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What Specialized Knowledge Does a Doula Have?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

-I wanted to post this to address a common misconception about the idea that having a Doula means you're having someone else take the place of the Dad and open up a dialogue on the subject.  What are some of the thoughts that came to mind when you and your SO started talking about getting a doula?  Did you do the research together?  Did you interview them together?  What questions did you ask to make both of you feel more comfortable with the idea?  If you had a doula, what did she do to make BOTH of you feel supported fully?

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 What Specialized Knowledge Does a Doula Have?

 

One thing to realize is that a Doula is very schooled in the knowledge of Childbirth - labor, all its phases and stages, its nuances.  She knows what labor positions to use when, to help keep labor moving forward, to help keep the baby in an optimal position, to alleviate some of the pain you're feeling in labor as well as to help keep the stress off of the baby.  It's nothing against the husband.  He is there for intimately personal emotional support.  That can never be replaced!  ;)  

 

A Doula also knows many tips and tricks to use to help keep you focused away from the pain and stay informed and educated fully on what is actually going on so that you can truly make informed decisions when you need to at a critically emotional time.  She can help you find a way to put together a polite and compact list of Birth Goals that seem non-invasive to the Doctor/Midwife & Hospital Nursing Staff but still serves your needs as well.  She can also help you become more of an informed advocate for yourself, by teaching you how to talk to your Doctor/Midwife in an assertive but diplomatic way.

 

Doula's Support both of you emotionally, educationally, physically, and mentally!  True no one knows exactly what will happen during labor.  But the deck will be stacked in your favor with a Doula, leaving your husband to focus solely on you and the baby, knowing you have your own labor support person to stay with you from early labor in your home-where you should labor as long as you can, throughout the entire birthing process and even a little after to make sure you get started off on breastfeeding and bonding well!  No shift changes!  She's there for all 3 of you and serves your interests, not the Doctor's or the Hospital's. 


Edited by DoulaGinny - 9/5/12 at 8:27pm
post #2 of 5
Eh, doulas are over-rated in my opinion. Why pay a stranger for stuff you can have a caring partner do? Why not train yourselves to be "birth experts" That's what we did with Bradley classes. Nothing beats hugging and loving on your partner as your child is sliding out of you... I've personally seen doulas mess up that wonderful couple energy. So sad. You just can't ever get that back. A dad marginalized at the birth of his children may always feel out of step with the parenting experience.
post #3 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by philomom View Post

Eh, doulas are over-rated in my opinion. Why pay a stranger for stuff you can have a caring partner do? Why not train yourselves to be "birth experts" That's what we did with Bradley classes. Nothing beats hugging and loving on your partner as your child is sliding out of you... I've personally seen doulas mess up that wonderful couple energy. So sad. You just can't ever get that back. A dad marginalized at the birth of his children may always feel out of step with the parenting experience.

 

ITA

post #4 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by philomom View Post

Eh, doulas are over-rated in my opinion. Why pay a stranger for stuff you can have a caring partner do? Why not train yourselves to be "birth experts" That's what we did with Bradley classes. Nothing beats hugging and loving on your partner as your child is sliding out of you... I've personally seen doulas mess up that wonderful couple energy. So sad. You just can't ever get that back. A dad marginalized at the birth of his children may always feel out of step with the parenting experience.


We had a completely different experience, for what it's worth.  My husband and I did Bradley classes to prepare for our birth and used a doctor who used to be a homebirth midwife.  Even with that support, we chose to hire a doula and both of us were so glad we did.  My husband at first didn't really understand what purpose she would serve, but after a 17 hour labor, much of which was back labor, we both agreed we couldn't have done it without her.  She was amazingly supportive, staying out of DH and my way, but able to suggest positions, get cool washcloths, provide counter pressure while I was hanging off DH, and so on.  Even with a caring partner, another set of hands can be invaluable.  Just another perspective to share. 


(Though I don't really want to bump this post since the OP seems a little spammy...  But I wanted to offer my own experience for whatever it's worth)

post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 

The mission of a well trained doula is never to take the place of the partner, it is to support them as well and help them to become even better at supporting mom along with the doula as a team.   

 
I am here to help many people by making helpful information and education available.  I am very passionate about birth options and childbirth education.  It was never my intent to come across as spammy.  Only informative and helpful.  I merely wanted to get some topics started about doulas that started with information about common questions and misconceptions so that others would be able to search it out and discuss and learn.  :)
 
(I live in a rural area, and I can only serve someone that lived no more than an hour away.  That's only 45-65 miles depending on the area.  And only a handful of hospitals that even deliver.)
 
  I have made no contacts through this forum.  And the statistical odds of anyone being in my area are nil on a national board.  Again, I apologize if it seemed that way to you.  I will once again re-write my post so as to be more clear.  
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