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Husbands/Partners, Doulas, and Homebirth - Page 2

post #21 of 35
my husband is one of thoes that when it comes to birth and such he does the whatever you want honey. that being said he had no intention of paying for a doula.. ( i lucked out and got two wonderful free doulas) But now he definatley would pay for them. I think he almost found them more helpful to him than I did. They were a great help and allowed him to stay with me they did all the fetching and assisting so he could just be my support. When transition came and he was unsure of what to do other than hold my hand. one of them was right there helping out. they never over stepped they suggested things to dh so he could do what he needed to do....

I have heard from doulas that sometimes the most benifical thing they have done with a labour is have batteries or a camera on hand casue it was forgotten.
post #22 of 35
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Ola_ View Post
Yeah, that's kind of what it's sounding like. Which is not cool IMO, if she needs an assistant she should have one, rather than making you hire her doula so she can have someone to help her (and selling it like the doula will be there just for you).
In my midwife's defense, I haven't had any doula conversation with her personally. Just her staff. I'm sorry if I wrote something misleading. I really like my midwife and don't feel like she is trying to pull something over on me. I just need to have the conversation with her personally, not via her office staff. And even the staff didn't tell me what the doula's role would be - assisting the midwife or assisting me, I mean. So I definitely don't feel like I'm being taken advantage of - just that I need more info for me and my husband. I trust my midwife, though, and look forward to asking her a lot of clarifying questions.
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post #23 of 35
also could you find a doula-in-training, one that hasnt gotten all of her births yet? they are usually awesome, and free. just a thought
post #24 of 35
I feel like I am more help in hospital births, to be honest. Most of what I do in a hb is similar to what TnMsMama described. I walked a dog once! I also gave suggestions for position changes and translated (I was in Japan).

Though for a first time mom, the presence of someone who is familiar and comfortable with birth can be reassuring. A doula will most likely be with you longer than the midwife, since a doula comes to you when you want extra support, even if that's early labor. (that could be one of the reasons your mw wants you to have a doula!) And don't forget too, that even if you were going to have a hospital birth, most doulas spend quite a bit of time supporting you and your partner at home before you go.

I think your dh will feel better, or at least know for sure that he doesn't want one any circumstances, after you meet with some doulas. Consults are free, and I've found that most dad's who are concerned about my role overshadowing theirs are not after speaking with me.

If this is a requirement of your mw, and you end up being dead set against it, you may have to find another cp though.
post #25 of 35
Another hb'er here who's never had a doula -- and finds the requirement odd from a hb mw! I think doulas are totally awesome, but I feel like I hire the mw to do what a doula might do during a hospital birth -- ie, continuous labor support, remind me of coping techniques/position changes, help dh support me, help me achieve a natural birth.

Only my mw for dd1 even suggested a doula because we were dealing with my clearly very nervous and inexperienced dh who actually might have needed his own birth attendant (he did awesome though! we were all impressed and surprised!)

I hope your midwife clarifies things for you, it seems like you really trust her and so I hope her explanation makes the doula issue work for you and your dh.
post #26 of 35
I'm a doula. And a homebirther.

First off, I think it's odd that your midwife is requiring a doula. This is something that should be your choice. I'm all for hiring a doula (preferably me lolol), but I realize each woman is different. Some want to be completely alone. Some really need the support of a doula. This should really be up to you and your partner to decide- not your midwife.

I would really encourage you to talk with your midwife about what she feels her role during a birth is, versus what she expects a doula to do. My concern is that the midwife might be relying more on the doula to be an extra set of hands for her, not as an impartial support person that is there for you, and that's it.

As far as dads and doulas go: There have been studies done that show when a doula is present, dad actually touches and talks to mom more than births where there is no doula. Dads also feel more satisfaction with how the birth went when there is a doula. From personal experience, the dads I've worked with have had similar concerns- being useless or unimportant. Not one of them have felt that way after the birth, however. It's always my goal to get dad involved as far as he feels comfortable, and to make sure mom and dad have time to connect as a couple during the birth.

I'm not sure if I'm allowed to do this, so please feel free to take these links down, moderators.



post #27 of 35
Try meeting with a doula you like and I think she'll put his mind at ease. My husband isn't as hands-on as your husband (he was happy to be there but felt incompetent when it came to providing too much support) and he really loved having a doula, especially during transition and other intense moments.
post #28 of 35
I had a hospital birth, so ymmv, but the birth experience is so emotional. It would have been a great help to me to have someone I trusted, but not so emotionally invested stick with me through the process.
post #29 of 35
Originally Posted by BeanyMama View Post
It's a good idea to talk to her about why a doula is required, I've never heard of that before. You certainly should be allowed to pick your own.

We decided against hiring a doula with our previous births, it was a good decision in our case. I want to be completely alone with my husband when in labor, my midwife comes in every now and then to check me and the baby, but I strongly wanted everyone but him banished from the room until the birth. A doula wouldn't have been a good use of money for us, and our midwives brought their own help (a student) each time. I know of so many people that have loved having the extra experience and support of a doula there, however.

Keep us posted!
I felt the same way... that I wanted as intimate an experience as possible. Our midwife also brought a student (who we loved and is now part of their practice) as well as a second registered midwife for the actual birth, so we had 3 midwives for the last 1/2 hour or so. For most of the labour our midwives lay on the couch and rested since my DH was supporting me so well, and brought us yogurt and juice to drink. But DH and I did a private hypnobirthing course together and talked a lot about ways for him to support me, breathing etc. so he was a great, fairly educated support person.
post #30 of 35
In my first pregnancy, I felt like I should hire a doula for our homebirth. My midwife was kind of surprised and said she does all the doula stuff too, but I decided to interview and hire one anyway.

My labor was long and a bit complicated, and I was glad we had her there. We needed everyone's energy. My doula was a hypnodoula, too, and had special skills that really helped.

My DH did a great job of taking care of me during labor and the doula never took on anyone else's role, but if I could do it over again, I would see that someone, like the doula, reminded my DH to take care of himself! He didn't eat, hardly sat down at all, and didn't have the benefit of all the exhilarating birthing hormones to keep him going.

Kind of rambly, sorry. But a doula can be really helpful in a homebirth. I do think it's really important to find one that you like.
post #31 of 35
I usually encourage doulas, a lot, but let the doulas sell themselves.
It's really nice to have two right-there people for the mama to make sure she's never alone. One can run to the bathroom while the other sits with you. Doulas can be fabulous for using their knowledge/skills/experience/intuition to figure out what you like and then stepping back to allow the partner to do it. For instance, when a mama is getting quite warm with transition, I will get a bowl with ice water and a washcloth. I will ask, "cool cloth for your forehead" as I begin to mop her brow. If she likes it, I set up her husband with the bowl and keep him in cool washcloths for her. I do the identification of the "problem" [too hot], the "solution" [washcloth], and make sure it's acceptible for her, but he does the actual care and never leaves her side.
Interviewing is free. Most people interview 3 doulas. Doulas (And midwives, too!) are used to not-getting 2/3 of the people that interview, so there's no pressure there. There are some awesome doulas at the $1200 rate, here. But plenty at the $600, $900, and nearly-free range as well. I'd want to shop.
post #32 of 35
I agree with the others that this should be your decision and not mandated by your midwife. But one other thing....it's REALLY hard for a husband to read some books and take a class and then understand everything that is happening. Heck, I see something new at almost every birth I attend (after close to 60) and I think all doulas agree that learning about birth never ends! I try to never get in the way of a partner and sometimes the partners do fine without many suggestions. But if something very specific comes up during the birth, it's nice to have someone who has attended many births and can maybe decipher the situation. There are so many different tools that can be used but they are specific to different situations and I think it's hard for partners to pick up on all the subtleties of labor, no matter how much they read up. Also, in case of a transport, it can be nice to have a doula by your side to help you think through decisions that might come up or tell you what she's seen in the past.
post #33 of 35
Just quickly sharing my personal experience with a doula at a hospital birth: she was physical support and my husband was emotional. I held on to him for hours at a time, no break. This wasn't for optimal physical position or anything but I just needed to be in contact with him while we did labor. She was behind me doing counter-pressure on my back and also fetching hairclips, ice water, etc. I would think at home that aspect would be even nicer - lots more options of things you can eat or drink, places to move, etc. She also used her expertise to suggest different positions for pushing or whatever but nothing that usurped my husband.

I think the question is which doula. Ask her how she could support your husband so he can support you. Mine was not the Earth Mother let's braid your hair type (although that's great if that's what you need/want). She was more of a get things done gal, which I found comforting in a different way. It probably helped that my doula was also our Bradley teacher so she knew where she fit in.

Best of luck choosing a doula. Don't settle!
post #34 of 35
OP, I agree with your husband. A well informed and well trained hubby is your best doula. Have him brush up on his reading.

I have first hand seen doulas wreck the precious and amazing "couple energy" that can be present at birth.

Listen to him, don't spend money on a stranger at your birth. Instead, practice with him on how to respond to you. He sounds like he'll do well.
post #35 of 35
My husband and doula were both very much needed at my homebirth. One did support, while one did troubleshooting and they switched roles when needed. During the first part (it was all pretty much active labour) DH needed to get the kids off to his parents and doula was there providing acupressure to my back and getting me through contractions while this was happening. She was the one who was on the phone to the midwives, she was the one who helped to find this, that or the other thing. During that time, DH was by my side supporting me.

They both worked together really well to help make the labour, birth and immediate post partum a really stress free experience, so all I had to do was focus on getting through the contractions. DH also felt really supported too. It felt good for him to have a woman there who like all moms, can get manifest blankets where needed, grab the phone, get some water or some ice without having to be walked through the process. He felt way more relaxed to have a teammate, so maybe your hubby in addition to seeing how it will benefit you, how it will benefit him too.

I think labours can be done with one support person, but I think two support people, in my case was optimal. One of the midwives who has been doing this forever said it was one of the most peaceful dignified births she had attended, and really I couldn't have been more happy with how my homebirth went.
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