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HELP! Dh thinks a doula isn't worth the money!

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
OK, I will probably show most of these responses to Dh so don't let me down! I wanted a homebirth this time but am not doing it for many reasons. One being that we are moving and don't exactly know if we'll have a "home" of our own when the baby comes. Another being that dh was very uncomfertable with it and didn't want to pay the money. I can live with that. My problem is that I desperately want a doula. I have an appt. with one in a few weeks. I am SO excited about it. This is my fifth baby and while I've had somewhat uneventful births I always seem to get to the hospital too early and just feel uncomfertable and impatiant. I think a doula coming to my home while I'm in early labor will help so much. Plus, it will take the heat off of dh who doesn't like to be that involved anyway. So, what can I tell him? I know it's best for me and the baby but where's my proof?

Thanks!
post #2 of 16
Who is giving birth to the baby? Whose needs and wishes take precedence? Who should be saying "yes dear" and giving the birther what she wants?

I didn't have a doula at either of my births, but I had an awesome midwife (and backups) and a great husband, so I didn't need one (okay first time, didn't know about them ) If I had to have a hospital birth and didn't have my same midwife, I would definitely have a doula.

Edited to fix a major grammatical boo boo that will drive me nuts if I leave it.
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks! I know you're right! I know he'll eventially cave but I really want him to believe in it's importance. Thanks for your support!
post #4 of 16
I'm with IrishMommy.

Next time my husband gives birth, he can have whatever options he wants...
post #5 of 16
"Women supported by a doula during labor have been shown to have:
50% reduction of cesarean rate
25% shorter labor
60% reduction in epidural requests
30% reduction in analgesia use
40% reduction in forceps delivery
From Mothering the Mother: How a Doula Can Help You Have a Shorter, Easier and Healthier Birth by Marshall H. Klaus (Perseus Press, 1993)"

Other studies have shown that moms who have doulas are:
*40% less likely to have oxytocin administered to speed up or augment labor
*less likely to have a baby who needs to stay in the NICU
*less likely to have post-partum depression
*more likely to breastfeed successfully
*more likely to rate their birth experience as positive and something that reflects well on their self image

These numbers BTW are from serious medical journal studies, not just word of mouth.

Additionally, doulas are not just for the laboring mom--they're for the laboring couple, helping to make sure the birth experience is the best it can be for everyone involved.

Also, a doula could be an invaluable asset should (heaven forbid) this labor and delivery not go as smoothly as your others.

Some sites to visit:
http://www.dona.org/DadsandDoulas.html
http://www.dona.org/positionpapers.html
http://www.childbirth.org/faq.html

HTH.

Stephanie
Mom to Cathleen 11/99
post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 
Awesome! Thank you so much! I knew you all would come through for me!
post #7 of 16
Amy~

I'll fly out there and be your doula! If you can, do check out the book that Stephanie mentioned. It is amazing what a doula can do, not only for you (the laboring mom), but also for the dad. She is there to support BOTH of you and not to take away from the couples experience.

Good Luck~

Lisa
post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 
I wish you could be my doula, lisamarie! I would so love that. I emailed dh the links posted here and I'm going to check out that book. I think it will be a great experience.

Thanks again for the support!
post #9 of 16
I'll leave the medical statistics to others (those were great, Stephanie!) and just add that our doula, who was outstanding and helped make my hospital birth experience practically perfect, was willing to work with us on the fee if need be. We ended up having her bring a doula apprentice along - another set of hands, plus it knocked $300 off the fee! FYI, we ended up paying $400.

Good luck with your appointment, and have a wonderful birth!!
post #10 of 16
I always make sure dads understand that while my first priority is the mom, I'm really there fo both of them. It's unlikely that with baby #5 you'd have a three day labor or something, but in the event that things go long, it takes a whole lot of pressure off of the dad to know he can take a break and eat or sleep or whatever! I feel like I really support the whole family, not just the mom!
Good luck!
post #11 of 16
My husband & I decided to get a doula after some friends of ours told us their birth story. They did not have a doula and the husband apparently went flat on the floor from exhaustion at one point! I have heard other stories about men dozing during contractions. Remember that you will have your focus and endorphins flowing through your body but he won't. My husband said "I don't care if you want one, I]I[/I] want one!" Its a lot of work to be a coach and having a doula will be a big help to him. Also tell him that having a doula will save you extra $$ because you are less likely to have a C-sec or other complications that will cause you to have a higher hospital bill.
post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
Yes! My dh is famous for reading magazines and tapping me on the shoulder while I'm moaning through contractions! He never even looks up from what he's reading! It's very annoying and by the time the delivery is over he's cleaned his wallet, eaten a huge snack which he's dripped all over me and read every magazine in sighte while flipping through the TV channels. UGH! Can I please avoid that this time?
post #13 of 16
I was in a similar predicament. This is my second marriage. I am pregant with my third child, but my husband's first.

With my first I did not have a doula and my ex-husband was a terrible coach. I labored all night and he slept through most of it. Then I suddenly had a placental abruption-- was whisked to the O.R. My ex-husband was left standing there with no clue what happened or what was going on. The medical staff was too busy to answer his questions. Afterwards I resented him for a long time for not being there for me emotionally, and he was traumatized by almost losing his wife and child in birth without anyone to support him. Maybe if I had a doula it would not have been so difficult for me, and even if it did not change the course of my emergency, at least my ex-husband would have had some one to support and explain things when things went wrong.

With my second child my ex-husband was more than willing to spring for the then $400 for a doula. Well my labor was quick-- less than 4 hours, without complications. The doula was wonderful and even my ex-husband did better with support.

This time around my husband does not want to spend the money (now $800 in my area). Which on one hand is understandable-- I have lost my job due to being on bedrest since 10 weeks gestation (i am now 38 weeks). So it would be a financial hardship.On the other hand I know how much a doula can help and how the lack of one can not only negatively affect the laboring process, but the marital relationship as well. I found a doula in training, she has completed her coursework, has attended some births, but still needs to attend a few more to get her official certification. These doulas in training provide their services free of charge to build their resume for certification. I am completely comfortable with the fact that she may not have as much experience as some others. Partly because this is not my first (like you) so I pretty much know what to expect.

If you are comfortable with a doula in training, it just may be the right compromise for you and your dh. I found mine by explaining my financial difficulties to one of the experienced doulas in my area- she refered me to this woman. DONA.ORG is the website for doulas of north america. They may be another source for you to find a doula in training in your area. Some doulas also will provide services regardless of ability to pay because they believe it to be their calling. Check around, if money is the primary obstacle for your dh there may be a solution.

Good luck.
post #14 of 16
A doula is indispensible. I had a high risk pregnacy and spent too much time on bedrest and in the hospital. It gave me ample opportunity to research the benefits of a doula. THe book Mothering the Mother and The Birth Partner spell out the benefits to both Mums and Dads. If DH likes reading have him read both those books. In my case, the L&D nurse was not attentive and quite grumpy. If we did not have our doula, we would have had the baby unassisted. No good since I hemmoraged and lost over 2 liters of blood at birth. My doula helped give me the strenth to conquer the worst contractions and to pant through the ones when I wasn't supposed to push. She knew the birthing process so well that she gave the right support at every step. I didn't have to ask for anything. She knew what to say, when to say it, when not to say anything, how to encourage me, suggested ways to labor, supported DH, showed him how to effectively push on my back for back labor, She also helped me with breastfeeding a preemie and deal with engorgement. I love my doula and still send her updates on dd. I think a doula is like having all the comfort a mother brings and none of the baggage.
post #15 of 16
Is it the money thing or that he feels slighted because you don't think he can handle the responsibility? If it is the second state your case. This is your fith child. If he didn't figure it out by the last one he just isn't cut out for the job. Perhaps this time he should give up coaching and just be your adoring dh. If it is the first perhaps you could find someone in training or even a good friend who has some personal experiance with birth. Anyone who can think rationally, isn't scared to stand up for you and knows a thing or two about birthing babies ought to be helpful.
post #16 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all of your support! I totally put my foot down this time and the doula comes for her first meeting Sept. 30. I think it's really a money thing with him but we DO have the money. He just doesn't want to spend it on something he finds unimportant. He thinks we're paying a doula to do the midwife's job. He's wrong! He is no good as a labor coach and I think he's aware of that, though I've never told him. I'm so excited to have help this time! I've felt so alone the past four times.
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