Molly Murray - Birth, Life, and Business Doula
Birth is unpredictable. Time restraints have no place in the labor room, especially coming from your doula.
The evidence is in and continuous birth support increases the chance of a spontaneous vaginal birth, has no harm, and women are reportedly more satisfied. You can read the evidence for continuous birth support here.
Whether it's the middle of the day or night, planned or unplanned, with or without warning, as your doula, I am there for you as soon as you feel like you need labor support and I will stay until your baby is born and for 1-2 hours after, as you settle into your new roles.
My doula support includes no time restraints and no fees after a certain amount of time, even if I need to call in back up.
I tell families in prenatal visits or childbirth classes that the first call I get will often be the ''Things are happening'' call.
Whether it's bloody show, a rhythmic back ache, water breaking or strong contractions.
My suggestions vary depending on what is going on, but many times I say, ''Wonderful!! I'm so happy for you.. Try to get some rest. Drink more water and eat a good meal. Try x, y, z (comfort measures and positions).''
''Do you feel like you're ready for support? Call me as things pick up and you feel like you need support.''
Above all, I want you to know that I'm here for you.
Once I get the call that things have picked up and you are ready for support, I will join you at your home or at the hospital, whichever is most comfortable to you. As your doula, I will provide continuous doula support through your labor, no matter the twists and turns it takes and no matter how short or long. If labor does go on for 18+ hours, sometimes I need to call in your back up doula. This is included in your Birth Doula Services fee.
From counter pressure to affirmations, turning on the shower or getting towels and a warm blanket for you...all the way to holding your hand or reminding you to listen to your body... or talking with you and your partner about what is normal or what might come next. I am here for you.
I have found that the lengths of time I am with families varies and evens out over time. It does occasionally happen that I am with families for 24+ hour labors, but those are the exception and not the rule. For every lengthy labor and delivery I attend, there are several short births that make up for the time spent with another family.
In the end, it is my opinion that time restraints have no place in the labor room; not from your family and friends, not from your care provider but especially not from your doula
Cincinnati Mother, Birth and Postpartum Doula, Childbirth Educator and Founder of the Cincinnati Birth and Parenting Network.