Why I (Almost) Didn’t Hire a Doula

Yes, you read that right. I, Abbie Gibitz, birth doula, didn’t want to hire a doula for my own birth. I remember it like it was yesterday. Almost 4 years ago, sitting in my living room with my midwife and her assistant, pregnant with our first child, telling my midwife I had no intention of hiring a doula.
“We’ll talk about that.” was my midwife’s response.
I wasn’t interested in talking, but I pretended like I would keep an open mind to the subject even though the very word doula kind of weirded me out.
I didn’t like the idea of anyone besides the essential people being at my birth (aka my husband and midwife). I wanted it to be private and I wanted to maintain my modesty. It certainly takes a level of trust to allow someone into such a sacred and vulnerable moment of life such as birth. I didn’t want someone to see me less than perfect, maybe even see me lose control. I remember many moms telling me that all modesty and shame go out the window when you have babies. Not me, thank you very much! Thus, I was sure hiring a doula was not on my “before baby arrives” checklist.
However, my husband and I attended a childbirth class where we learned the benefits of hiring a doula. Those benefits seemed to out way my fears and uncomfortability with hiring labor support.
Instead of being awkward, weird or embarrassing, having a doula was one of the most nurturing and comforting experiences I’ve ever had. My doula was an embodiment of the meaning of the word doula: female servant. She served me and cared for me and my husband, and I really believe that because of her nurturing care in my time of need during labor and birth, I was able to nurture my son as a new mother in a way I couldn’t have done had I not hired her. The decision changed the course of my life, and it’s one I’ll never regret!