Working as a doula while PG? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 8 Old 04-21-2008, 12:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Anyone done it? Any advice or stories to share?

I'm attending a birth in July and will be about 22 weeks then if all goes well with this pregnancy. I figure I should be feeling pretty good around then; at least, I did with my first pregnancy. But are there potential problems I'm not foreseeing?

SAHM to 6.5yo DS and 4yo DD. PCOS with two early m/cs. Married 8 yrs. Certified birth doula, writer, editor.

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#2 of 8 Old 04-21-2008, 01:14 PM
 
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I attended 4 births during my last pregnancy. My only trouble was some sensitivity to smell when moms were pushing. Normally I'm not sensitive to smell at all. When I went to a birth at 37.5w, the dad insisted I sit down a lot, and I had signed a provisional contract with the family, letting them know that I might not make it. Luckily the mom went into labor during a great time (for me) and it was fairly quick.

I'd just make sure to bring lots of snacks and drinks.

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#3 of 8 Old 04-21-2008, 03:39 PM
 
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This is secondhand info, but I don't think she would mind me sharing it here.

MDC mama Gunter attended my homebirth as a midwife apprentice when she was 38 weeks pregnant herself. She brought an amazing amount of positive energy to the experience, and I was so happy she was able to be there. I had a fairly hands-off birth and labored with just DH present through most of transition, so my midwife team was able to rest and even take a short nap before I delivered. If she doesn't chime in here, you might want to PM Gunter and ask her about it.

Cindy, part-time family doc, full-time Mommy to Jared (2/04) and Connor (2/08) :
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#4 of 8 Old 04-21-2008, 05:08 PM
 
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I'm doing it!

I'm about ten weeks pregnant, due in November, and expect to be attending births all the way through October. I work almost exclusively with a midwife doing homebirths, and I think it will work well.

The births in the last few weeks have been challenging- we had a super long one two weeks ago, and I was exhausted! I didn't bring enough snacks, and we had to transfer to the hospital, and I was up for 36+ hours. It wasn't really very smart, and afterwards, the midwife and I talked about it and decided we'll have to do something different if we have a situation like that again.

And yeah, the smells. I had to clean poop out of a birth tub and nearly lost it. Can't say enough good about peppermint essential oil under my nose or on the sleeve of my shirt.

Violin teaching, doula-ing Mom to Abby, (8) Ashlynn, (6) : and Max (11/13/08) Diagnosed with Metopic Craniosynostosis. First surgery 5/1/09, Second surgery March 2010.
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#5 of 8 Old 04-21-2008, 07:02 PM
 
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A good friend had a doula who was pg and ended up being so tired that she slept through much of the time she was really needed. This would be my worry as a doula or a client. Also, for me, my back was very sore in my second pregnancy and my belly was huge. When I think of the things I commonly do with laboring women, I could not have done then after about 5-6 months.

Only you will know what you can do but I think you should have back-up for sure.

Megan Davidson, Labor & Postpartum Doula, Breastfeeding Counselor, Anthropologist, Mom to August (9) and Clay (4), Partner to Shawn.

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#6 of 8 Old 04-21-2008, 09:05 PM
 
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The most pregnant I was when I doula-ed was about 6 months. The birth was great! But even though it was fairly quick and low key physically, I was wiped out. Had to lay low for a couple days afterwards.
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#7 of 8 Old 04-22-2008, 12:36 AM
 
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I am currently 25 weeks pregnant (as of tomorrow) and plan to continue attending births until I am about 36 weeks pregnant and might even go further. The main reason I am ending at 36 weeks is because two of my girls came at that time and for the comfort of those that I work with (the other doulas that work in the program I work within). I am not taking private clients, but am still working within the hospital program.

I think it might be a good idea to have a good back up in the event that you cannot attend the birth or get too tired, but if the mother is okay with you being there why not
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#8 of 8 Old 04-22-2008, 10:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrooklynDoula View Post
A good friend had a doula who was pg and ended up being so tired that she slept through much of the time she was really needed. This would be my worry as a doula or a client. Also, for me, my back was very sore in my second pregnancy and my belly was huge. When I think of the things I commonly do with laboring women, I could not have done then after about 5-6 months.

Only you will know what you can do but I think you should have back-up for sure.
Yeah, actually I had that experience myself. My doula was in her first trimester and was really tired and sick. She put off coming over for too long, I guess trying to reserve her energy, and ended up meeting us at the hospital instead which really disappointed me. (I went into labor at 5AM, called her at 7AM, and went to the hospital at 3PM, so it's not like she didn't get enough notice.) Once at the hospital, I was barely aware of her presence, she really didn't do anything. She helped at a few crucial points, but I'm still angry about it overall. She should have called in her backup if she was too ill to do her job.

So I'm very aware of this as a potential problem. I turned down a birth that would have fallen in my first tri since I have a lot of nausea and fatigue. I figure I have a good chance of being OK in my second tri though. And if not I will definitely call in a backup. I don't think I'll line anything up for the third trimester.

Thanks all!

SAHM to 6.5yo DS and 4yo DD. PCOS with two early m/cs. Married 8 yrs. Certified birth doula, writer, editor.

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