Use a Doula for a Better Birth Experience

BlogHer Original Post

When I prepared for my first son’s birth, I did what everyone else did – took childbirth classes with my husband under the impression that he would be my support. I also asked my best friend to come to hold my hand. A wise mother of six told me to think twice about my plan. “Rachel, you need someone there who is experienced with birth.” I told her it’d be fine. Famous last words! Let’s just say the birth didn’t go well at all.

For my second birth, I was smarter – I hired a doula. Completely. Different. Experience. I had a beautiful, natural healing birth. For my third birth – this one twins born via cesarean section – I also hired a doula. I wouldn’t birth without one, and you shouldn’t either. Of course, hindsight is 20/20, and for my first birth, I didn’t know about doulas. I had no idea what they were, how they could help, or where to find one.

In this crib sheet, you’ll learn:

  • What doulas do and don’t do
  • The benefits of having a doula –- for you and your partner
  • How doulas help partners/significant others
  • Where to find a doula, when to start looking for one, and what to do if you procrastinated on this
  • What kind of training and certifications your doula should have
  • The key sign a doula is the right one for you
  • How much doulas cost and what to do if money is tight
  • Getting to know your doula and helping your doula help you

Read and print out the entire Crib Sheet for using a doula now.

Rachel Gurevich

A self-described womb warrior and creative writer, Rachel Gurevich is the author of The FabJob Guide to Become a Doula (, 2000), The Doula Advantage: Your Complete Guide to Having an Empowered and Positive Birth with the Help of a Professional Childbirth Assistant (Three Rivers Press, 2003), and, along with coauthor Sharon Perkins, Birth Plans for Dummies (Wiley, 2012). She also writes about fertility for ( Connect with her at

This post is part of the Absolute Beginners editorial series made possible by Pampers and BlogHer. Our advertisers do not produce or approve editorial content.


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