
Before the birth of our daughter, Erin provided a library of resources to help us prepare for our daughter, and help my wife with relief. For pain relief, she taught us how to use acupressure and counter pressure to relieve the pain on my wife’s hips. She also answered endless emails and texts about a million topics, from exercising and nutrition, to breast-feeding. She prepared a birth plan with us, and she recommended a great lactation consultant.
My daughter decided to come on a weekend, and we went to hospital late one Saturday night. Erin met us at the hospital, and stayed with us for the entire time. The nurses told my wife to go for a walk from 3am until 5am. There was a storm that July night that made it unseasonably cold. Erin walked around the hospital with us, and we took turns applying counter pressure to my wife’s hips, to help her manage the pain during contractions. Her positivity and encouragement lead us through that cold night.
Over the next 12 hours she was a huge relief. Her and I took turns applying pressure during contractions, and helping my wife focus on relaxation in between. She kept our strength up by making sure both of us were eating and drinking enough.
Our daughter was born at 4:28pm; however our celebration was shortly interrupted as my wife had severe hemorrhaging. It was clearly life threatening when half a dozen doctors rushed into the room. Erin asked me if I want to comfort my daughter, or my wife. Seeing that I was in shock (and conveniently holding the baby), Erin told me to sit down with my daughter, and then grabbed my wife’s attention. She kept my wife focused on relaxing for what were the scariest moments of my life. Now, my wife’s only memories of that incident are of Erin calming her down. Thanks to the incredible staff at the hospital, our whole family returned home two days later.
Erin’s care did not stop at the birth. She met us at our house the night we were released and brought a lactation consultant. I should mention that it was not just a daytime call—this was about 11:00pm. The next few weeks, she stayed in touch with texts and emails. It was the ultimate reassurance to have an expert to call to talk about feeding, naps, and baby stuff in general. She even helped us decide to go to the doctor about what we later found out was a blocked tear duct.
Why Doulas Rock
There’s probably a hundred reasons, but I’m going to give you the short list of why you need a doula:
1. Doulas are amazing resources
Let’s face it, doctors are overworked and too busy. The internet is a flood of information, you don’t know what to trust. And chances are, advice and medical studies have changed over the past 30ish years when your parents had you. A doula is your compass to navigate endless information to find what you need, when you need it.
2. Doulas are with you, 100%
It’s such a comfort to have someone with you constantly. Especially when you’re walking downtown streets at 3am. There are times when the hospital staff are busy; let’s face it, you’re not their only patient. A doula is a practitioner who is 100% focused on your family, and can provide relief at any time during pregnancy, labour, or afterwards.
3. Someone to take care of you, Dad
If you’re like me, your concern is your wife. While you’re taking care of your wife, it’s good to have someone take care of you. Our doula made sure I was eating and drinking enough, doing coffee runs and anything we needed. Expect labour to be a long haul, and have someone take care of you too.
4. In case of emergencies
You never expect to be the tiny statistic that runs into complications; but it happens–It happens worse than our situation. You can not take care of everyone alone. And frankly, the doctor’s don’t care about your wife’s comfort when they’re trying to save her life. (This became abundantly clear when her inclined bed slammed down at warp speed and they jammed two more IVs in her arms). Have the extra person in your corner, focused on your needs, while the doctors do their jobs.
5. You can focus on your baby
Maybe it’s me, maybe it’s our society, but it seems that there’s too much to do when preparing for a baby, and returning home with a newborn. Paradoxically, it’s the longest 40 weeks of my wife’s life, and the shortest weeks of mine. Doulas help you plan and do a lot of the prep work, so you can focus on what’s important–your family.