Has anyone here had a doula and care to,share their experience with me?
Also, what are the most important questions to ask her?
We didn't plan on having a doula last time but because of other events one came to our home birth at the last minute. She was very supportive and helpful! I had horrible back labor and was in transition when she got there so I felt bad because I wasn't very welcoming at that moment. my midwife had me lay down to check me (first check) and I was about ready to start pushing so I never got up. we honestly didn't think we would need any other support besides the midwife and my DH but having that extra pair of hands was definitely needed! basically my DH was putting pressure on certain areas of my back because the back labor, the doula was holding my hands and holding up oxygen mask or the trash can (I went back and forth between numb feeling face and needing to vomit = fun stuff) and then midwife was montitoring baby and there to catch. I didn't envision it that way necessarily but that's what ended up happening. I'm glad she was there!
So I'm not much help in what to look for or ask prior, but I would definitely recommend having one if you find the right person! we are getting one this time around only because in the midwife practice we use, 2 midwives go to each birth, and my mom will be there this time to watch my daughter.
I had a doula. And am having one with this one, too.
My last birth ended in a planned c-section due to breech. We're one of those states. The doula was fantastic. My husband's job was to stay with our son and never let him be alone. The doula's job was to do that with me. She held me while I had to bend and get the spinal (which took 10 times), she took pictures over the drape while they cut him out. She braided my hair before. She was wonderful.
With this birth coming up, it'll be more work for the doula because ideally this is a VBAC. ;)
She will massage, keep me hydrated, keep my husband hydrated. She can take over when he needs a break and suggest things if we're feeling a bit lost. She knows how to work the birth tub.
They're really great :)
A good doula will fill in wherever needed to make Mom as comfortable as possible. Last time my doula was with me the whole time at the birth center offering suggestions, giving me encouragement, suggesting position changes, "forcing" me to drink, etc. She held a cool cloth on my head for pushing and stayed until we were all doing well afterward.
It was better for my husband, who wants to help, but childbirth classes or not, doesn't have a clue. The doula can suggest things for him to do and he'll happily do them (he was pretty insistent that we get one this time - I was worried about the cost). The birth center midwives may be busy with other patients, appts, during labor, having someone just there for me was priceless. It also helped me because I needed to change positions, drink, etc. but I didn't want to! If my DH had suggested those things I would have yelled at him. With a doula, I begrudgingly agreed and it was better for me.
My doula (different one because it's been 6 years) will do much of the same and is willing to help out with kids if needed (some won't do that). I will have a DH, doula & trusted friend at the birth along with the two boys. Most doulas will support a natural birth, but will help you with information & support if interventions are needed.