The Two Doulas Must-Have List for Pregnancy

‘Tis the season for wishlists and we at Two Doulas can’t resist a good list. But the last thing you need as you navigate having a baby is another list of things to buy. This year we are trying a new kind of Must-Have list

Here are Two Doulas’ top Must-Haves for pregnancy:

1. A Good Listener

Our society doesn’t place nearly enough importance on listening to pregnant folks. In fact, telling pregnant people what to eat, what not to drink, how to sleep, what to buy or read, has become something of a national pastime. And don’t even get me started on people who assume pregnant folks want to hear the horrible thing that happened to their cousin’s friend’s niece when she had her baby. What I consider the top of this must-have list for those of you becoming parents this year is a person or people in your life who are good listeners. Being a good listener sometimes takes work and people who love you may be so excited to share their ideas and wishes for you that they don’t leave room to listen. If this happens, feel free to show them this: 

A Whole Body Listening Image

We could all use a reminder every now and then.

2. A Supportive Care Provider

We consider this a Must-Have even knowing that our healthcare system is far from perfect. But we think you and every pregnant person deserves a doctor or midwife who respects their values and will work to incorporate their wishes wherever possible. There is a myth in our region that finding a doctor or midwife is like winning the lottery but the truth is, if they don’t feel like a good fit, you can change providers. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you must. Not everyone wants to make additional changes when they feel used to what they’ve got and as doulas we are not in the business of forcing people to do things they don’t want to do. Which brings me to my next item on this list.

3. A Support Person To Accompany You, Like A Doula

Not to toot my own horn but I know first hand the value of having a supportive, non-judgemental professional whose sole function is to reassure me and cater to my physical and emotional comfort throughout pregnancy and birth. I know because I had 2 kids and was very VERY high maintenance. And you know what? I have zero shame about that. Why? Because my doula was there for me and my partner, helping frame my needs and wishes. This allowed me to feel great about not always feeling great. I was able to take the space and time I needed when there were hard times during pregnancy and I was less fearful and more relaxed heading into birth. Hiring a doula isn’t the piece of the puzzle that makes the baby come out (I think we all know how that works) but it is one that helps the transition to parenthood feel more supported and less scary.

These days, birth support may look a little different with a doula depending on where you are giving birth, but thanks to technology and creativity, we can still be a part of the big day in meaningful and helpful ways.

4. Dignity

This is 100% a Must-Have! You have earned the right to be treated like an adult while pregnant and giving birth. Enough is enough with infantilizing full grown adults bringing babies into the world! It is up to you to decide how covered or uncovered you are while labouring and, indeed, what you choose to wear. There is a pervasive idea that giving birth somehow means you have to give up your dignity or modesty or even your right to privacy and that isn’t so. Being treated with dignity in pregnancy, birth, and postpartum is just correct.

We recommend taking a prenatal class to prepare for a birth that places your dignity and values at the top. No matter what circumstances look like when your baby arrives, you deserve to be treated like the super duper amazing grownup person that you are.

5. All The Pillows

The last item on our list is fluffier than some of the others but, in my mind, no less important. You must have all the pillows you need. All of them. Every. Single. One. Getting comfortable in pregnancy and those tender postpartum weeks is HARD! You might need every pillow in the house. That’s just fine! If your partner needs to use a rolled up sweatshirt while you use 87 pillows to cradle you in comfort while you slumber, so be it! Long ones, thick ones, curved or straight…. There are no limits. Bonus, a lot of “pregnancy” pillows make great nursing pillows as well!

My dog being very comfortable

This holiday season, things are hard enough. You deserve comfort, dignity, support, and the feeling of being heard.