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Doulas - How do you go back to the hospital after a homebirth?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I attended my friends homebirth as her doula,but mainly just served the role of friend. Not a lot of work for a doula at a HB with a good team and an experienced mom.

But after seeing how little needed to be done,it really makes me dread ever going back into a hospital again. With all of their...mom must have X, the Dr has to be able to Y, the baby needs to be Z, etc etc. (Around here, even if you can get a decent birth experience, the postpartum policies at area hospitals are atrocious.) So much procedure, interference, machines, separation. I mean, I cerebrally knew how unnecessary it all was before, but seeing it done another way was very powerful, yk?

I wont be taking any clients any time soon because as you see in my ticker,I am planning my own homebirth next month. But at the moment, it seems so hard to ever visualize myself back in that environment.
post #2 of 15
That's an easy one.

I go back because I'm needed there. More so than home or birth center births, doulas are needed in the hospital birthing world.

Homebirths and birth center births are awesome, they reaffirm to me that birth works, but there's a huge need for me as a doul in the hospital, so I go.
post #3 of 15
Ditto. In the hospital. moms really need someone who trusts birth and knows that they can have their baby without any interventions. Homebirths are beautiful, I have had my own and have 2 upcoming clients birthing at home as well, but hospital births are really important places for doulas to be empowering their clients to have the birth they want.
post #4 of 15
i understand the need and i''m sure i'll go back but honestly, i kind of dread it. i'm not sure how i'll react, if i can keep myself from screaming "leave that baby alone!" "don't touch her!" ect. i am finding it really hard to watch a hospital birth now, it seems so violent and inhumane. i am still only a month postpartum so it could still be my mommy hormones raging but still......i understand.
post #5 of 15
I really want to commend the previous posters for doing the important work they are doing in the hospital. It really takes a strong person to take on the establishment from the inside. Thank you ladies

I couldn't do it. After my own hospital birth, complete with traumatic unwanted vaginal exam, i just don't think i can do it anymore. I am so glad that there are doulas out there that can, but i am not one of them. I have guilt over this, but i know my limits. I just can't go back to watching them undermine women in subtle and no-so-subtle ways. Can't stomach it
post #6 of 15
The homebirth expeiriences I've had definately make me realize how much I'm needed in a hospital setting.

That being said, there are plenty of doulas out there who ONLY do home births - and I totally get it. Hummm...I cannot seem to write more on the subject because I don't want to offend anyone - that is to say - that I don't want to imply that hospital doulas don't support natural normal birth. But it is certainly a statement to only take homebirths. KWIM?
post #7 of 15
I'm a fairly new doula, been to about 10 births, half of those were hospital births and half were homebirths.
Maybe I am in the minority, but I really enjoyed the hospital births too; a great deal even. Maybe it is the hospital environment around here isn't as harsh, but the births were all natural, peaceful and the babies all roomed in, nursed, etc. Maybe at one hospital birth it could have gone a bit better, but is was minor stuff. Actually, one of the homebirths could have gone better too, there was also something minor that came up.
Anyhoo, I feel like I am needed in both places and I really enjoy the work.
post #8 of 15
I am with milydoula too, i guess. I completely understand what you are asking and saying. I did the same thing, nearly 1 year ago. I have not attended a birth since.

I know it sounds bad, but it is me and I have decided that I must be true to me and I can not help others if I am just pretending. I am soo thankful there are the good doulas that are strong enough to attend the hospital births, as it is true what was said about that being the place of need. For sure.

I always knew midwifery is my calling. I thought doula work would be good learning experience, the ultimate way to help mom, a good way to keep in touch with and know the local birth scene, ect. So I went with it, not being in the position to begin any midwifery training.

After that first homebirth, I cant do it. I have decided I am better off to sit back quitely, teaching who I can, what I can, reading all i can, until I can take the next steps to midwifery.

I do not possess the strength required to go back to hospital birth when it is not needed. Thank you to all those that do
post #9 of 15
it isn't easy. homebirth is so fullfilling for us as doulas because we see how empowered mamas are when they birht at home, but in hoppital we are so needed, and those mamas really need our support to birth as naturally as they can in hospital.

the homebirths are our icing on the cake, so to speak. we need to attend them to keep grounded in what birth can and should be, but we are also needed to support the mamas who birth in hospital, because they have so little support to be empowered there.

I wish I could just do homebirths, but the area where I live is very medical and most women are just not comfortable with birthing at home, so I only do about one or two homebirths a year, and the rest are all in hospital. Perhaps one day homebirth will be the norm, and only high risk births will take place in hospital.
post #10 of 15
I would love to be a Doula but after my first birth experiencee, the hospital scene gets me so angry. I guess I still have issues........ I just have such a strong pull towards being a Doula but I am terrified of doing anything about it because I don't want to fail anyone because of MY issues........

Is there any hope for me?

Anyway, good for you those who go back to the hospitals........ Much stronger than I (damn it, I have started to cry lol, blast those pregnancy hormones).
post #11 of 15
I had a very difficult time after my first homebirth, going to a hospital birth. However, it was my sisters birth and not a paying doula client so I wasn't in the mindset of being professional, thank goodness.

I cried, watching them assault the baby. (There really is no other way to look at it, after knowing what it can be instead.) She was laying there hysterical, just wanting her mom/to nurse...while my sister laid in bed across the room straining her neck to just get a glimpse of her baby that was whisked away after 10 seconds of being born, just for the sake of...of...I'm not even sure what.

I did not go to a hospital birth for over a year, after that.

Actually, I've only done 3 births in the hospital since then. It is still very difficult to be at the hospital, and watch the abuse that goes on - just standing there, not able to do anything. I try to set aside my personal feelings, and just meet the mom where she is and do whatever I can to help her. She chose her birth place, and I need to respect that - her birth will happen no matter if I am there or not, but maybe I can do something to make it just a little bit better (in her eyes) than it would've been if she were alone.

I struggle with it very much, though. Because I feel like an enabler, like I couldn't stop a crime before it was too late. Because I know what's going to happen. It's like a script, that everyone read - except for the mom.

I would love to just do home births, but honestly I don't know what someone would need a doula for at a homebirth. (Of course, I've never been at a planned homebirth, other than my own.)
post #12 of 15
I've had two births, first was a freestanding birth center and second was a homebirth, so I have no experience with hospital birth personally but I am aware of the scene.

Is it possible for a mother to refuse the interventions? Is it possible to demand that the baby be placed on the mother's stomach/chest immediately and not be whisked away? Would these demands be respected by the medical community?

I realize the doula cannot make the demands but certainly the mother can (but would the medical community abide?)

I wonder if it could become the role of a doula to educate ahead of time that these things are standard protocol and that they can be avoided if the mother speaks out what her wishes are instead of just allowing these things to happen. Thoughts?
post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by PuppyFluffer View Post
I wonder if it could become the role of a doula to educate ahead of time that these things are standard protocol and that they can be avoided if the mother speaks out what her wishes are instead of just allowing these things to happen. Thoughts?
I always talk with clients about the things that might be done in the hospital, the reasoning behind them, and the alternatives. I teach the BRAND (what are the benifits? the Risks? the Alternatives? What if we do Nothing? Can we have time to Decide.) I give clients the language of "I do not concent."

And, women can have beautiful and empowered births in the hospital IMO, even if they choose epis and such. I see my role as offering non-judgmental support and so I make no difference between clients who are homebirthing and working within the hospital system. Homebirth is beautiful, no doubt, and I had one myself recently. That said, hospital births can also be beatiful, natural and empowered and I love helping a woman do that if that is what she wants. In fact, I am really hoping to do that some time in the next 72 hours with a first time mom who is waiting to meet her daughter! (which is why I should be sleeping not up at 1 am typing!)
post #14 of 15
I have my 1st birth in more than 2 years in April. It's for an ex-student of mine on her 2nd pregnancy. I don't think I'll attend any others though. I've attended 2 homebirths (and had one) and I'm ruined for hospital birth. Maybe someday I'll go back to it.
post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PuppyFluffer View Post
Is it possible for a mother to refuse the interventions? Is it possible to demand that the baby be placed on the mother's stomach/chest immediately and not be whisked away? Would these demands be respected by the medical community?

I realize the doula cannot make the demands but certainly the mother can (but would the medical community abide?)

I wonder if it could become the role of a doula to educate ahead of time that these things are standard protocol and that they can be avoided if the mother speaks out what her wishes are instead of just allowing these things to happen. Thoughts?
All that is exactly what a doula does. But no matter how prepared you are, somehow hospital staff can be very pursuasive in the heat of the moment when they insist on things (for the health of the baby) like suction at the perineaum for meconium, warming baby up away from mom, blood sugar/jaundice tests, formula b/c baby has lost too much weight. All parents hear is "omg my baby might be sick!"

But its also the little things...like the room filling with people,lights going on at full blast, scurrying of activity all at the time of delivery (as opposed to maintaining the same quiet,calm of a HB). Baby nurses waiting around tapping fingers so they can get ahold of that baby to clean, weigh, footprint him/her (as opposed to the MWs retiring to another room so mom,dad and baby can enjoy each other for that first hour).

Little things that can make a big difference. That dont need to happen.
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