I will be giving birth in a hospital with a great midwife, I like her a lot. This is her own practice, she doesn't partner with anyone usually, so she will be there for the birth for sure (ie: it's not between a practice of a few OBs, or it won't be up to the on call OB . . ). I would like to have a completely natural, unmedicalized birth. I am planning on staying home as long as possible to help prevent unneeded interventions. I am fairly sure that I don't need/don't really want a doula to come to my house. Why do I need one at the hospital? My partner will support me and he is ready to advocate for me when I cannot do so and the midwife will be there - what will she be doing if not advocating for me? We will have a birth plan too (although I do realize that sometimes the nurses and doctors disregard them).
My main questions are: What will a doula do that will not be covered already by my partner and midwife? What am I missing? And what will the midwife be doing that I don't know about? (like will she just be too busy with the medical part of the birth to take care of me?)
I'm not really against a doula, I just want to make sure that we really need one since it is expensive.
Still...if you have a long labor, difficult staff, a midwife who isn't around as much as you figured she would be, if you have a super intense labor, if you hvae a malpositioned baby, many many ifs...it is really VERY helpful to have that doula with you.
We know that statistically just having her in the room will make you less likely (with statistical significance) to get an epidural, narcotics, cesarean section, pitocin, forceps or vaccuum birth. It will mean that you are more likely to bond better with baby, to initiate breastfeeding sooner and breastfeed longer overall, and to have an overall better opinion of how the birth went, even if you didn't have outcomes that you were expecting.
Is she worth the money?...that is up to you. Statistically, yes. But your birth may be different. Problem is...hind site is 20/20. You won't know for sure till you've been there!
Mama to two awesome kids. Wife to a wonderful, attached, loving husband. I love my job-- I'm a Midwife, Doula and Childbirth Educator, Classes forming now!
Having a doula at my own birth was the best part of my entire experience. Her support and expertise made me feel at ease and relaxed. I love my doula, and couldn't imagine birthing without one.
Hire a doula. Always. They rock. You can never imagine their role or impact until you have one.
i initially thought my doula might be in the way, but as it happened she was my rock during labor. i loved her being there. my midwife was busy with the technical stuff, my doula was free to hold me. and she was a loving presence to my dd when we transferred. doulas are excellent!!
Congrats on your little one!!!! Best wishes for a beautiful birth.
If paying fees is a problem you may be able to get a reduced fee by choosing a doula who is working towards certification.
And as for cost, it is a lot in many cases but it is money well spent. Many doulas will work out payment plans or reduce fees depending on need. Also, the price range is very wide. Some doulas charge $1000 and some charge $3000 and everywhere in between, so you can also find someone who is closer to your price range perhaps. And, there are also always doulas in training looking for certifying births if you'd like. They often work for free or cost (about $200 usually). I have a list of doulas in training looking for certifying births that I keep if you'd like to PM, I'll happily give the list to you.
Megan Davidson, Labor & Postpartum Doula, Breastfeeding Counselor, Anthropologist, Mom to August (9) and Clay (4), Partner to Shawn.
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