For several of my births, I felt certain that I didn’t need to spend money on a doula. My husband and I were just fine on our own, thank you very much! However, for my sixth birth, I felt strongly that I needed to hire a certain doula who also worked as a midwife.I could’ve not hired a doula at all, or used a friend like I’d done for previous births– but the reason for my choice was evident when birthing day arrived and my midwife couldn’t make it in time! I’m so glad I listened to my instincts.
Our instincts are there for a reason, and I encourage you to trust them, especially when it comes to your birth experience. Just as that little voice can guide you on how to care for your baby, it can also lead you to your best birth team and experience.
Perhaps tuning into your intuition isn’t as easy for you, but I promise it’s there. No matter how logical it may seem to do things one way, there are times when your gut knows something important, that needs to be considered.
Why should we listen to our intuition?
To prevent regrets. There’s not much worse than looking back thinking, “I wish I would have trusted my instincts.” One mom who had a baby the same month as I did wished she had listened to her gut when something about her choice of providers felt off to her. Later, one of the providers prove to be emotionally demeaning, which created an unpleasant birthing experience that my friend now has to heal from. You can avoid having regrets if you listen to that little voice inside that warns us.
It gives you a foundation of peace for creating the best birth possible. Going into the unknown of birth with full confidence in your birthing team is so important! Having a birthing team who you know is fully supportive of your desires and meshes with you gives great stability as you navigate the unknowns of the birthing process.
How exactly do we listen to our intuition?
Listen to that little voice that speaks deep from inside. It’s there– deep– a small inner knowing or even a warning. Psychology Today gives several tips on how to listen to your gut if you need help getting there. Taking the time to weigh your decision both logically and with the voice inside can help you decide the best path to take for your birth.
Read Birthing From Within. This whole book is a guide not only to the physical and mental aspects of the birth process, but also explores our deeply rooted fears and helps us envision our ideal birth. Understanding what that vision is can help guide you as you consider who’ll be best suited to support you during birth.
Ask the question, “Does it feel right?” Do you feel a sense of relief with the decisions you’ve made about your birthing team, or do you feel tension when you think about it? If you feel uneasy, then you aren’t at peace with your choice and changes need to be made. And remember– it’s never too late to change providers, or kick someone out of the room. Seriously, even when you are in the throes of breathing through a contraction, remember that you hired that person and you can fire them too if they are making you uncomfortable or pressuring you into something you don’t feel is needed!
The earlier you trust your intuition, the better.
I was only ten weeks along when I felt the urge to go ahead and hire the doula I felt called to. If I had chosen later on, she might not have been available, as she only takes a few clients per month. Or, if I hadn’t listened to my gut at all and used a friend as a doula like i did with my last birth, I know I would have been anxious when I went into labor and my hired midwife couldn’t make it in time. While, yes, my midwife has an assistant and back-ups in place, I didn’t feel comfortable having just anybody at my birth. I knew I needed to have peace and confidence in my birth team no matter what happened– and my gut let me know who that was months in advance. You can avoid a lot of toiling about your decision if you take the time now to listen deeply to your own instincts.
The bottom line is that a momma should feel safe and confident in her provider and whoever else she invites into the birthing room. Learning to trust our gut on who those specific people should be is an important process as we prepare for birth. That little voice is smart, and it won’t let you down!