Has anyone used a doula? What was your experience like? I am seeing one tonight and am wondering what questions to ask.
I chose to become one because of my positive experience with my doula at my second birth. Not only can they help you cope with pain relief, they can explain what is going on to your partner, and just help take care of you. They are wonderful!!
I had back labor for hours and my doula did not leave my side (or my back) the entire time! She was there to take over so my husband could take a nap and then helped clean up my house after my home birth. My birth would not have been the same without her. When I was yelling at everyone that I couldn't do it anymore, she told me "But you ARE doing it!"
I hope you find a doula that is perfect for you!!
I used a doula for my first birth for free through an organization that provided support to young mothers, so I'm not sure how representative my experience was. I am really grateful for the experience I had: she helped me find stuff for my new baby, she was someone who would come to my house excited to talk baby stuff with me, she gave me a ride to the hospital when my partner didn't have a license and my father (who I was living with at the time) was uncomfortable with it... On the other hand, I didn't have a doula for my planned homebirth mostly due to finances and a desire for privacy.
Here's a link I recently came across on the DONA website with questions to consider when hiring a doula:
travelmumma, sure! I offer one on one support as soon as mom needs it until a few hours after birth. We would utilize water, a birth ball, a robozo, massage, walking, squatting, position changes every 3-4 contractions, & breathing. I would help moms partner in explaining what was going on and even try to be a team with them to focus on mom. Things I cannot/won't do: anything medical or give medical advice, check for fetal heartbeat, & advocate for mom- I would give mom the tools & resources so that the mom can use her own voice. I do offer a little bit of photography on the side, have a lending library, & like to meet with my clients twice during the last trimester.
I think that's the basics!