Supportive care during labor does not include clinical care, but involves women who offer physical comfort, emotional support, and information. Doulas also assist women in communicating their wishes to caregivers, and engage their husbands or partners as desired by the couple. For an expecting woman without any support of any kind, having a doula could greatly improve her outcome and view on birth.
My husband and I decided to have a baby when we moved to Okinawa. As a nutritionist, personal trainer, and holistic health advocate, I believe in the power of the human body to achieve amazing feats as long as the body is nourished in mind, body, and spirit. My husband and I think similarly and we both knew we wanted an all-natural pregnancy and birth.
I never dreamed marrying a military man would be the cause of every major shift in my life. And yet, here I am, life flipped upside down in the best way imaginable. Marrying my husband opened my mind to a world I knew nothing about and brought me down a path I never could have imagined. That life lead me to where I am today; the proud wife of a Sea Bee, mother to a beautiful one year old daughter (and pregnant with my second child) and independent business owner, working as a birth doula and training for my childbirth education certification. The drive I feel to be part of the world of birth started in 2014 when my husband and I experienced a devastating miscarriage. I fell into depression and spent months trying to make sense of the loss I felt. That’s when the research started. I read every book I could get my hands on, watched documentaries and read articles and talked to anyone in the field who would take the time to answer questions. The more I learned, the more I wanted to know.
There are some staggering birth statistics for the United States of America; a developed country with some of the best doctors in the world and yet a rising maternal mortality. It is therefore no surprise that many women and families are returning to personalized community support systems to help them through labor and delivery. One specific labor support person is the birth doula.
Time after time, I hear stories of women who are in the birthing room by themselves for one reason or another. There are many different reasons, but often mom is alone because her spouse is deployed, she is a single active duty mom, or perhaps she is stationed halfway around the world and does not have access to a good support network.