Sure, you have read the books, and taken a childbirth education class. You have heard stories from friends and relatives about their births. Your partner is very supportive and will be by your side the whole way. Maybe you have even been through it all a time or two before. That is all really beneficial when preparing for birth, but every birth is different, and having someone to guide and support you along the way makes a huge difference.
Having a doula is like having a wedding coordinator. Your wedding day is one of the biggest days of your life, and it takes a lot of preparation. There are so many decisions to be made it can get a little overwhelming. A wedding coordinator is familiar with all the venues, knows what different officiates have to offer, can help you plan your ceremony, can advise you on what flowers will give you the look you are going for, and can help you understand the etiquette for a ceremony and reception. On the big day, she is there to help things go smoothly, calm your nerves, and help you roll with the punches if there is a hitch in the plans. All of this while keeping the focus on you and your partner, and never judging you for your choices.
Likewise, pregnancy and birth can be full of decisions that can get a little overwhelming, and the day your child is born is a day you will always remember. A doula is familiar with the hospitals in your area, knows what the different O.B.s have to offer, can help you prepare your birth plan, can advise on what birthing options will help you have the birth you desire, and help you to understand what to expect during your pregnancy and birth. On the big day, she is there to support you, offer pain relieving techniques, and think through your options if things don't go as planned. All of this while keeping the focus on you and your partner, and never judging you for your choices.
In both scenarios, it is possible for you and your partner to do it all on your own and still have a wonderful and memorable day. However, having that support and guidance goes a long way to reducing stress and discomfort. Knowing you have someone there who is focused on your needs, no matter what, is priceless.
You may be thinking, “That all makes sense, but my partner really wanted to be the one to help me.” A doula doesn't replance your partner, but instead can show your partner ways to support you they might not have considered,and help them to be as involved or hand off as they want to be. She can also give your partner peace of mind that you will never be left alone if they have to leave the room for any reason. Seeing someone you love in pain can be troubling at times, especially if you didn't know quite what to expect. Having a doula there reassuring them that everything is normal, can be a real comfort to your partner.
Overall, hiring a doula for your birth is one of the best decisions you can make. No one will be able to support you quite like this trained professional. She is completely dedicated to helping your birth to be an empowering and beautiful experience that you will always remember