There are many ways that adding a doula to your birth team even if you’re planning a home birth can enhance your experience. Having worked at both home and hospital births, We have experienced joy in attending home births and helping families to create and maintain their sacred birth space. So—here are a few ways that having a doula can benefit your home birth:
Prenatal Education and Support
Even with a home birth, prenatal education and support is an important component of birth preparation. Your doula will help you create your birth plan, understand the labour process and prepare for the postpartum period. Even if you’ve planned a home birth we recommend that you still work to create a birth plan. It’s important to be educated about all possible interventions and be prepared for anything unexpected. When preparing birth plans we refer to them as “birth preferences:. The importance is not in getting everything as “planned” but in getting educated about your options.
Some things you might consider on your home birth plan: If you are having a water birth would you like the option to give birth in the water? What would you like done with your placenta? Are you encapsulating? Would you like delayed cord clamping? Do you want lights dimmed, soft music on?
Doulas also help you prepare and practice comfort measures prenatally so that you have many different tools for labour. We love to practice acupressure, rebozo comfort techniques, spinning babies (www.spinningbabies.com) and breathing techniques prenatally because they are more effective when practiced ahead of time.
We come when you need us
When you hire us, we are ready to come to your birth when you need our support. Early labour can be a long process and midwives don’t usually come to your home until active labour is established. For some people, this can mean quite
a long time on your own with the surges of early labour. As your support practitioner, we can come to your home to help support you when you need us with one-on-one physical comfort techniques, finish up any birth space preparation, and support your partner in any way needed.
We help your midwives
This help includes the emotional and physical support that we provide you throughout the birth so that your midwife can complete the clinical tasks that need to be documented. Our presence at your home while your midwife is en- route is reassuring because they know you are getting the support you need. We also help your midwives with housekeeping after the birth, getting you settled, and any cleanup that may need to be done.
Before we leave your home after a birth we will make sure that you have fresh sheets and are snuggled up with your new family, we can start a load of laundry and do a general tidy to make sure that the only thing you need to do is fall in love with your new baby.
If there are unexpected changes to your birth plan we provide you with emotional and informational support to help your decision-making and help you stay relaxed and calm.
There you have it—a few of the ways that a doula can help you and your partner enhance your home birth experience. Doulas benefit everyone, whether at the hospital or at home!
For more information, or to set up your complimentary consultation click here
-Amelia Rebolo, Doula