Did you doula?
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A doula serves as an advocate for a laboring woman and helps her communicate with medical staff. She also may have the role of keeping a mother's birth plan on track, since it's easy to lose sight of your goals when the contractions set in. But according to this article from the NYT, having a doula in the room can occasionally cause discord and confusion over what medical interventions are actually necessary.
The problem seems to be when women choose a doula whose principles don't closely match their own. For instance, if you like the idea of a natural birth but aren't opposed to an epidural, you don't want to hire a doula whose life goal is for every woman to have a medication-free birth. It's an interesting read if you're considering hiring a doula, and may spark some questions that you want to ask while going through the hiring process.
Though I never hired a doula, I've heard many positive stories from women who did. Did you hire a doula? Was your experience a positive one? Would you do it again? Doulas -- what do you think about this NYT article?