There is a hilarious post by Penny Lane circulating the doula world. It's a bit vulgar (I admit, I flinched a few times at the curse words), but a very accurate description of the work that we do as doulas. My favorite part is, "Like unicorns, we [Doulas] are fucking rare and magical creatures." So, if you are looking for a good laugh, read this!
What the fuck is a doula?
Some dictionary defines "doula" as "a woman experienced in childbirth who provides advice, information, emotional support, and physical comfort to a mother before, during, and just after childbirth". Yeah, that pretty much nails it. Yay, the end!
But really, hold the fuck up a second. Doulas are the shit. And I'm not just saying that because I am one.
Doulas are so passionate about what they do, that they'll work their asses off without complaint for what very well could only be a couple bucks an hour. They are there for you 100% even when they have their own shit going on. Most complete extensive training and continuing education to be awesome at what they do. They make it their very serious personal goal to help you have the very best birth outcome possible; one that you'll look back on happily and proudly. Doulas fucking know their shit, and they do their best to make sure you make healthy decisions that you won't regret like that time you smoked that...never mind.
From the moment they are hired until after your baby has been born, they are officially your birth bitch. When you call them during dinner with a frantic question ("I just pissed myself at Rite Aid, is that normal?!?"), they pick that goddamn phone and answer you. Because they care that fucking much. Because they LIVE for this kind of shit.
No, really. We do.
This woman you have hired willingly puts herself "on call" for you for what could be an entire month (or more), during which she never strays far from home, has to be able to run out the door fully dressed and smelling decent within 10 minutes flat, and practically begs for7:30 am Sunday morning telemarketer wake-up calls because she never, ever turns her ringer off.
Not to mention that she has to remain sober at all times. Even though she may have two or three rabid offspring under the age of five and a borderline unhealthy relationship with $6 Target wine.
Your doula will help you write your birth plan and make sure you actually know what the fuck a "saline lock" and "telemetry unit" are before you go in there and make a fool out of yourself (and her). She will help you outline your preferences and wishes for your labor and birth, even if they aren't choices she would make for herself, without judgement. She'll also guide you through making the Big Ass Decisions so you don't fuck up and do something stupid.
Your amazing rockstar superhero doula angel will stay with you through your entire labor, even if it's days long. She will stay by your side while your baby daddy lies there oblivious and snoring and you work hard at bringing his mini-me into the world through your vagina. She will reassure you and build you up and tell you you're a goddamned birthing goddess when you're feeling done and nobody else has anything encouraging to say. She will say "yo, hold the fuck on a second" and give you a heads up when Doogie Howser M.D. tries to sneak something into your IV, or grabs his scissors and attempts to go at your vagina all Wolverine-style because it was NOT ON YOUR MOTHERFUCKING BIRTH PLAN.
In the midst of all of this, she will likely end up with at least two (and probably more) of your bodily fluids on her. And that's okay, because she fucking cares about your birth that much. She cares so much that even though she's probably super emotionally invested in you, she will hold it the fuck together if things go awry because she knows you need her to.
After your bundle of joy has vacated your womb, your doula will help you breastfeed. Isn't that so completely badass of her? Even if it's the first time and you have no clue what the fuck you are doing, she will not leave until she feels like your baby has the whole "sucking on a titty" thing down.
And if that's not enough...she will continue to be your bitch via phone for at least a few weeks, and come visit you once or twice to listen to you go on and on about how blissfully awesome not sleeping is AND hold your brand new Shark-O-Matic 5000 while you go shower the infant feces off of you. You'll reflect on your birth experience and never once hear the words "you had a healthy baby and that's all that matters" pass your doula's lips. We doulas HATE that fucking shit. She will be understanding, empathetic, and she will L-I-S-T-E-N with love and compassion, and without negativity or criticism. She'll basically be the opposite of that vapid bitch you call your mother-in-law.
And if you're still not convinced about how fucking cool doulas are...here, have some statistics:
o 50% reduction in the cesarean rate
o 25% shorter labor
o 60% reduction in epidural requests
o 40% reduction in oxytocin use
o 30% reduction in analgesia use
o 40% reduction in forceps delivery
All by just having a badass doula by your side. Like unicorns, we are fucking rare and magical creatures.
Knocked up? Get yourself a doula.