But what comes to my mind most, is how grateful I am for my support team during labor. My team consisted of Dave, my mom, and my dear friend and doula Madelyn.
I didn't plan on using a doula. I used to joke that I wanted an epidural at the 8 month mark so that I wouldn't feel a thing! Then I started talking more extensively to Madelyn about the benefits of having the support of a doula. She highlighted for me several reasons a doula can change the experience:
First, a doula is an advocate, especially in hospital settings where it can be more of a challenge to get the birth you want
Second, she is a support not only for the woman (in labor, with contractions, managing pain, nursing) but for the father too- not overshadowing the father's role but supporting him in supporting his wife
Third, a doula strives to empower the woman that they she can do this as her body was made to do this
Finally, a doula helps cast out negativity about birth or fears that women may have and redirect thinking especially if their view of birth is negative or if they've been listening to too many horror stories from friends.
The bottom line is this: women need women to come along to support, comfort, assist and advocate for them! This isn't a new concept. It was the norm for centuries.
I am not one to get on a soapbox about too many things. I am also an advocate for women not feeling guilt over choices made during childbirth!
From my experience, working with a doula made labor do-able and comfortable. It helped me to not make choices out of fear and to trust God and his design of my body more deeply. I am extremely grateful for the role Madelyn played in our story.
If you have further questions, let me know!