Listen to this episode HERE.

Krista: This is Secret Mom Hacks episode 11. My name is Krista and I am your host. It's April 19th, 2023, and in today's show we are talking about doulas. Now, if you listened to my first few episodes, you heard about my pregnancy and birth story with my daughter, one super helpful part of my birth story was my doula.

She was amazing. So if you're thinking about hiring a doula, I highly recommend it, but I also know it may not be for everyone. So I'm going to share why hiring a doula was important to me and why she was such an asset during my daughter's birth. Before we jump into that though, I just want to say thanks for tuning in, mama.

As of this recording, I am chasing around a four-and-a-half-year-old that no amount of Googling, mom groups, or what to expect when you're expecting books we're able to prepare me for. There's a lot of stuff people don't talk about when it comes to pre-pregnancy during pregnancy, postpartum, and so on. And as someone who was previously terrified of childbirth, parenthood and all that follows, I am here to help you pull back the curtain on all of it, and every now and then, it may get a little messy. We may share a little TMI, but that's why you're here, right? My goal is that you will leave every episode feeling refreshed, inspired, and hopeful knowing you are not on this mom journey alone.

Now there's a lot of subject matter to cover when it comes to mom life and we are covering it all.

So let's dive into doulas and why I'm an advocate for them.

Okay, so what is a doula? Well, according to, a doula is a woman who assists women during labor and after childbirth. Now there's a secondary definition that says a professional who provides support and assistance to individuals or families, especially during a medical or emotional crisis.

So, for example, there are death doulas who offer comfort and companionship to dying patients. For the purpose of today's episode, obviously, we are talking about a labor and childbirth doula. A woman who assists women during labor and after childbirth. Now, when I was pregnant, if you listened back to my pregnancy and my birth story, I shared that my plan was to have an unmedicated, natural childbirth at a local birthing center, and that plan was turned completely on its head. So I will not regurgitate those details. So when my water broke and we went to the birthing center, I said at some point I want us to call my doula.

So let's rewind a little bit before that. The reason it was hugely important for me to hire a doula was this is all uncharted territory for me. I have only been pregnant once. I've had one baby, and so I didn't know what to expect and neither had my partner, so we didn't know what to expect.

Going through this natural birthing process, not being in that hospital setting where you are surrounded by tons of nurses and doctors and medical professionals and so on. We were working with midwives and we were near a hospital, but the reason it was important for me to hire a doula is I didn't know how long I was going to be in labor and again, my partner being with me, I was relying on him to just help me through this whole process, and he had never been through that.

So I thought that a doula would be really instrumental in just showing up, giving me some great breathing exercises to just help see me through to the birth of my daughter as pain-free and as in as much of a meditative state as possible.

So when we ultimately called my doula, that whole birthing process is quite the blur. But I remember when she showed up we were all exhausted. My doula was incredible. When she showed up, it allowed my partner to step away. He was able to go relax, get a bite, get some water. Not be right in the middle of everything. And then my doula was able to step in and just give me some calming thoughts. She brought oils, she brought some string lights to hang up, which was really nice.

Which it turned out in my birthing suite at the birth center, didn't really need those string lights. But when I got relocated to the hospital, my doula actually came with me. It was her goal and the hospital's goal to still give me as much of that birthing center experience as possible.

I was at least able to labor in a very relaxing environment. She had the string lights up, there was some aroma therapy. It was just really, really, really nice. I do wanna back up and say, when you search for doulas online, there were a lot of doulas.

If you just search for your city, Nashville Doula or Boston Doula, Philadelphia doula, Miami Doula, wherever you are tuning in. There likely are some doulas in your area. These doulas offer lots of different packages, and different services in addition to just the labor support, and after-birth support.

And so I looked through several different options for our doula. I believe I interviewed. Three, we actually did a Zoom interview with the one that we ended up selecting. I remember when I interviewed the doula, I just really clicked with her. I appreciated her responses to my many, many questions. I appreciated her availability.

She was available via text and I could call her if I had a couple of quick questions. She was just super helpful and available leading up to the birth. And then of course on the day my water broke and the day that I ultimately had my daughter, she was incredible. So if you are thinking about hiring a doula, I would recommend interviewing a couple, because when you are going through this process, that's a really private, vulnerable, personal experience for both you and your family. So if you are going to let someone else in on that, it needs to be somebody that you trust, that you feel comfortable with, that you feel supported by.

Because you were in lots of different positions, again, depending on what type of birth plan you have. I was at a birthing center, I was laboring in all different kinds of positions, and so I really appreciated that she was someone that I did feel comfortable with, I felt supported by, and throughout this entire process, just giving me different breathing techniques and different positions that I could try to just help me move the process along in as comfortable way as possible.

So I've shared with you my personal experience with my doula and why I appreciated working with her. So I just wanna give you some basic, generic information about doulas and why working with a doula could be a fit for you. So studies have shown that having a doula present during childbirth can lead to a number of benefits for both mom and.

For example, women who do have doulas present during childbirth, they're less likely to have interventions such as epidural C-sections and so on. They also have a lower likelihood of experiencing postpartum depression. So that doula provides continuous support to the mom throughout the entire childbirth process.

They help the mother to manage pain and discomfort. For me personally, I can 100% attest to that because they use a variety of techniques such as massage, breathing exercises, and different positions for birthing. They also provide emotional support by listening to the mother's concerns, offering encouragement, and reassurance, and just helping to make informed decisions about her care.

Because when you're going through that process again, especially if this is your first time for both you and your partner, this is completely uncharted territory. So it's really nice to have that third party there who can just hear you, support you, and offer some guidance. Maybe it would be helpful to know some of the training that doulas go through.

So I research this a little bit. Doula training programs vary. However, most programs involve several months of coursework. They go through childbirth education, breastfeeding support, and postpartum care. And in addition to that, coursework, doula trainees typically attend several births as an assistant to become an experienced doula before becoming certified.

Maybe you're thinking that this sounds like it could be a fit for you. As I mentioned, there are a number of ways you can find a doula in your area. Obviously, the first suggestion would be to go to Google and just type your town or your city, and then the word doula. But there are also a number of websites that give listings for doulas in your area.

There's a website called Doula Match. There's also doulas of North America or DONA for short, D-O-N-A. Of course, you can also talk with your doctor or your midwife for their recommendations as well.

A lot of people think that doulas are only for women who want that natural childbirth like I was doing. Was going for that unmedicated natural childbirth.

But the thing is, doulas actually provide support for women who choose to have medical interventions as well. So even if you are planning to have a hospital birth, you can still work with a doula. Definitely talk with your doctor, the hospital that you are planning to birth, they might also be able to recommend a doula for you.

And something else I want you to bear in mind is that there are different doulas for different budgets. So again, depending on what you're looking for, what your needs are. I have found that there are doulas that can support every budget. So whether your budget is small or whether your budget is on the higher end, there is a doula out there for you.

So don't be afraid to take a look if your budget savvy like a lot of us mamas are, don't think that this is something that you can't afford because you 100% can find a doula that will fit your.

I hope me sharing my experience with my doula has been helpful for you. If you're pregnant or you know someone who is pregnant and you, or they are considering working with a doula, like I said, I highly suggest it.

And feel free, if you have any questions or concerns about working with a doula, feel free to shoot me a message. I'm happy to share my experience with you. As I've said before, I am not a medical professional, so if you do have important medical questions, please talk with your medical. For those. But as we wrap, let's face it, mama. It's hard to take care of those you love if you're not taking care of yourself.

So this is just that reminder to stay hydrated. Make time for yourself today. Jump outside. Take a quick walk around the block, walk around your office, whatever you can do. Whether that's five minutes, 30 minutes, do something that's gonna get your heart rate up, make you sweat. That's amazing. And don't forget to wash your face. Put on that great overnight moisturizer before you jump into bed. And don't forget that sunscreen in the morning as well. Your skin is going to. Thank you. All right, thanks so much for spending time with me today. If you enjoyed today's episode, please, please, please subscribe if you haven't. Give me a five-star rating and leave a review sharing your favorite takeaway so far.

This would be so super helpful if you haven't done that yet. Leaving reviews and five-star ratings. That's how other people find me, so I really appreciate your help with that. Also make sure you stop by secret mom, where you can find transcripts, resources, and more. Stay tuned for next week's episode, and until then you've got this mama.


You can find me on your podcast listening platform of choice HERE!

And while you’re there, please consider doing any or all of the following…

  • Subscribe! ✅
  • Leave a 5-star rating.⭐️️️️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Review – Share a sentence or two with your favorite takeaway from an episode or just leave me a few words of support.❤️

I appreciate anything you can do to help spread the word about Secret Mom Hacks!