A myth is defined as a false belief and when it comes to Doula's, there's are a lot of them. Everything from gender to function and personal beliefs to delivery outcomes are all among the most commonly believed fallacies. Below is a list of some of these myths and their corrections.
Myth: Doula's deliver babies
Correction: Doula's do not deliver babies. We also do not take the place of your Doctor or Midwife as we are not medical practitioners. We are the emotional and sometimes physical support for you and your partner during the birth and postpartum period.
Myth: All Doula's are Female
Correction: considering your reading this myth on a Male Doula's page, I think you've answered your own question. While we may be few and far between (I am one of two Male Doula's in San Antonio) we are still very much here.
Myth: Doula's are anti-medicine/hospital/establishment
Correction: this one comes almost entirely out of Hollywood. The TV and Movie industry would have you believe that all Doula's are hemp wearing, patchouli oil smelling, hippiesque entities, who believe that all women must have an un-medicated vaginal birth, in their home, surrounded by people singing Kumbaya, while they deliver their baby in the middle of a drum circle. While I love a good drum circle as much as the next person, this is Hollywood misrepresenting our profession usually for comedic purposes. In a nutshell, Doula's will support you no matter what kind of birth you have, where it is, or what happens during the delivery. Put another way: your birth, your way.
Myth: Doula's take the place of your partner
Correction: this is simply not true. While we have an intimate knowledge of birth, your partner has an intimate knowledge of you. They are a vital source of information in the birth room, because they can tell often before we can, when you are getting frustrated, worn out or simply ready to be done.To this end, our goal is to get your partner as involved in your support as we can. We help them, help you.
Myth: You don't need a Doula if you have a Midwife
Correction: While some Midwives are actually cross trained as Doula's, the Midwives sole goal at your birth is the health and safety of Mother and Baby. Your Doula's sole goal is to support you and your partner. Doula's often work in conjunction with your midwife to further enhance your birth experience. If you are planning on utilizing a Midwife, also strongly consider using a Doula to complete your birth team.
Myth: Doula's are only for un-medicated or "natural" births / you do not need a Doula if your having a Cesarean Section
Correction: Doula's are great for all sorts of births. We can work just as well with a person on an epidural as we can with those who are not. We support you and your birth, even if things do not go according to plan. We can also support you through an elective or emergency C-Section.
Myth: Having a Doula ensures you will have the birth that you want.
Correction: Birth is a dynamic and ever evolving entity. Even under the best of circumstances and regardless of who is on your birth team, there is a high probability you may have to deviate from your birth plan, whether it is something you elect to do or not. Unfortunately hiring a Doula cannot change this. We will do everything we can to support you, your partner and your birth plan, but like life, things change often at the drop of a hat. However it is also in these unplanned for scenarios that having a Doula is critical. We bring the experience, knowledge and support that can help you and your partner navigate these changes with relative ease.