Labor Doulas & Nurses – Who’s Who?
As birth and postpartum doula’s we are collectively a fan of your hospital nurse. Why? Because your labor nurse, your recovery nurse, newborn nurses, and NICU nurses matter during your journey. They are a member of your care team. And you receiving encouragement and support when we aren’t alongside you is a big deal! Whether you are having your first or your third hospital birth, we want you to know the importance of good support persons. Especially if you haven’t birthed in a hospital setting yet.
Also, we want you to know we don’t replace these highly trained medical professionals. In fact, we do something completely different and equally as valuable.
Your nurses job is to meet the needs of you (their patient), the midwife or doctor, and the hospital.
Some of the expected tasks that your nurse might do to meet various maternal-infant need include:
- admissions or registration
- patient monitoring
- cervical checks, if desired
- administration of IV or oral medicine
- fetal monitoring
- attending to midwife/doctor needs
- welcoming babe (cleaning, weighing, and checking newborn’s vital statistics)
- checking and/or monitoring mother or birthing person’s recovery,
- and some breastfeeding support
In certain circumstances, their role may be different. We know this, see this, and honor this daily.
Regardless, you are typically not their only patient and their time with you is limited. Additionally, no matter how amazing your nurse is – you don’t have the relationship you do with your doula who has been with you oftentimes for months or years before you’ve given birth. You may bond with your nurse during labor, birthing, and the days following – but most of the time that relationship does end when you walk out the door (unless you’re a hospital long-hauler with a babe in the NICU… those relationships are often for life!).
What does my doula do?
Cherry Blossom labor and birth doulas specialize in providing you – the mother or birthing person – with the emotional support and physical comforts you need; and often establish a relationship with you long before babe or babies arrive – though there are circumstances when the relationship is shorter (and just as sweet).
Your doula will:
- help prepare your family ahead of time and during labor to best understand what to expect
- support mother’s choices, decisions, and advocacy
- comfort partners and communicate needs of birthing person
- offer nonjudgmental companionship
- remind mothers to hydrate, eat, and rest
- may suggest positions that are best for progress, and
- are the most gentle hands and hearts in a sacred life space
… amongst many, many other things!
Also, doulas are known to reduce mother’s risk for perinatal depression and anxiety. And we work for you to leave your birth experience feeling supported, a part of the decision making process, and truly cared for as you bring their baby or babies earth side!
This is such a gift. And quite a different relationship than that with your nurse!
So who matters most?
Both matter in completely different ways for your hospital birth. If you’re looking for someone to guide your entire journey, we are here. Our team has an abundance of caring hearts and full spectrum doulas who will advocate for you to ask questions and research your options. We work to connect families with like-minded providers that they trust (Midwives and Doctors) in the birth setting of their choice (hospital, birth center, or home); and, we know that this is the biggest decision that will directly affect a family’s birth experience.
Questions for the road ahead?
We’re with you!
Your Cherry Blossom Doulas
We end this post with a shoutout to the incredible NICU nurses who support our clients with complicated and early babes. September is NICU awareness month, with NICU nurses day on the 15th!
Hi! I’m Alyssa Leon. I lead Cherry Blossom Doula Services, LLC – an inclusive birth + postpartum doula team in Arizona; and mentor doulas in Arizona and beyond.