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What to do about a doula??

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I'm so frustrated and worried and unsure of what to do! Perhaps a little rant from me and some advice from you lovely ladies will help sort things out.
Here's my issue: I want a doula! I know I've left it a little late in the game, but I've wanted one for months and months. DH gets offended whenever I mention it, like I'm questioning his manhood or something. He says I'm just scared he's not going to support me. I know he's going to support me and be awesome and calming and loving and great, but he is NOT going to know what to do in every situation.
I have a major history of anxiety, and my biggest fear in labour is being able to remain calm. I think any extra help I can recruit in this are would help. Since I got pregnant I have been constantly reading and researching and just learning as much as I possibly can about pregnancy and childbirth. DH grudgingly attended prenatal classes with me. He has not even read the partner support chapter in a book I asked him to look at. I want someone knowledgeable to assist me! Am I being unfaithful to him and horribly demanding, or what?
This pregnancy was deemed high-risk from the start, because of my gazillion fibroids. I was told I'd probably be on bed-rest, certainly be induced, most likely sectioned. Well my fibroids have gone and shrunk, caused me no pain, and they recently deemed my pregnancy normal!
Of course the one midwife in town is too busy to take me now, so my OB will be delivering... BUT I can still have the natural childbirth I wanted and thought was impossible... If I have good support.
So should I just call the doula, and hope DH comes around? The other major factor is money, and thats the big reason I haven't called yet. DH just recently got laid off, and I've been on medical leave this whole pregnancy because of how badly the docs thought it would go. But the more I think about, the more I think that this is something worth going into debt over. It's just, the more I read the more obvious it is that DH is ignorant of a lot that I'd like one of my support peolple to know...
Ok, long rant, but I needed to get that off my chest!
post #2 of 15
I'd try to explain how much a doula is a support to HIM too and that a good doula that you both like will NOT usurp his role.

See if you can get him to at least consider the possibility of meeting with a doula or two, they are often good at explaining to reluctant dads what their roll is.
post #3 of 15
Originally Posted by avivaelona View Post
I'd try to explain how much a doula is a support to HIM too and that a good doula that you both like will NOT usurp his role.

See if you can get him to at least consider the possibility of meeting with a doula or two, they are often good at explaining to reluctant dads what their roll is.

Labor can be long - my DH, who is super supportive, was falling asleep while applying back pressure (for back labor). Having extra hands there was good for everyone. Also, I know that my doula has attended hundreds of births and will have more ideas about positions, pain relief, etc. through her experience. My doula also does photography during the birth if you want it. Husbands and doulas aren't in competing roles - they are in complementary ones.
post #4 of 15
I second that. I also would explain to him that you think he will be an awesome support and the doula is not there to take his place, but to make it easier for him to fulfill his role. A doula can help you make decisions about things your doctor recommends. And if your dh isn't willing to read even one chapter in a book, I'd say he's going to be poorly prepared for labor and birth. Also, a doula can offer input as to what might help in certain situations that you may not even know about or think about. When I had my first, I couldn't even hear anybody but my doula. Especially when I needed to slow my breathing or relax. My dh was a great support, but I will never have a baby without a doula. And I used to be a midwife.
post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thank you! I think I just needed to hear it from someone else, that this is a valid thing to want and be fighting for!
I've explained to him so many times the role of a doula, read him excerpts from books and tried to assure him it's to help him too. He just gets all offended. I think I'll just try meeting with one and see if she can explain it in an inoffensive manner.
Thanks for your support!
post #6 of 15
We had to get past the hurdle of him being hurt too, but once he met her and realized that a HUGE part of her role was to support him, he is SO happy we decided to do it now. She has been priceless at this point and we haven't even had our baby yet! My DH has panic disorder and hypoglycemia, both of which made him horrible at our first DS's birth. He realizes now he can do this, but he needs her to help him.
post #7 of 15
I am a doula and second the notion that a doula is there to support the husband as well. Sometimes my job was to give hubby a shoulder massage because he had been tweaked in some position for hours supporting his wife. With a doula, hubby can walk outside to stretch or go to the bathroom without worrying his wife will be left unsupported. A doula can bring water and snacks to both parents if needed. Can be there to remember to take that first family photo moments after the baby is born. A doula can ask family members who may be slowing down labor to leave without risking offending. A doula can help sift through medical information and decisions calm and rationally and act as an advocate for what the couple wants. Having a doula takes the pressure off of the man to have to be and do everything.

I definitely recomend having a doula, and making sure he is comfortable with her as well. She is not his replacement, but rather a member of her team. It is okay to hire a doula and tell her that if everything is going well just to hang back. She is there to serve both of you, whatever that ends up looking like.
post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
Just thought I'd let you all know that I have called a doula! I'm so excited and after I called her I felt so much better right away, like I'm doing something for myself, standing up for what I want my birthing experience to be like. I'm so relieved, and the woman I called has been recommended to me by the local midwife, another doula and our childbirth educator... so I'm really excited to meet her! She's coming over to do a consultation tonight. And dh wasn't mad when I told him... and she said she'll ease his fears and assure him she is in no way taking his place.
SO glad I did this!!!!
post #9 of 15
I am a doula and all the doulas I know are allways will to work with women on the cost issue and most will take women for free if there are are speical circumstances...such as I and most I know do not charge teens or those on medicade. A lot will work on bartter too if your DH has a speical skill or you do they will trade services. All you have to do is ask, and if she won't she will know someone who will.

and Yes we are only there to support mom and partner not to take a place. I will ahve two doulas at my birth since i am doing this at home and I have three other children who will be here. They are friends of mine and are ready to explain anything and everything to my kids if need be. (not that my kids have not seen/heard/and read just about all the info out there)
and if anthing does happen your DH can go with the baby and the doula can stay with you or the otherway around..depending on who is needing the help. THis way neither person, mom or baby, is alone.
post #10 of 15
Good for you! I hope it goes well. I am a doula too and I just ditto everything else the other doulas said. Honestly I've been at births where the husband was just as appreciative of my presence as the birthing mother! You guys won't regret it. It's a lot to expect of dads (especially first timers!!) to be the sole support in such a primal, female event. My husband read all the books, went to class, knew TONS about birth (because I was already interested in it prior to becoming pregnant), but when it comes down to it, he's the dad and it's an emotional experience, he doesn't need to be thinking about positions and comfort measures and this and that. He needs to be able to experience the birth too. Anyway my point about that is I wouldn't worry that he hasn't read the book...IME the book knowledge goes right out the window when things are intense! That's why it's good to have a trained compassionate professional by your side.
post #11 of 15
Good luck. I will say that I don't think my DH really understood why I wanted a doula at my last birth until afterwards. When I got pregnant again one of the first questions he asked was "Are you going to hire the doula again?" Even at her prenatal visit on Sat, he said to her that she was probably there for him moreso that for me. With this being our first homebirth, having someone there who can focus on him will hopefully make him feel better. Sure, the MW will be there too, but her focus will be me/baby.
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
Hooray!!! I was talkin to my brother the other day, and lamenting my lack of doula, and lack of funds for said doula... and YAY!!!! Merry X-Mas to me!! He's getting us a doula for a present! I am so happy and relieved, I feel that I can really go into this birth confidently now, knowing I have good support and knowledgeable people around me and am doing the best I can for my baby. So So Happy!!!:
post #13 of 15
Awesome I'm happy for you.
post #14 of 15
What a sweet brother! That is great!

If it makes you feel any better, I just interviewed a doula on Saturday, and I'm due in a week I think getting the support you need is sooo important!
post #15 of 15
Megan, that is wonderful! What an awesome brother you have! Such a special and amazing gift to you...that is really cool.

Good luck and I wish you all the best w/ your doula
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