• Maria Varvoutis, MPH, CD, PCD

Squashing My Own Skepticism About Doulas

Updated: Oct 19, 2021

When I first started having kids I thought that doulas were people who couldn’t be trusted, had no sound advice, and were too expensive. I mean, come on, if my insurance doesn’t cover it, then why would I get one?!


Ty, 9 mo old, 2017

These might be some of the reasons that you have decided in the past to not hire a doula too.


Olivia, 1 week old, 2020

We do not have to have the same ideals, religion, education background, or heritage, but what we can both agree upon is that you came to this site probably because you just had a baby, are having a baby soon, or know someone who has a baby. We can agree that care is needed—for someone.



I was a little late to this realization. After a sudden C-section with my first I spiraled into postpartum anxiety that played out in unexplainable onsets of fear about the safety of my baby. When I called a local lactation support hotline they ridiculed my style of breastfeeding. I was shook to my core, and kept my head down. I grew to love my baby but it took me a long time. For many mothers this feeling is not immediate and that is how it was for me.


While bouncing around my one year old I became pregnant with my second. I was fortunate to have an amazing pregnancy and even ran a marathon relay. I thought I was invincible. Through a long, slow, and extremely painful VBAC my second baby was born. He is my strongest willed child and immediately showed it upon birth. I wish I could say I reached out for the help of a doula at that time, but I did not. The entire first year of my second child is still somewhat of a blur. I didn’t want to admit to anyone that I was struggling and therefore threw myself into exercise. While I ran a lot, I did not rise above my postpartum mental health issues until I started becoming more involved in a women’s fitness group that worked out with their babies. These were my people.


Fast forward another year, and I was pregnant with my third (I still can’t answer if this is my last...). I experienced this entire pregnancy and delivery in a foreign country. While living in this country I was able to utilize their doula system as it is covered by most of the citizens there by the State. Therefore, I received doula support both before I delivered and after. Experiencing this type of care while away from family and friends changed my life. I realized how much I wanted to do this career path on my own, and help both new and seasoned families with their ’latest additions’. My postpartum experience was mind altering different because of the support of a doula. Hands down. My daily fears and concerns about both myself and my newborn were able to be answered every day by a trained professional. My latch concerns were immediately referred to specialists (as my doula was not certified in that field). It was mind blowing to me that someone would allow me to talk to them in my pajamas, and would ask how I was doing--and truly meant it.


This might not be for you, but if you would like to see what a doula can do for you and your family—just ask. I promise if I’m not the right fit for you, some one is. Don’t stop here. Keep looking. Find the help you deserve. 💪🏽👩🏽‍🍼👣


Maria



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