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Anyone skipping using a doula at home?

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 
We are having our first at home and our midwife recommended us hiring a doula. The problem is our insurance wouldn't cover it because they are not care providers. It is a big expense, and even if we got a student w/ a discount, it's a stranger here that I'm not really sure I need and/or will be much of a help anyway.

My husband and I took a long course on the Bradley Method. We know all the things we can try and have practiced them. He feels confident that he can handle anything that comes up.

Anyone do a homebirth without a doula? Did you wish you had someone else there? Is another family member enough support?

I kind of feel like here in NY doulas at home are used like a nurse is in the hospital, where they kind of monitor you so the doctor can just show up when you are ready to push. In this case, she's there to watch you and call the midwife when you are ready to push. Am I paranoid? It seems like a doula is a good investment if you are going to the hospital, but at home it seems excessive to me. Any thoughts? Experience on the subject?
post #2 of 37
I've never used one, but with the way hubby and I worked together I never felt I needed one. I've worked as a doula (I'm trained, not certified because I went the midwifery route instead) and worked with doulas so have no problems with them at births at all. I just personally didn't want or need one.
post #3 of 37
I think if your DH has been pro-active with the Bradley method, then you are good to go. My first baby was born at the hospital, and I did have a doula, but that's because my husband wasn't up on all the Bradley relaxation techniques. (we didn't take a class, I just read the book) He was supportive of natural childbirth, but we didn't practice it together, KWIM?
Definitely by my 2nd and third births I felt I didn't need a doula, because of his support.
post #4 of 37
I'm not using a doula. I'm also in NYC and it does seem quite common to use doulas, especially if it is your first baby. I think my midwife recommends it if it is your first child. As for me, I'm not too much of a people person so the less people around me the better. Other than my midwife, the only other people that will be in my home at the time of the birth are my husband and 3-year-old son.
post #5 of 37
I know I definitely could have used a doula for my hospital birth, but for my homebirth, I don't think I would have wanted the extra person here, to be honest. Then again, my mother was there and acted much as a doula, as far as labor support (heck, she even "caught" haha!) so in that sense, I did have a labor support person around other than hubby.
post #6 of 37
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much for all your thoughts. I guess I kind of got sucked into the idea of it being kind of mandatory since it's our first. I don't have a problem with doulas either--but I think we are going to be ok. It will just be me and husband and my mother who has had her own natural childbirth via Bradley Tech.

Bradley has some really great ideas. The shower already is great for relaxation. Being in my home, having a meal, taking a hike, sitting on my birthing ball and the pillow propped positions and slow dancing all appeal to me as good tools. DH has been good w/ practicing labor positions, the massage, and making me do my pelvic rocking and squats daily. (and also helping me watch my diet, especially now w/ the holidays--easy to replace protein and iron with tons of sugar and fat!)
He already joked about being a coach/doula as a second career if things don't go well with work. ha ha I'm so excited. Our baby will be here in about 6 weeks!

It's good to hear there are other couples out there that did this together, and confident moms. Thanks again & Happy Holidays! :-)
post #7 of 37
I just had my little girl 7 weeks ago at home and we didn't use a doula---mostly because we had two midwives and an apprentice midwife, my mom, my sil, and my husband. Whew that seems like a lot of people! In other words, doulas are great if you need an experienced support person, but at home, honestly your midwife should be around for a big chunk of your labor. And although my husband was amazingly supportive, if for some reason you don't think your midwife will be around--then I would consider hiring a doula---even if she ends up sitting in the other room for most of the time, or just giving your husband some breaks.
post #8 of 37
Does your midwife come with an assistant? If not, that might be one of the reasons she's recommending a doula - not only so you have another support person, but so SHE has a little help, too. That said, it does sound a little unusual for a midwife to recommend a doula for a home birth. My midwife suggested it to us, but only as a way of making sure we had a support person specifically for our 4 y/old. If you don't have older children, it's really hard to see why you'd need one, especially since your husband seems like he's really got his stuff together on this. In the end we decided not to hire a doula, because my midwife brings an assistant with her and because we have friends who've volunteered to help with our daughter if we need it. I would go with what you're comfortable with. If insurance won't pay and you can't afford it, then your midwife really can't argue with that!
post #9 of 37
Not getting one here (well, I am thinking about a post-partum doula, but not a labor doula).

My dh did awesome last time, he was all I needed...and that was in a hospital. My midwife has doula experience, so I feel like I will get anything else I need from her.
post #10 of 37
Nope, no doula. I had my DH, two sisters, mom and 2 midwives. This time it will be the same roster adding two friends. We're all on the very same page when it comes to birth so I don't feel like hiring a doula. I would though if my DH weren't as confident in his support of me and I didn't have the extra family and friends support.
post #11 of 37
I had a doula with my last homebirth and LOVED having her there. I actually wanted one to help support dh during labor. I'm a bit high-needs and like my partner's support, so I wanted someone that could give him a break as needed or offer suggestions to things that might help as well. I was very pleased with having her, even for a second birth, and felt she offered us a lot.

My dh is awesome at being loving and caring, but she really had spot on suggestions and ideas to help me along. And she was good at providing motivation to do helpful things I didn't want to do - like walking the stairs. My dh wouldn't have really come up with all that on his own. And I didn't feel like our Bradley class really prepared me well for dealing with labor, so I was glad she was there.

Now, this time around, we're probably not going to have one because our budget is just too tight. I have another friend that is supposed to be coming down to serve in that role, but she might not make it. But having done this recently with dh, I think we're in a much better place to skip the doula this time and I'm going with hypnobabies and feel like that will really help as well. Though if I had the money, I'd hire my doula again in a heart beat.
post #12 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by cookiemom View Post
The problem is our insurance wouldn't cover it because they are not care providers.
Did you know that doulas now have their own insurance code? You may already be aware just wanted to bring it to your attention because it's VERY new! Probably insurance companies won't know about it either if you just call and ask about a doula.

Of course it does not guarantee coverage, just FYI!

Q: What is the Health Care Provider Taxonomy Code that we are talking about?
A: It is a number 374J00000X. It is called "doula" and falls under the "Nursing Services Related Provider" section.
post #13 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by jessica_s View Post
Did you know that doulas now have their own insurance code? You may already be aware just wanted to bring it to your attention because it's VERY new! Probably insurance companies won't know about it either if you just call and ask about a doula.

Of course it does not guarantee coverage, just FYI!

Q: What is the Health Care Provider Taxonomy Code that we are talking about?
A: It is a number 374J00000X. It is called "doula" and falls under the "Nursing Services Related Provider" section.
post #14 of 37
No doula here. This will be our first. We our birthing at home with a mw and assistant mw, dh and a couple other people. I just don't feel like a doula is a neccesity for us.
post #15 of 37
My midwife suggested that I would not need a doula because she and her assistants are also doulas, like doula-ing, and would be happy to provide that kind of support during labor.

Another midwife I interviewed said that was not quite her style/main focus during labor and if I wanted lots of labor support that she would suggest that I hire a doula.

I would probably go with what my midwife recommended, because doing that with my birth worked out really well. My husband was a fabulous Bradley coach, but the midwife's doula experience/tips/tricks really helped him help me.
post #16 of 37
I'm not using one either, although I did with my hospital VBAC attempt & wouldn't have had it any other way.

My hb midwife comes with another midwife & 2 apprentice midwives all whom use to be doulas at one point. They don't mind being very hands on which is what I needed last time to to horrid back labor from a posterior baby.
post #17 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by cookiemom View Post

I kind of feel like here in NY doulas at home are used like a nurse is in the hospital, where they kind of monitor you so the doctor can just show up when you are ready to push. In this case, she's there to watch you and call the midwife when you are ready to push.
That seems strange. Won't your midwife be there the whole time? To me, that was one of the reasons that a midwife was preferable over an OB.

We used a doula with dd1, who was born in a hospital. She was invaluable as someone with experience with natural birth who was with me the whole time. We also had done Bradley, but DH just didn't have any experience, so I appreciated having the doula there.

We are not using a doula for this one, a homebirth. There will be two midwives and an assistant. I feel more confident in my abilities, since this is a second birth and, more important, I am more confident in my midwives' abilities to support me and give good advice.
post #18 of 37
I didn't have a doula at my hb in September. My mw had her apprentice there and my mom was in the room with us. Dh wasn't in the room until I was pushing dd out (he wasn't helping with my labor - tried but no go... and he was really helpful with the other two). I wouldn't have wanted anyone else there.

when I had ds, in the hospital, my sister was there as my doula and I was glad for her presence.
post #19 of 37
My labors tend to be very fast and I don't like being touched. My Dh's supportive presence and a midwife to what needs to be done was enough for us last time, and that's how we're planning this time too.
I think doulas are great for those who need the support, but they are not a requirement for a good birth.
post #20 of 37
Doulas aren't usually qualified to do any sort of monitoring/assisting. The whole idea is that they're at a birth for YOU. A MW and her assistant(s) will be looking out for you physically, but that's not always the same as the kind of emotional care a doula can provide. Your doula won't have to let go of your hand to take heart tones, but your MW would; that isn't about whether a MW is good at providing emotional support, it's about her priorities. A doula will also often come whenever in labor you want her to, while a MW will usually try not to come before active labor is established. I don't feel like it's unusual at all for a MW to recommend a doula at a homebirth, because the roles are different.

I think doulas are great. True, not everyone needs one. But they can be SO helpful. Dads are often caught in the moment and can't really step back and analyse what they know to come up with new suggestions, and don't have a really big experience bank to draw "this has worked before" information from. Doulas can be really invaluable for that. Some dads can perform that task REALLY well, but it's hard to know until you get there.

I'm not saying you need to get one or anything, just that I really see how helpful they can be and how that applies even at a homebirth. I think most doulas become doulas to help women through childbirth, not specifically to be guardians against hospital providers, and attending homebirths is more along the lines of what they really love to be doing.
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