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UCer's becoming doulas/midwifes

post #1 of 95
Thread Starter 
I would love to have a conversation regarding this.

Lately I have been thinking ALOT about becoming a doula to improve woman's birth experiences in this mainstream, medicalized culture.

I FULLY support UC and believe that women do not need assistance in birth. However, so many women are saturated in the NEED.

Would it be wrong to try and reduce the fear of birth by assisting women in having natural and beautiful births as a doula or a midwife?

Ok...discuss
post #2 of 95
i don't think so.

i've thought about it myself. it makes sense to do so--to put yourself into a position of influence where you can help a family feel empowered through their process.

i think that there are many people who are not able to be UCers for whatever reasons. and i think that they, too, need advocates on their side, who support them where they are and with what they are choosing.

so, it makes sense to me that a UCer would want to reach these folks where they are, and help them in that situation.
post #3 of 95
I dont see UC as "the best" way to birth. I just see it as an option, and IMO we need to do what works best from us. I have often considered being a midwife, and had at one point purchased everything I needed to become a doula, including the application packets from DONA and CAPPA, before deciding that I just couldn't make ends meet that way, financially, and wasnt willing to be a doula when I couldn't commit 100% (I'd have had to only attend births during certain time frames when I wasnt working or DH was able to take care of my kids and that wouldn't be fair to the mommas)

That being said, I am seriously considering going to school to become an LPN next Fall. It would be very amusing if I ended up becoming a CNM after it was all said and done, considering how vehemently I have opposed and feared them. I dont know if I could handle the OB monitoring, but not all OBs are bad, so maybe there would be hope.
post #4 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by AngelBee View Post
I would love to have a conversation regarding this.

Lately I have been thinking ALOT about becoming a doula to improve woman's birth experiences in this mainstream, medicalized culture.

I FULLY support UC and believe that women do not need assistance in birth. However, so many women are saturated in the NEED.

Would it be wrong to try and reduce the fear of birth by assisting women in having natural and beautiful births as a doula or a midwife?

Ok...discuss
OK I'll bite. I do this already. I'm a UC-ER (was first) then got my CBE cert and doula cert. I feel there are alot of compromises you make. For instance, while I can feel, stand as a testament to the fact and give voice and evidence that X Y and Z are unecessary in my classes and even at a birth, the mama will still choose it because it seems a good idea to her at the time. Vaginal exams for instance. They are stupid, but it's a concession hospital birthing mamas make all the time despite not needing to. It normally leads to second guessing your intuitive sense of laboring.

In some respects I put the UC part of myself and how *I* think birth is meant to be on a shelf while Im attending births, it's all about them at that point. I think a doulas presence is a disturbance and I'd never have wanted one at my own births. But I know I protect birth and what parent's want at the births I have attended.

make sense? I'll be happy to discuss more...
post #5 of 95
and not all CNMs are alike. Not all laws are alike. Not all CNM's "report" or "work under" OB's.

I'm considering that route too. You don't make ends meet as a doula.
post #6 of 95
I don't think practicing midwifery or being a doula is incompatible with personally having unassisted pregnancies and/or births.

I do think that if I ever pursued midwifery as a career that I would want to wait until after my family is complete and that I would be an extreemly low interventionist midwife.
post #7 of 95
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockies5 View Post
and not all CNMs are alike. Not all laws are alike. Not all CNM's "report" or "work under" OB's.

I'm considering that route too. You don't make ends meet as a doula.
My concern about being a midwife is liability. Doulas seem to have little to none. Being a midwife, I would think that would carry some liability risk.

Anyone have info on that?
post #8 of 95
A homebirth midwife has a lot more of a liability / risk than a CNM, but a lot more freedom I think too. (although this may be better answered in the Birth Professionals area of the boards since I'm just going off of research and not experience)

Quote:
Rockies5

and not all CNMs are alike. Not all laws are alike. Not all CNM's "report" or "work under" OB's.
I'd love to hear more about this. I was pretty certain that, in my area atleast, CNM's had no choice but to work under an OB, but this is one area where I would LOVE to be proven wrong.
post #9 of 95
I fully intend to become a CPM at some point......yet to be determined! I was to start next July, but life interviened!

I have often wondered how I will merge my feelings on birth (hard core UC leanings) with being a MW. I read Sage Femme's blog a LOT as she speaks to that. I want to be hands off and not bow to the pressure of "liability" but still respect that when a woman hires me to be at her birth, I do have liability, both legally and ethically (if she is not in a place of trusting herself).

My ideal as a MW? Guiding women to a place of deeper self understanding, deeper respect and trust with their intuition, and empowering them to own their births.

I sometimes wonder if I've hired my current MW to not only watch that in action, but perhaps make some ties with her for the future.
post #10 of 95
actually, I would like to be a midwife someday (once I am done with my own kids, on the advice of my former m/ws).

I do believe in UC and I believe it is best, but I also know that like with homeschooling/unschooling, it is not always possible. Since that is the case, I would like there to be compassionate, skilled women as midwives who trust birth.
post #11 of 95
I have been thinking about this, too. I may go back for my CNM or CPM at some point when the kids aren't so young. I see UC as one option, and midwife attended as another. Some people want one there, and I would also be happy to stand back and be there just in case for women who are unsure.
post #12 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by AngelBee View Post
I FULLY support UC and believe that women do not need assistance in birth. However, so many women are saturated in the NEED.
I think it's a great idea. But you need to get past this line of thinking first.

I'm comfortable with the idea of having an unassisted birth. But I've also recently come into a place in my own psyche where I'm recognizing that interdependence is as valuable, if not moreso, than independence. I think the ability to do things alone is great, but I also believe that doesn't mean you have to do it alone. Humans are social animals and there is a lot of value in community. To me, this includes the birth process. Women deserve to have someone around massaging their back or holding their belly through contractions if they desire. Women deserve to be taken care of (again if they desire). That is why I would hire a doula, if ever.
I'm an extremely independent type - I have a very hard time asking anyone for help. The knowledge that it's okay to ask for help sometimes has been extremely empowering for me.
I'm not sure what's going to happen at my next birth. I love having a midwife because I love the aftercare - someone to have tea with, a nonjudgemental ear to listen to my hopes and fears in the days and weeks after the birth. But I've moved since my last one, and I may end up hiring a doula or two instead - just in case I need someone to massage my back (although I have a feeling that I'll probably be solo with this one) or bring me water or . . . I don't know what I'm going to do afterwards.
post #13 of 95
Such a wise post Mandy! Thank you so much for writing it.

To jump off of that, I would also say that UC seems to be a state of personality as much as trusting birth. My good friend L trusts birth just as much as I do, but she's a very social, outgoing person and she likes to have a PART-Y at her births. She loves to have MW, apprintace, husband, kids, friends, mother, etc all gathered round. I, on the other hand, am a serious introvert and that's why I *liked* UC so much. I am very private and get preformance anxiety which hinders my births. She would hate having an unattended birth. She likes all the lavish attention.

So perhaps some women just choose to have a wise woman (MW) attend them for more reasons that just not trusting their bodies.
post #14 of 95
My midwife UCed all her babies

I think she's a fabulous midwife because of it.

-Angela
post #15 of 95
no way, that wouldn't be wrong! I think if there were more needy women that had doulas, then they'd make smarted choices all around. If they turn to an MD or another very medical person to meet their needs then they aren't going to get ideal results.
if you want to be a doula, then you should be one
post #16 of 95
That's my plan, someday. I'm currently a Peer Breastfeeding Counselor for WIC and I'm working towards becoming an IBCLC, someday. I've been interested in becoming a homebirth midwife for years, but lactation is very important to me, too and it has better hours We're currently thinking this is our last babe (I'm due in a few weekish). If that's the case, I could see myself apprenticing in a few years, perhaps.

I like the idea of being low intervention, of supporting people doing it themselves, as much as they want, of being emotional support. I also love the idea of offering Prenatal or Postnatal care to UCers who want it. That's hard to come by! I don't feel that I need a midwife, but it took me a while to get there. If someone else needs or wants one, there should be good options.
post #17 of 95
GREAT post Mandy! I could not agree more.

I started off with a party birth, then did a modified party birth then did a UC birth with my DH and doula (who was there 5 min. but was hired in case we had a forever labor to relieve DH). I am both a private and personable person so some of it has to do with personality, but an enormous amount (I feel) has to do with your thoughts about birth AND thoughts about taking 100% responsibility.

I am a doula and a midwife assistant (and plan to become a MW when my kiddos are older) and feel that I can support any woman. It is a professional ability that you need, to be able to support a choice YOU wouldn't make yourself. I have had 3 very different births (hospital transfer from home, homebirth MW and UC) - I don't share about my UC with everyone - some people are not in the place to hear it, but sometimes it appeals to them.

I am going to be a very handsoff MW myself as it will run most easily with my beliefs, concience, but I still feel that the choices are not mine when it is not my birth.

But to have a UC background, or personal hands-off experience, it undoubtedly would positively affect your beliefs in a medical world if you want to be anything but.
post #18 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenlaana View Post
I'd love to hear more about this. I was pretty certain that, in my area atleast, CNM's had no choice but to work under an OB, but this is one area where I would LOVE to be proven wrong.
Definitely depends on where you live.

Also, my MW (after two UCs, which is why I'm on this board) is a CNM, and she just had a UC a few months ago.
post #19 of 95
I am a doula because I UC'ed and want to support a woman in labour and birthing the way that she wants to birth. But I am hands off (thats' why I UC'ed) and as a result, I couldn't see myself taking an "active role" in a birth like that of a CNM or laymw.
post #20 of 95
I have thought about this and DH is encouraging me to try.I want to to do it for the mamas who have no one but the Dr for support.I was considered high risk even though my problem was under control and never came close to a problem.I was risked out of having a MW for support and a nifty support group for mamas due at the same time as me.It was not fair.I was left with an OB who had no time for me or my questions let alone tea and sympathy.Nothing was explained to me, I was just told alot of your baby could die.
My fears are that I wouldn't get the control I feel I would need.In WA the only homebirthing MW in the area had to turn me down because her back up OB told her no. In San Diego my doula(who was as good as she could be) couldn't tell me stay away from an induction outright.
I dunno.
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