5 Secrets Your Labor Doula WON’T Tell You


5 Secrets Your Labor Doula WON’T Tell You

Mary Stelter


Many women hire a labor doula because they’ve read the research indicating that doulas help to lower intervention rates, and lead to a more satisfying and safe birth experience. And we are certainly proud to assist in those goals. 

But here’s what we won’t tell you about how we help you achieve those goals: 

#5 We Research Your OB or Midwife 

Even if we personally know many of the birth professionals in the area, the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area boasts a birth provider population in the thousands. So we research them. 

This includes OBs, Residents, Interns, Midwives, Family Practitioners who sometimes attend births, alternative medicine practitioners, DOs and more.  

We have learned the active listening skills necessary to work with all of them. So that when a new person shows up on your birth team, we can help lower tension for everyone on the team. 

#4 We Tour the Hospital/Birth Center and Meet the Staff 

Even if we’ve worked in this location many times, we tour it again. Making connections and building relationships of trust with the professionals in your birth place will help us to work cooperatively on your big day. And the rapport that we build with the other members of your birth team can resolve a number of challenges before they even appear. 

#3 We’ll Chop Your Birth Plan 

The 8-page birth plan that you may have compiled after your childbirth class or in your birth planning session with your doula team is absolutely perfect – FOR US. We want to know every detail of the most beautiful experience you can possibly imagine. 

And we also know that if you hand your care provider a bound volume of text as a birth plan, he or she won’t read it. They simply don’t have time. 

So we’ll help you know which items on your birth plan are essential to achieving YOUR birth goals, and which items are things that your doula team can take care of silently. For instance, your OB doesn’t need to know that you want to labor in a darkened room, but we do. So we’ll dim the lights and you can save the limited and precious time you have with your OB in prenatals for some of the higher priority items. 

#2 As Soon as You Go into Labor, We Go to Sleep 

In those early hours of labor when your contractions are irregular, infrequent, and unobtrusive, we’ll encourage you to distract yourself with any last minute preparations or to rest. And we’ll take a nap also. With our cell phone on the pillow. 

Because we know how unpredictable labor is, and how possible it might be for your labor to pick up pace in the middle of the night (happens all the time). And when you need us there for you, with top notch physical strength and attuned emotional support; we want to be on our best game. So we rest first. 

#1 We Won’t Want “IT” More Than You Do (Whatever “IT” Is) 

Learning your goals is our top priority. Once we’ve learned the key elements of your birth plan, we will move heaven and earth to help you achieve those goals. But we won’t work harder than you do. It’s not possible. 

Only you can tell when you reach that razor thin edge between hard physical/emotional work for a goal and “suffering.” We will push you right to the edge, but the moment you speak the word, we will stop.  

This is vitally important, because trauma doesn’t occur simply during times of intensity. Trauma occurs when we feel powerless during times of intensity. So we will match the intensity of our support to the intensity of your work. 

This separates us from other doulas. Many doulas who have an agenda with birth work, will push a client past the breaking point because THE DOULA wanted her to have a certain experience. We feel that this is unethical and dangerous. 

So when you’re hiring a labor doula in Los Angeles, you now have the information of what goes on behind the scenes. You can identify those doulas who will work hard, and work smart, for YOU. Because you deserve the best support available. You deserve a professional doula.