Thanks to an ever-growing, massive amount of passionate birth professionals and hard-working, advocacy-driven people all around the world, countries like our United States, are finally starting to become more aware of the purpose and dire need for professional birth and postpartum doulas. The title that is perhaps still lesser known is that of a “Fertility Doula.” So what is a Fertility Doula and why should you hire one?
Before we dive in here, let’s start with a few quick facts:
1 in 8 couples struggle with infertility issues or issues sustaining a pregnancy.
Approximately one-third of infertility is attributed to the female partner, one-third attributed to the male partner and one-third is caused by a combination of problems in both partners or, is unexplained.
Approximately 44% of women with infertility have sought medical assistance. Of those who seek medical intervention, approximately 65% give birth. (Infertility As A Covered Benefit, William M. Mercer, 1997)
Approximately 85-90% of infertility cases are treated with drug therapy or surgical procedures. Fewer than 3% need advanced reproductive technologies like in vitro fertilization (IVF). (www.asrm.org)
The most recently available statistics indicate the live birth rate per fresh non-donor embryo transfer is 47.7% if the woman is under 35 years of age and 39.2% if the woman is age 35-37. (Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology, 2013)
Facts courtesy of RESOLVE
So why hire a fertility doula?
1. Calm Your Fears & Support Emotions
Just as, for example, a birth doula has been trained to support you emotionally & physically throughout a birth, so has a fertility doula been trained to support you emotionally throughout your fertility journey. Whether you are trying to conceive (TTC) for the first time, TTC after a miscarriage, or on an IUI/IVF journey, a fertility doula has been trained & educated on how to support your emotional needs for those situations. Fertility doulas hold space in clinic appointments and invasive procedures. They calm your emotions and fears with evidence-based knowledge. In private fertility coaching sessions or fertility doula-led support groups, your emotions and concerns are heard and cared for. Some fertility doulas offering in-home after-care will help you process your emotions after procedures like egg-retrieval, egg-transfer and miscarriages.
2. Physical Support
Some fertility doulas will accompany clients to clinic appointments to take notes and provide emotional and physical support along with relaxation techniques during invasive procedures. After procedures, most fertility doulas offer in-home care to hold space to process those events or help with things physically like laundry, dishes, meals, etc.
3. Provider of Evidence-based Education
Fertility doulas educate their clients on not just their options, but on the steps that come before the options. Although you may already be seeing a care provider for certain fertility assistance, you may not be getting the education to help you better make decisions to move forward. A fertility doula helps alleviate the stress of the “unknown” by helping them navigate through their options and educating clients on things like fertility awareness, charting, fertility nutrition, mind & body balance, top local referrals and more.
4. An Educated, Unbiased Fertility COACH
In reality, a fertility doula could also be called a fertility coach. They are an unbiased, educated third party that is with you where you need them every step of the way whether you’re just starting to plan conception and need to learn the basics, or you’ve been on this journey for some time and need that extra outside resource that isn’t your care provider. They are you personal life coach for this particular season of your life – cheering you on and helping you navigate through your resources and options rather than you having to rely on your “Google coach”.
5. Non-medical Support
Just as a birth doula is non-medical, so too is your fertility doula. Your fertility doula is not a midwife, doctor, or fertility doctor. This person won’t be performing any procedures on you or checking any cervixes or sperm counts. Yet, this person is educated in guiding you through those options and hearing your voice and concerns throughout the entire process. They do not take first steps in the medical direction. They start with the basics and work their way up, guiding you along the way and where necessary, guiding you to local referrals like acupuncturists, doctors, endocrinologists, etc.
Want to know more about what a Fertility Doula is? Check out my Fertility Doula service page here.
Have you hired a Fertility Doula? If so, share what you loved about your Fertility Doula and how they helped you most! Are you a Fertility Doula? Let us know any other great reasons to hire a Fertility Doula!