Why a Doula should be an essential member of your Surrogacy Journey and birth.
In celebration of world doula week, we thought it appropriate to share why a Doula is an essential support person at a Surrogacy birth!
Doulas are incredibly helpful at any birth resulting in statistics around decreased needs for intervention and overall well-being of the birthing person. When it comes to Surrogacy, Doulas are gamechangers in birthing room, the postpartum period and offer an entirely different level of support for Surrogates and the Families they are carrying for.
Let’s start with the facts. What is a Doula? Doulas are non- medical birth professionals who are there to offer physical, mental and educational support. They are not there to be a leader in the birthing room, but to fill in the gaps in support where they are needed. Doula’s can not advocate for you, but can teach you about your rights as a birthing person so that you can make educated decisions.
The Cochrane review was a study of the outcomes when women receive continuous support during childbirth. Not necessarily by a doula or birth professional, the key is the consistency. The outcomes were very clear:
· 25% decrease in the risk of Cesarean birth; the largest effect was seen with a doula (39% decrease)
· 38% decrease in the baby’s risk of a low five minute Apgar score; there is no data on if the type of person providing continuous support makes a difference.
· 8% increase in the likelihood of a spontaneous vaginal birth; the largest effect was seen with a doula (15% increase)
· 10% decrease in the use of any medications for pain relief; the type of person providing continuous support did not make a difference
· Shorter labors.
Better birth outcomes that result in less intervention is what we hope for all labouring people. Interventions sometimes are absolutely necessary or even a preference in difference scenarios, but understanding the risks and your rights will help you know what’s your best options. If the birthing person has a partner they will usually be the main support person. Birth can be lengthy and there will be moments when they need to eat, have a moment for themselves, sleep…use the washroom. Who will support the birthing person in those moments? The data shows that if the flow of support is continuous we can create great change in these experiences.
At hive Surrogacy we encourage Intended Parents and Surrogates to include a doula within their contract and birth preferences.
Here are some reasons why we believe a doula in an essential member of you birthing team in a Surrogacy journey.
A Doula can support both Intended Parents and Surrogates.
When a Surrogate is giving birth, they are the patient, and therefore the medical caregivers focus will be on them. A Doula can offer education and explanation about what is happening to the Intended Parents prior to the birth or giving information and updates in the birthing/waiting room.
A Doula can be a great mediator in planning what the birthing experience may look like. They can lead a video call with the Surrogate, their partner (if any) and the Intended Parent(s) and establish birth preferences that everyone is hoping to experience on this day. That may involve things like: Where the Parents will be when their baby is born, how they can assist in the labor, what is everyone’s feelings around breastfeeding?, etc. This also allows for the opportunity for each party to share any hopes, fears, or boundaries they may have.
While many Intended Parents want to support their Surrogate through her labor, they aren’t always sure what to do. A doula can help guide people so that they can feel they are contributing to comforting their Surrogate that respects everyone’s boundaries.
Once the baby is born, the Intended Parents are naturally needing to care for their baby and sometimes that leaves a very newly postpartum person without support. Having a doula there to ensure they are still receiving consistent support needed in the post birth phase is important.
A Doula can assist after the birth as well! They can go to the Intended Parents house and give postpartum support with the baby or the Surrogate.
For these reasons and so many more, we believe a Doula can lead to better birth outcomes within Surrogacy Journey’s for everyone involved.
Doula work is what started the path to Hive Surrogacy becoming the agency that it is today. Because of this and our love for everything birth work we have a very exciting announcement.
Hive Surrogacy will be offering a live, online training for birth workers who will be supporting families going through Surrogacy journey’s.
Hive Surrogacy Presents:
Please join us May 30 and 31 for a live online training on how to Support surrogacy journey’s as a birth worker in the prenatal, birth and postpartum period.
We are very excited to be offering this course which we hope will lead to better birth outcomes in our community and globally.
Stay tuned to hear about more in the next coming days.
Happy World Doula Week, everyone!