One of the top questions families ask when it comes to birthing is, is having a doula worth it? GYRL TV, Exclusive Interviews host Dana Reese sat down with CEO Psalms Frye of Peace and Compassion Birth to talk about the pros and cons of a doula.
The first thing to look at when considering if a doula is worth it, is the role of a doula. Psalms Frye says the doula looks at evidence-based research when it comes to supporting a parent making critical decisions during childbirth. The evidence-based detail cover post-partum childbirth as well. That includes assistance with helping breastfeeding, helping the baby sleep when moms are recovering etc.
The CEO is an expert in care taking for children. The mother of five uses her life experience and gift to help other moms retain proper support and information. Like many hearing life changing situations, like Charles Johnson‘s during the pandemic pushed the mom into advocating and supporting families in need. Charles Johnson’s wife died during childbirth. The husband attempted to find help when he saw the blood from his wife’s catheter turn pink. But the medical staff told him his wife was not a priority.
Some of the severities of not having a doula could be life threatening.
For instance, SHA-ASIA Washington, a paraprofessional at a Brooklyn charter went into to the hospital On July 2nd Woodhull Medical Center, a hospital in the Bed-Stuy section of Brooklyn, for a routine stress test. Due to her past due pregnancy and high blood pressure levels the hospital decided to keep her on watch. The hospital ended up giving her pitocin, a medication that causes uterine contractions, to induce labor, asking Sha-Asia if she wanted an epidural. After some hesitation, she assented. But unfortunately, this decision may have ended her life. Washington passed away while giving birth.
According to Williams, Washington felt pressured into having an epidural, and her death was due to the improper administration of the epidural. McLemore says that complications from anesthesia such as epidurals, though rare, is one of the top 10 causes of maternal deaths during labor. She also says that black and indigenous people are more likely to report experiencing “pressure and coercion or being repeatedly asked to do things you’ve already declined” during labor.
Doula’s are there as a second voice to moms, and families.
Assisting them with affirming their safer decisions. If Washington may have had a doula, as her second voice this may have saved her life.
Another mom, Chelean Eaton was treated for meningitis days after giving birth. An epidural catheter was left in her back for 28 hours. The role of a doula ensures proper care for the mom during birth. Also, double checking for any issues concerning treatment both pre and post op.
Psalms Frye also spoke out about the role of a doula as a reciprocated relationship. Part of a doula’s job insists on making sure each mom is paired with the right doula as well based on research and needs.
Check out the interview below. Subscribe to GYRL TV to support women in journalism.