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#1 of 38 Old 12-07-2005, 12:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I thought it might be interesting for frum (Orthodox Jewish) doulas to have a thread where we could discuss the special needs of the frum doula and the frum client.
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#2 of 38 Old 12-07-2005, 12:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'd like to start by asking what plans you make with clients for Shabbat. I know that I have a ton of sheilas that I should ask a Rav but I'm just not sure what Rav to ask that is going to give me the answers I need to get . When I finally get the guts to speak to one I want to be prepared with questions.

I want to start with asking about:

1. transportation to and from a Shabbat birth
2. answering the phone on Shabbat
3. carrying a cell phone on Shabbat
4. Chilul Shabbat for the laboring women at the place of birth

Any more suggestions?

I have 2 births coming up in the next few weeks but both women live very closeby so I'm not so concerned about the traveling since I can just hop in the cab with them. The hospital is about 45 minutes away by foot so I walk home after which is very convenient.
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#3 of 38 Old 12-07-2005, 01:17 PM
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Thanks for opening this thread!!

Shabat is a big issue for me. There are big rabbis here in Jerusalem (Rav Halberstad of the Badatz/Eidah Charedit for example) that give permission for a doula to come on shabat. Unfortunately they are all ashkenazic rabbis, and my husband is sephardic, so I need a psak from a sephardic rabbi too. I talked to our own rabbi who is very open about the subject, but doesn't feel certain enough to give me full permission. I have 'temporary permission' until I can ask someone 'higher' than he is (sorry don't know how else to describe it).

So this is how I do it. I have this non jewish taxi driver, who knows I'm a frum doula. I let the lady call him, and she'll tell him where to take me (her house, hospital or whereever). Then the taxi driver calls me on my cellphone. I have a cellphone with an earphone attached. If the earphone is plugged in, it answers calls automatically after a few rings so all I need to do is just put the ear plug in my ear. It also hangs up automatically after the call is done and the other side hangs up. I don't need to do anything. The non jewish taxi driver then comes to pick me up. My rabbi told me to make sure that the light inside the car is not working, so that it won't be turned on or off when you open/close the door of the car, even if the goy does it.
As far as payment goes, the lady should have money ready for him and tell him where it is so he can get it himself, or he'll come to collect it after shabat.

As a part of my doula training we had a shiur of another rabbi (rav Berkovitz) who discussed all the halachot that we doulas can encounter on shabat, which was very informative. Generally there are not so many obstacles during our work. Maybe only the mixing of etheric oils with the basic oil, so I guess you can just skip that on shabat. You can massage with oil just don't add the scented oil to it (or if you can mix it before shabat, but I don't think you can). And you can just let the lady sniff some bottles if you want to make use of aromatherapy.

I did not get permission to drive back home after a birth, even with a goy driver.
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#4 of 38 Old 12-07-2005, 11:24 PM
 
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hi i am not a doula
but i am so glad you have this thread.
it would be great if there were a way from women to find frum doulas.
if there were one in my area i would really want to have one with us.
hatzlacha!
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#5 of 38 Old 12-07-2005, 11:56 PM
 
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I am not a doula either, but I will send this to my own personal frum doula in the hopes that she will log on. I know that she has attended many, many shabbat births (mine ended on Friday night) so this would be familiar territory.
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#6 of 38 Old 12-08-2005, 10:44 AM
 
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I am katenyc's friend. and i was her doula

when i was starting out, i asked this question at www.jewishpregnancy.org. here is the response i got:

http://www.jewishpregnancy.org/messa...or%20coach.htm

to be honest, i drive myself to all my births and back from them on shabbat and yomtov, unless shabbat or yomtov is going to end relatively soon in which case i stay at the hospital. i missed a birth early on because i was waiting for a car service. that same birth, which was at the home of a non-jewish family and ended early shabbat morning, i took a car service back home and the driver was mentally disturbed, and made me feel threatened (i am not a paranoid person). since that day, i decided it was more important for my children to have a mother than to worry about how to get to and from a birth, especially since time is always of the essence and it is an issue of pikuach nefesh, which is how doulas are able to go in the first place. i didn't grow up frum, so maybe that informs how i see this issue.

julie in nj, mama to 6 and (almost, iy"h) 9 year old girls
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#7 of 38 Old 12-08-2005, 12:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow, that response was very comprehensive but as with everything I think that I need to get a psak for my personal situation.

I know that one of the big rabbanim here permits doulas to drive to births on Shabbat. However, he did not allow my friend to come home from births by cab. I wonder if I’d get a different answer since I have young children and it would be a real Shalom Bayit issue. He is a gadol and I'm shy to approach him . Another Rav in the community does allow doulas to come back by cab but I’m not a member of his shul and don’t want to bother him with my questions.

I really like the answering machine idea. I've been relying on my caller id when the phone rings. One client is in my building so her husband will knock on my door (unless she really can't be left alone). The other client is a block away so I figured I'd just run over to talk to them when they called. Not an ideal plan for 2 am, but doable. I can just hop in the cab with them and walk home since the hospital is 45 minutes away by foot.

I wondered about carrying a cell phone on Shabbos for times when we are invited out for lunch or for when I'm at shul. Again, I wouldn't answer it, I would just leave wherever I was and walk over since its closeby. My sister-in-law carries a pager and has told clients that if she doesn’t call back within 15 minutes then they should just send a cab to her house.

Most of my clients would be from my neighborhood but I have a close friend in Highland Park (I'm in Philly) who wants me to come to her birth in Princeton. I can stay there for one of the Shabbatot around her due date but not all of them. That’ll make for some interesting Shailot.
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#8 of 38 Old 12-08-2005, 01:20 PM
 
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Originally Posted by 3daughters
Most of my clients would be from my neighborhood but I have a close friend in Highland Park (I'm in Philly) who wants me to come to her birth in Princeton. I can stay there for one of the Shabbatot around her due date but not all of them. That’ll make for some interesting Shailot.
Would Oriya (oh, and the rest of the family ) go with you for shabbat? If not....that might be, um, interesting, no?

Hi Julie! (If anyone wants war stories, Julie's a good source. I was the birth that was so long it doesn't even get calculated into her averages. But it wasn't entirely my fault...dd has dh's big head!)
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#9 of 38 Old 12-08-2005, 02:09 PM
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The reason for being allowed to go back is not shlom bayit. It is that is you're stuck at the hospital for the whole shabat, you might not even want to come to a birth on or close to shabat thee next time. So that's why they allow you to go back (you can tell this to your rabbi).
What is use is not an answering machine. It's just a feature of my phone that it picks up automatically, and then I just talk. As far as carrying goes, you should carry it with a shinui and not too much in sight. If you're going to lunch somewhere I would just tell them that you're a doula on call and that you might get a phonecall. It might also be a good idea to take a 'neutral' ringtone that won't intrude too much on shabat, like not the Fur Elise or so
What really helped my rabbi agree to giving me permission is that I mentioned the name of this rabbi Halberstad of the Badatz who allows it.

Julie it's true that a woman in labor is considered 'chole sheyesh bo sakana' but that does not mean that all the rules of shabat can be broken easily like in other cases of pikuach nefesh. In fact, a yoledet (woman in labor) has a special status in the halacha. That means that techncally it could be allowed to go to her on shabat, but that you really need to know how to do it. It's always the best to get a non jew to drive you, but if that's not an option you could also drive yourself. In any case, maybe you should contact your local rabbi for advice on how to do it exactly (suited to your circumstances).
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#10 of 38 Old 12-09-2005, 08:03 AM
 
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I tried this yesterday and stuck the computer, if it dies again, I guess I was not meant to post here

I am a doula in training, having done my first birth, and I hoe my second coming up inj a couple of weeks.

I got apsak that I can drive to and from a birth on shabbat - from our local Rav, to whom we ask all our sheailot.

I have a signal for a woman to call me - she gives three rings, closes the phone and dials again. then I know it is not a crank call.

There are no non-jewish drivers round here as far as i know. And they would not be allowed in to our town on shabbat I dont think.

As for a cell phone, I am not keen to take it to shul. I have not quite worked out what to do with it. There are lots of the community who have beepers and phones for emergencies. I just dont feel comfortable with mine going off, even on vibrate, in shul. I dont have a belt, and it is usually in my bag.

Any logistics ideas for me ladies ?

And I felt really weird driving to and from the birth. I know it was ok, and I am allowed. The last time I drove on shabbat was when my now 17 year old cut his head open, at the age of 2 !

Enough for now. Nice to meet you all. There are a lot of us here in Israel, but many are not big internet users.

Shabbat Shalom

Hila (in Efrat)
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#11 of 38 Old 12-09-2005, 08:32 AM
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Welcome Hila!

There is a new mailing list for birth professionals in Israel called birthisrael in yahoogroups. You're welcome to join! We're trying to get everybody united by having this list.

As far as a phone in shul, Rav Berkovitz said that it was OK and I know that there are some shuls where it's more common (lots of doctors etc who daven there), but I can imagine it being uncomfortable. Maybe you have a neighbor who can watch the phone for you and get you when it rings? The rav said it's better to leave the phone at home when you can, so this might be a solution.
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#12 of 38 Old 12-09-2005, 03:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Your responses gave me the courage to finally call the Rav with all my questions. All his answers were similar to the ones others her got so there were no suprises.

He told me to use an answering machine to screen my calls when at home. The women can leave a detailed message which I will hear and go from there.

He gave me permission to carry my cell phone on Shabbat when away from home and I made up a code with the women. One call means come over now, two calls means meet us at the hospital and three calls means that they need to talk to me now and I should pick up.

As for transportation, he said the best is to travel with the women. Next best is to travel with a non-Jewish driver. He did not give me permission to come home after the birth (unless I can walk) but when I mentioned that I am nursing and could get engorged he allowed me to take a cab home. I'll worry about it again when we wean...

He said, in general, I should minimize Chilul Shabbat whenever possible but if another option isn't available then to use a Shinui.

Oh yeah, and I'll arrange with a neighbor that I can drop my kids there and run in the case that dh is at shul and I'm alone with the kids.

Hila, I realized that I don't have any Shabbat skirts with pockets either. I will not feel the phone vibrating in my diaper bag!!! I'm thinking of just sticking it in my stockings .

Michal, how can I join the list? I'm not the most up to date on cellphone accessories but I've never heard of the earphone device you're describing.

Julie, I'd love to hear war stories! That is the best way to learn!

Did I miss anything?

P.S. Kate, when we go to HP it would be the whole family together as Shabbat guests. As long as I'm nursing there won't be any solo overnight excursions...
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#13 of 38 Old 12-09-2005, 05:14 PM
 
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And I felt really weird driving to and from the birth. I know it was ok, and I am allowed. The last time I drove on shabbat was when my now 17 year old cut his head open, at the age of 2 !
I understand where you are coming from...my dh is a member of Hatzalah and drives on shabbat/yom tov (and seemingly always mincha of Yom Kippur) all the time, but it took him a long time to get used to it. (He's been a member now for about 8 yrs.)

The neighborhood rav who is the posek for our branch of hatzalah (and a huge modern orthodox posek b'chalal) once said in a shiur to the group that when you are on a call, as far as you are concerned, it's Tuesday. It can be quite an adjustment, though. Dh has been known to refuse offers of Scotch on shabbat because "I might have to drive later."
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#14 of 38 Old 12-09-2005, 11:10 PM
 
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I'm not frum and not a doula, but I wanted to thank all of you for starting and contributing to this thread. I find it very interesting to read and learn.

I have a question unrelated to what you are and aren't allowed to do on Shabbat. Are there any special prayers or things you do for your frum clients? Any ways you help incorporate religion into the birth or pregnancy?
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#15 of 38 Old 12-10-2005, 01:30 PM
 
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Shavua tov all of you, (we finish first here in Israel)

Hope your shabbat was quiet.

My client last week kep saying " Heshem ten li koach" or "Hashem taazor"

G-d give me strength, or Hashem help me.
My teacher likes to tell people to say "Hashem oz leamo yiten" (Hashem please give your stregth to your people" as a sort of mantra to get through the contractions.

Thillim 20 is also a good one to say in times of stress.

Hila
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#16 of 38 Old 12-10-2005, 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by 3daughters

Michal, how can I join the list? I'm not the most up to date on cellphone accessories but I've never heard of the earphone device you're describing.
You can find the list here. Just subscribe

And I suppose you can find the earphone in a cellphone accessory shop. It's used for calling hands free like in a car, and most phones have the setting that when the earphone is plugged in, it will answer calls automatically so you won't have to takes your hands off the wheel when driving (or press a button when it's shabbat )
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#17 of 38 Old 12-10-2005, 08:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Shabbat was quiet! No calls, lol!

As Hila mentioned, the affirmations used by a women in labor can have a spiritual quality by including G-d's name or by using a verse from the prayers or Psalms. I have heard of women who will bring lists of names of women who are unmarried or infertile and read off their names as the baby is crowing since its supposed to be a time when G-d listens to prayers.

You may find some interesting information on this website (and look at her links page too) http://miriammaslin.com/index_html. I heard her speak recently and I really learned a lot. jewishpregnancy.org has more interesting perspectives.
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#18 of 38 Old 12-12-2005, 04:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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http://mikvah.org/inside.asp?id=21

I found this passage by Chana Luba Ertel from mikvah.org very inspiring:

"How valuable is a professional labor assistant? What is her purpose? It is written in the Torah that every baby born brings the Redemption closer. With each child, a Jewish mother lights one more candle for the Sabbath. Judaism teaches that each individual is vested with great power, able to reach beyond the boundaries of the natural world and self-limitations to ensure that goodness and truth reign throughout the world. Each baby born is another light in the world, another soul with boundless possiblities. The labor assistant is a link in the Divine plan to help women become partners in creation, help them fulfill their G-dly mission with purpose and joy. The more beautiful and safe a woman's birth experience can be, the more honored and joyous she will be to participate in this vital task of bringing beautiful babies, holy souls into the world. "
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#19 of 38 Old 12-14-2005, 02:19 AM
 
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hi all, there was doula in my neighborhood in j-lem who would wear the cell phone on like a necklace. Not really a necklace, it was a cell phone holder but it went around your neck. Maybe you cold put it on vibrate and stick it in your sweater. ppl would probly think it was your house keys if they saw it at all.

chana weisbergs book "expecting miracles" is all about making pregnancy and birth more spiritual and a jewish experience. She has stuff on prayers to say and customs etc.
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#20 of 38 Old 12-21-2005, 01:24 PM
 
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Hi ! I just found this thread and I'd love to join. Although I am not a trained doula I did attend 2 homebirths as a doula, for a freind who also happened to be my doula for 3 of my homebirths. I have thought many times about doing the course but I just cannot see myself at this stage in my life (with nursing toddler other kids, dh works till really late no babysitter etc being able to be on call at anytime, and just being able to get up and go and leave the family without knowing if you'll be back 4 hrs later or 14!! So I really admire all of you who really do it.!! G-d willing I will in good time.

It is also a custom to say the "Shir Hamaalot esa eynai el haharim...." and to hang it in the birthing mother's room and over the baby's bassinet.

Do any of you do postpartem as well or only birth doulas?

I see their are to of us with the same name, just spelled different !!
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#21 of 38 Old 12-21-2005, 05:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi Gilla! Welcome! I'd love to revive this thread...I have a nursing toddler and 2 other daughters. My husband has been good about dealing with the kids when I need to be away from the house.

Just got back from a birth so I'm a little high .

Mom was induced since she was already at 5 cm at GBS positive. They wanted to make sure she got 2 doses of antibiotics. They broke her water at 10:30 am and not much happened. Started pit at 12:10 pm and she delivered at 1:15 pm. Can you believe it? We knew she'd go fast...but that fast??? Unfortunately, she was counting on pain medication and it didn't kick in till after the birth. But, B"H she is feeling great and I'll work on making her proud of her accomplishment.

Later!
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#22 of 38 Old 12-22-2005, 07:23 PM
 
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I know the feeling after being at abirth ! The first birth Iwent to ds was anew bornso Ijust took him along and he slept/nursed/was inthe sling very doable, also was on a sunday and dh stayed home with other kids. 2nd time was late in the afternoon and dd who was16 at the time babysat.( rightnow she is in seminary in Israel) .
who did youcertify with?
I was also curious to know howmuch the doulas in Israel are usually paid ?
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#23 of 38 Old 12-23-2005, 05:51 AM
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A trained, experienced doula charges around $300-$350 here. Some even more.
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#24 of 38 Old 12-26-2005, 11:55 AM
 
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O.K., spoke to dh and decided that now is a goodtime to get the formal training. I was looking at the 2 organizations that do distance training since flying somewhere for a weekend workshop was one of the obstacles. the 2 i looked up are Cappa and childbirth international and I am having a hard time deciding which one. I would appreciate it if any of you had some recomendations, they both look pretty good.
I asked my midwife and she was of the opinion that they are all good enough !! she just wants to see me at births!!lol

Iam also almost finnished all that is needed to be aLLL leader hopefuly sometime after the "holidays" ? Should I wait till after ? I guess that doesn't really matter.

chag Chanukah sameach
freiligen and liechteke chanukah!
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#25 of 38 Old 12-26-2005, 02:09 PM
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The course I took (here in Jerusalem) was from DONA, and it was a once a week kind of thing, for 8 or 9 weeks. Isn't there something closer to you that does something like that? Or are they all seminars of a few days in a row?
I'm taking my second formal doula course right now. It's a course from the Israeli Chilbirth Education Center, together with Reidman College for alternative medicine where I aready study reflexology. This course is 2 semesters, once a week. It covers everything, from the anatomy and physiology of pregnancy and childbirth to general doula skills to dealing with hospital staff and also some specific classes about aromatherapy, reflexology, shiatsu etc that you use during childbirth. Since the DONA doula course was so short, I did have the feeling of lack of knowledge especially about all the different therapy methods that you can use during birth.
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#26 of 38 Old 12-26-2005, 05:24 PM
 
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Thats really great that you learn all that with the Israeli childbirth center,
i don't think that any of the doula courses here cover all that , though I may be wrong. Here in the States you have to have aLicense for everything.
i took a course in reflexology 12 yrs ago but by law I was not allowed to practice on anyone and get paid (except ofcourse on family members) unless I was amassage therapist, so I went to school full time for about 8 months to be a massage therapist!!!! right now I am nolonger licensed since being a full time I just never kept .it up.

over here Dona has weekend workshops although Ihave a freind who went to one of their workshops during the week.
Rhight now I have 3 kids home ds6, ds4 1/2, ds2 1/2, so it is easier for me to do distance learning for now.
I notice that you have small kids, who watches them when you go to school or to births?
have you been to any homebirths? my family in Israel think that Iam totally crazy for birthing at home (and I have B"H had 5 at home!) so I was wondering if more people today are choosing homebirth in Israel,I remember a freind telling me that if she chose homebirth she would lose maanak leida but that was quite awhile ago so hopefully things have changed.

kol tuv
'






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#27 of 38 Old 12-26-2005, 08:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I had the same problem you had, which is that most courses take place over Shabbos. I found a course in NYC that was 3 Sundays in a row but it just wasn't realistic to drive to Manhattan so frequently with young kids at home. I did the distance course through CAPPA and I was very happy with it. I realize that most of what you learn is through the reading and by talking to experiences doulas anyways.

My kids are in school all day (I have a full time job). Evenings and weekends dh takes over if I need to go to a birth. The only tricky day is Shabbos...if I get a call while dh is at shul then I will leave the kids at a neighbor till he gets home. So far that hasn't happened.

I went to the Shalom Zachor for this quick birth that I was at and the father thanked me publicly. He said something really cute but true "when your wife is in pain and the epidural hasn't kicked in...a good doula is worth 10 husbands".
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#28 of 38 Old 12-30-2005, 07:38 AM
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Originally Posted by mombh
I notice that you have small kids, who watches them when you go to school or to births?
have you been to any homebirths? my family in Israel think that Iam totally crazy for birthing at home (and I have B"H had 5 at home!) so I was wondering if more people today are choosing homebirth in Israel,I remember a freind telling me that if she chose homebirth she would lose maanak leida but that was quite awhile ago so hopefully things have changed.
My kids are in preschool 6 days a week, and my mother watches them in the afternoons when I'm not there. On shabat we're almost always at the ILs who live only a few blocks away.
I haven't been to any home births yet. They're starting to become in fashion here and at the same time, a lot is changing in the hospital birth world too, for the better. Recently there were a few articles in the newspaper about how homebirths are actually safe and sometimes safer than hospital births. Misrad Habriut did provide a whole list of conditions of when a home birth cannot take place which seems to be copied directly from the dutch list of conditions (no VBAC, twins, breech etc).
It is still true that you won't get a maanak leida if you give birth at home unless you hospitalize yourself afterwards for at least 12 hours. There was a couple recently that tried to fight it but lost. But to be honest, I'd rather lose those 600 NIS or whatever it is nowadays than go to the hospital. That money is just not worth it.
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#29 of 38 Old 01-03-2006, 09:54 PM
 
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I thought that if you go to the hospital and bring the baby you can still get the maanak leida. But you have to bring the placenta and leave it with them because there was a situation with palestinian women that the mother would bring in the baby and get a check and then her sister would bring the baby also for another check etc... so now you have to brign the placenta as proof. Weird.

I wanted to ask you ladies, if you thought that there were things about judaism/ halacha that I should put in my birth plan. Like hair covering, body covering, not touching dh after the birth (that is how we hold) etc... do you think that they need to know these things? I dont want to freak anyone out more than neccesary - we live in the middle of no where jewishly.
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#30 of 38 Old 01-03-2006, 10:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Personally, I think it is a good idea to include religious needs in a birth plan. From my birth plan "Please be aware that we are Orthodox Jews. Shalom will maintain emotional support (after membranes rupture, bloody show or late stages of labor) but physical contact is prohibited. When possible I would appreciate it if the birth center staff would assist with physical aspects of providing comfort." I also discussed the special needs of a Shabbos birth with the birth center staff ahead of time. They had some experience with Frum clients and went out of their way to accomodate us during our Shabbos birth.

I was recently at a birth where the father went behind the curtain by the door for the actual birth and until his wife was cleaned up and covered. The hospital staff thought he was distancing himself from his wife for the wrong reasons. He had to explain the concept of Niddah and its connection to the birth process to them on the spot while she tried to convince them that "he really loves me". HTH!
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