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Last weekend Amy Schumer and her husband Chris Fischer welcomed their son Gene Attell Fischer into the world, bringing Schumer's struggle with hyperemesis gravidarum to an end (finally), and now she's opening up about why she's so grateful for her doula and medical care team.

It's no secret that her pregnancy was super hard. She "threw up violently and felt sick mostly every day" while waiting for Gene, but Schumer says this experience made her realize that women are "warriors and capable of anything."

And she's not just talking about the strength it takes to bring a new human into the world with your own body, but also the strength of the women who support mothers—like doulas, midwives, doctors and nurses.

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"I was lucky enough to get to have a doula," Schumer writes, noting that her doula is Domino Kirke of Carriage House Birth and that Kirke made Schumer and her husband feel totally secure and supported throughout the pregnancy and the birth of baby Gene. For Schumer, a doula was the backup she needed during a difficult pregnancy.

"I really recommend getting one if you can," she continues.

Why doulas are important

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), research indicates "that one of the most effective tools to improve labor and delivery outcomes is the continuous presence of support personnel, such as a doula."

Indeed, studies have found that when women have the support of a doula they are less likely to get an epidural or get a c-section. Unfortunately, research also indicates that the mothers who would most benefit from having a doula are often those who can least afford to hire one.

Some states are making strides to make doulas more accessible to women who don't have the funds Schumer does, but there is a lot more that needs to be done to ensure that all moms have the support they need during pregnancy, birth and the postpartum period, in America and around the world.

Why medical care is so incredibly important

Doulas like Kirke don't provide medical care, they're there to support and advocate for a mother. Doulas aren't a substitute for the care of a midwife or doctor, they're a compliment to it.

In addition to thanking her doula, Schumer is so thankful for the medical providers who helped her through her pregnancy and birth.

"Doctor Brill and all the nurses and pediatricians at Lenox Hill and all the other hospitals I spent time in this year, thank you for everything," she writes.

As Schumer points out in her Instagram post, millions of mothers every year deliver babies without any assistance from a skilled birth attendant. According to the World Health Organization and Unicef "ensuring that every baby is delivered with the assistance of a skilled birth attendant which generally includes a medical doctor, nurse or midwife" is critical to reducing maternal deaths around the world.

We're so happy that Schumer got the support she needed during her pregnancy and birth, and we're so happy to see that she's using her influence to draw attention to the fact that so many women don't.

Yes, women are warriors. But even warriors need an army.

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When I was expecting my first child, I wanted to know everything that could possibly be in store for his first year.

I quizzed my own mom and the friends who ventured into motherhood before I did. I absorbed parenting books and articles like a sponge. I signed up for classes on childbirth, breastfeeding and even baby-led weaning. My philosophy? The more I knew, the better.

Yet, despite my best efforts, I didn't know it all. Not by a long shot. Instead, my firstborn, my husband and I had to figure it out together—day by day, challenge by challenge, triumph by triumph.

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The funny thing is that although I wanted to know it all, the surprises—those moments that were unique to us—were what made that first year so beautiful.

Of course, my research provided a helpful outline as I graduated from never having changed a diaper to conquering the newborn haze, my return to work, the milestones and the challenges. But while I did need much of that tactical knowledge, I also learned the value of following my baby's lead and trusting my gut.

I realized the importance of advice from fellow mamas, too. I vividly remember a conversation with a friend who had her first child shortly before I welcomed mine. My friend, who had already returned to work after maternity leave, encouraged me to be patient when introducing a bottle and to help my son get comfortable with taking that bottle from someone else.

Yes, from a logistical standpoint, that's great advice for any working mama. But I also took an incredibly important point from this conversation: This was less about the act of bottle-feeding itself, and more about what it represented for my peace of mind when I was away from my son.

This fellow mama encouraged me to honor my emotions and give myself permission to do what was best for my family—and that really set the tone for my whole approach to parenting. Because honestly, that was just the first of many big transitions during that first year, and each of them came with their own set of mixed emotions.

I felt proud and also strangely nostalgic as my baby seamlessly graduated to a sippy bottle.

I felt my baby's teething pain along with him and also felt confident that we could get through it with the right tools.

I felt relieved as my baby learned to self-soothe by finding his own pacifier and also sad to realize how quickly he was becoming his own person.



As I look back on everything now, some four years and two more kids later, I can't remember the exact day my son crawled, the project I tackled on my first day back at work, or even what his first word was. (It's written somewhere in a baby book!)

But I do remember how I felt with each milestone: the joy, the overwhelming love, the anxiety, the exhaustion and the sense of wonder. That truly was the greatest gift of the first year… and nothing could have prepared me for all those feelings.

This article was sponsored by Dr. Brown's. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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My husband and I always talked about starting a family a few years after we were married so we could truly enjoy the “newlywed” phase. But that was over before it started. I was pregnant on our wedding day. Surprise!

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