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Doula in Brooklyn/Queens?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I live in Queens, but I'm delivering my baby at the Brooklyn Birthing Center, and as a law student am on a tight budget. I'm wondering if anyone knows of a Doula who is in one of these areas, and isn't too expensive?

I really want to have a natural childbirth, and my boyfriend is very supportive of that choice, but is skeptical of my ability to do it - I'd like to have someone with me who is confident in my abilities to naturally birth my baby (sans complications of course) and who can advocate for me in case of a transfer to the hospital or change in plans so that I'm not given an unnecessary c/s (I'm terrified of hospitals - I was in one for the past few days and that only made me more determined to have this baby outside the hospital!!).

Thanks for any help!
post #2 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by thyra View Post
I live in Queens, but I'm delivering my baby at the Brooklyn Birthing Center, and as a law student am on a tight budget. I'm wondering if anyone knows of a Doula who is in one of these areas, and isn't too expensive?

I really want to have a natural childbirth, and my boyfriend is very supportive of that choice, but is skeptical of my ability to do it - I'd like to have someone with me who is confident in my abilities to naturally birth my baby (sans complications of course) and who can advocate for me in case of a transfer to the hospital or change in plans so that I'm not given an unnecessary c/s (I'm terrified of hospitals - I was in one for the past few days and that only made me more determined to have this baby outside the hospital!!).

Thanks for any help!

A doula cannot prevent an unnecessary Cesarean.
You can prevent it by making the good decision to give birth at the Birth Center. They will not transfer you unless there is something seriously wrong. Meet their back up doctor, typically a back up MD to a Birth Center believes in normal birth and is supportive of Midwifery model of care.

Call the doula Michelle Allen 646-701-3154 she is still on the lower fee range because she is newish labor doula, but experienced and a mother of three and an amazingly calm supportive emotional presence.

Rent the movie "The Business of Being Born" (Ricki Lake birth movie), it's funny not heavy handed with it's serious message and have the bf see it with you. Read the book "PUSHED" by Jennifer Block.

If your BF is undermining consider he should not attend the birth, some men don't have the stomach or culturally don't feel comfortable at birth.
Many people (men and women) have a lot of irrational fears surrounding birth, and he needs to address them for the sake of you and your child. Give him an out that he should not attend the birth, or tell him to educate himself.

A doula cannot change your BF lack of emotional support, but she can be your emotional booster.
post #3 of 11
Dewi, don't be too hard on the BF - I'm sure he's just like everyone else, brainwashed by mainstream media and everything he hears from his peers ("Oh, she'll be begging for the epidural, just like I was!" etc.) Not his fault. If he's at least supportive of the idea then that's good.

Thyra, he may just be worried about you and afraid of things that could go wrong - and not realizing at all that articulating those fears is actually undermining your confidence. My DH was the same at the start, but by the time the birth rolled around he was a fantastic source of support. Dewi's suggestions are good ones - watching Business of Being Born made a real impact on my DH (of course I had to bargain and watch some dumb shoot-em-up movie in return). Going to our Bradley classes (which also involved watching many videos of successful natural births) changed my DH's approach too. "Pushed" is a good read for you, but for BF I would suggest books targeted for helping the male birth coach, like "Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way" (also a hit with my DH) and "The Birth Partner" (I have not read but others rave about it).

I still think a doula is indispensable, and hope that you'll get more good suggestions here on someone who can help you for a reasonable cost you can afford. Even with a supportive BF, any doula will be worth her weight in gold.

Best of luck to you -
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice! The BF is super supportive, and really wants to attend the birth (he wants to ask the midwife if he can catch the baby). He's just nervous about it, which I think is understandable - its our first. I'm more worried that in the event of a transfer (if for some reason we did not end up with the MD that is connected to the birth center) that he would get worried and concerned and not question the medical necessity of a c/s if the dr thought the labor was going on for too long. I know that my midwife would be with me at the hospital, but its still nerve wracking.

Thanks for the phone number, I'll give her a call when I get the chance!
post #5 of 11
Nthing the suggestion to have him watch The Business of Being Born. That movie singlehandedly converted my DH from "Hmm, maybe an unmedicated birth will be possible..." to "Man, why do people even go to hospitals anymore?!" It's really eye-opening and very well made.

Good luck and congratulations!
post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by thyra View Post
I'm more worried that in the event of a transfer (if for some reason we did not end up with the MD that is connected to the birth center) that he would get worried and concerned and not question the medical necessity of a c/s if the dr thought the labor was going on for too long. I know that my midwife would be with me at the hospital, but its still nerve wracking.
Again, a doula cannot prevent an unnecessary c section if you time out during labor.

If all of those variables at a Birth Center or hospital are unacceptable to you, and cause you unnecessary worry about the time frame on your labor and the birth you need to have a homebirth. It is not an irrational fear but a fear you have from being educated by the reality of giving birth in an institution.

Hospital and Birth Centers do have policy criterias they must follow that are decided by malpractice bureaucracy and defensive medical practices.

Don't tell doctors that you're a lawyer!

Have you met with any homebirth midwives yet? All have great reputations in NYC, and you have plenty choices. Anyone on the list for NYC I would have attend my birth! www.NYhomebirth.com

You and your bf might especially like
Martine Jean-Baptiste,CNM. Martine had a long career as nurse, worked in the Elizabeth Seton birth center before becoming a homebirth midwife, and has the patience of a saint.
post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by dewi;12308253b
...the Birth Center. They will not transfer you unless there is something seriously wrong. ...
Umm, the BBC is actually very quick to transfer or risk out women, for dubious reasons. I ended up with an unnecessary section - the midwife more-or-less admitted as much right before it happened. Knowing what I know now; I would have planned a homebirth with my first instead.
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Does anyone know what the BBC's rate of transfering patients out is? What about the rate of c/s resulting from those transfers? I tried finding it online and wasn't able to.

thanks!
post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by yamilee21 View Post
Umm, the BBC is actually very quick to transfer or risk out women, for dubious reasons. I ended up with an unnecessary section - the midwife more-or-less admitted as much right before it happened. Knowing what I know now; I would have planned a homebirth with my first instead.
My error, I was being a bit soft with her.
If you read my other post I wrote she can get transferred and/or given a Cesarean arbitrarily because of bureaucratic rules that institutions must follow.
post #10 of 11
I think the transfer rate is about 30%. Don't quote me on this, since I did not get it from BBC staff, but two clients have told me that this was the figure they were told. I have no idea about the section rate. This transfer rate is not a reflection fo the midwives being unsupportive but rather of the difficulties faced by free standing birth centers in this political and legal climate. To stay open, they have to risk a fair number of women out and transfer a fair number of women when things are even a bit off.
post #11 of 11
Having just had a c-section for my first baby after having been completely determined to have a natural childbirth, I feel compelled to comment. Complications do happen, and that's what happened to me. I think you have to go into labor with an open mind, because your mind can't control the labor completely. The baby and the other parts of your body might not completely cooperate. The important thing is to have a healthy baby, and to come through it yourself healthy, and not be pushed into an unnecessary surgery -- but if it turns out that you really need to have a surgery, I'd advise that you not be too far away from it. Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. Don't be afraid. :-)
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