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.
"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.