If I am forced to have yet another hospital birth (due to financial reasons), I want to stay home as long as possible before going in. But, I would like to have someone with me at home who can monitor the baby periodically. Is this something a doula can do, or would I need to hire a midwife.
Can a doula conduct fetal monitoring?
The answer is no. Doulas are for emotional and physical support only. They do not provide medical support including monitoring or checking dilation. It is outside the scope of practice. A monitrice may provide this service, but they are often trained as midwives and working as doulas. They would probably be more expensive than a doula.
Thanks. I thought they could not, but I had never heard of a monitrice, so that's good information.
eabbmom, you ask a good question. Both of my previous births began with my water breaking and progressed very slowly. With DC #1 I was 1 cm dilated when my water broke at 39 weeks and some days. The water was clear. With DC#2 I was 1/2 cm dilated when my broke at 41 + 6. There was meconium in the water. I labored with him for about 30 hours after that. I went to the hospital almost straight away because I was concerned about the amount of meconium staining. His heartbeat was slow through most of my labor and he only really perked up when the OB scratched the top of his head with a finger. He was born limp and blue. If my labor starts with my water breaking for the 3rd time, I'd like to have someone check to make sure the cord is not prolapsed and check to make sure the baby is not in distress without having to rush off to the hospital. Because, as we know, once you get to the hospital you are on a time-clock and your movement is restricted (which did nothing to help speed up my labor, of course.)