Myth: Doulas only provide support for home births & pressure a mother to choose natural birthing options.
Doulas are happy to practice in all birth settings including home, birth centers, and hospitals. A good doula's job is to be completely non-bias in the birthing choices of the mother and the family. With this, it is also a doula's role to provide evidence-based resources for the mother as requested so that she can make her own educated decisions. You should never feel pressured or demoralized from your doula because of your birthing choices.
Myth: Doulas and Midwives are the same things.
This is a common misconception for those who are unaware of a doula's role. Though doulas may be in attendance throughout the entire labor and offer continuous support, they do not perform any clinical or medical procedures such as: taking blood pressure, monitoring fetal heart tones, performing vaginal exams, catching the baby or providing postpartum clinical care. A midwife is a qualified medical professional with a recognized licensure which enables her to provide perinatal care to her patients. Midwives may perform clinical and medical tasks as listed above.
Myth: A doula will take away the role of the husband/partner.
A doula's role is not only to assist the expecting mother but the partner and family members as well. One of a doula's greatest desires in her service is to encourage the bond between the mother, father/partner, and baby. Often times the father or partner may be unsure and/or hesitant during the labor and birth on how they can help or be of service to their laboring loved one. A doula can guide and quietly assist the partner in these circumstances so that they feel needed and important.
"While the doula probably knows more than the partner about birth, hospitals, and maternity care, the partner knows more about the woman's personality, likes and dislikes, and needs. Moreover, he or she loves the woman more than anyone else there." - Penny Simkin
Myth: I've had a baby before so a doula wouldn't really be useful to me.
Whether this is your very first baby or 10th baby, a doula can be an incredible source of support to you and your family during this time. Just as every child is different, every birth is different and has different needs. Doulas listen and acknowledge your specific circumstances and needs, then evaluate how they can be most helpful for each unique birth.
Myth: My doula will be my voice in discussing decisions with the hospital staff.
A doula will provide education, and help the expecting parents to understand their various options when making important decisions, however the doula does not communicate for the mother and/or partner. Instead, a doula will help encourage the parents, so that they feel comfortable and confident speaking with the medical staff on their own behalf.