When you're assembling your birth team, it's so important to understand everything you're going to need in labor. Not every member on your team will be able to fill all of your buckets, which is why you need to build just that, a team!
The first thing you need is knowledge. Now under this is a VERY wide range, and the knowledge you need may vary depending on your goals. However, at a very basic level, you need to be safe, you need to be cared for, and you need people with tangible skills to not only help you birth your baby safely, but also with less pain, and in a way that's safe for your body AND your baby.
The next bucket you need to fill is time. Unfortunately, your labor isn't going to stop and start at the convenience of your support team, so you need to make sure you're covered with the knowledge above for your entire labor. Having a team that can work together to make sure you're covered in support 100% of the time is a huge part of a safe and empowered birth.
So with the knowledge and time buckets to fill, let's assemble your team!
For most, this is the OG of the team members. Chances are they were there from the very beginning, and have been around for pregnancy, appointments, and everything in between. However, when I refer to your partner, this doesn't have to always be a romantic partner. Sometimes this is a family member, parent, or close friend. Think - the human you plan on bringing to your labor. This person doesn't fill your knowledge bucket, but they fill alot of your time bucket. Not completely, since they will require time to rest, use the restroom, and eat. But it's a great start, and they're an important part of the team.
This person includes your Obstetricians, Midwifes, and Nurses. Anyone who will be performing clinical management and tasks. These team members fill alot of your knowledge bucket. They're important for safety of you and your baby. However, the time they spend with you is minimal. They have other patients, other tasks to complete, and usually won't be attending the entirety of your labor. That being said, these people are amazing. They work so hard, are so important, and can be miracle workers when they're needed. But they leave your time bucket low.
With these two team members, you have most of your time covered, but you're unfortunately missing the important knowledge and hands on skills for a lot of your labor. This leaves you with a longer, more painful labor. This can also leave you at a higher risk of interventions such as labor augmentation, and even cesarean section. So what's the missing piece?
That's me! Those gaps you have are filled by your doula! We have the knowledge and hands on skills you need to help keep labor moving along, with less pain, and less need for interventions. AND - we spend the time with you that your providers can't. So with the addition of your doula, you've essentially created a knowledge bucket that's overflowing with safety, hands on skills, and resources that last beyond pregnancy. You've also begun to overflow on the time that you'll have this support. Between your providers, your partner, and I, you will always have someone there, cheering you on, and supporting you for a safe and empowered birth.