Doulas: Have you attended a UC? Would you? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 01-10-2011, 06:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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A friend of mine told me she's thinking about a UC for her third baby. She's not pregnant yet, just exploring her options. First two births were in a hospital with midwives and had no complications. She wanted to feel me out to see how I'd feel about possibly attending. She'd want me there as a doula only, not as a substitute midwife- she wants to truly birth on her own. I told her I wasn't sure. I support her right to make the choice to UC, but it's not something I would feel comfortable with for myself. I believe we evolved as a species to need some assistance with childbirth.

 

But it's not for me to decide whether UC is OK or not, the question is more what it means for a doula to attend a freebirth. I worry that if something were to go wrong I'd feel responsible. I don't even have neonatal CPR training yet.

 

Thoughts? I'd love to hear stories of your attending UC births, if you've done so.

 

OH and I did offer my friend this idea, that maybe she could find a newly-trained HB midwife who previously worked as a doula, someone who's on board with being extremely hands-off and just kind of being there in case of shoulder dystocia, cord prolapse, baby needing help after birth, etc.


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#2 of 13 Old 01-10-2011, 07:38 AM
 
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I know everyone is different, but for me - I wouldn't do it because the way I see it is if a doula is present then she isn't really UC-ing.  Also something to consider is that if something does go wrong then you are the most qualified person there - legally how would that be viewed as well?  

 

I respect someone's right and decision to UC, but like I said in my eyes they aren't UC-ing then.


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#3 of 13 Old 01-10-2011, 09:51 AM
 
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I don't think I would have a problem doing this "as a friend" for emotional support/physical support or even as a doula.  If I were there as a doula I would surely have a contract signed that says I am in no way medically responsible in this scenario (which I already have in my current contract). I support a woman's right to UC even though I don't know if that is for ME or not.  I also don't think just because you UC that this excludes you to the right to emotional support.  You've just decided to go without medical support...??  But maybe I need to look at the definition of UC!!

 

I can totally understand your hesitation and I wouldn't really know how I would handle this until I was put in the situation.  

 


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#4 of 13 Old 01-10-2011, 10:58 AM
 
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I also thought UC was simply no medical assistance or attendants. Since Doulas are not medically trained and anything medical is out of the scope of our practice, it would still be a UC. I would have to think long and hard about this. In my heart, I'd do it in an instant. In my head, I'd be very cafeful about the woman I choose to support. 

 

 

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#5 of 13 Old 01-10-2011, 01:59 PM
 
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While I agree that doulas are non-medical and that having a doula at your birth would not change it being a UC, i would still not attend a UC as a doula (or as a friend). I have training in childbirth. I have attended a large number of births at home, in birth centers, and in hospitals. In the event that something happened, I would be the person with the single most experience in the room and I would not be comfortable with that dynamic. The overwhelmingly likelihood is that everything would be fine but for me the risks associated with being there if everything was not fine are not something I could personally be okay with. I have been at births where things went south quickly and where we had no way of anticipating that, so I know how that feels and I would not want to be there without a midwife or OB to handle that situation.


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

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#6 of 13 Old 01-13-2011, 02:52 AM
 
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I would be nervous that what she is truly looking for is someone extremely hands off -- If she had a midwife, she knows that midwives have protocol and patient/care provider agreements she perhaps doesn't want to agree to.  I can understand her desire for emotional support but I wouldn't be comfortable helping at UC, especially since I've seen several babies born who needed help only a midwife could help with.  I could not provide help beyond infant CPR which is not always enough.  Also I've seen moms bleed out and need pitocin to stop bleeding, etc. (This was after a natural birth that had gone extremely smooth and no intervention on the care provider's part aka cord tugging etc). The fundal massage was not enough. There again, it's the midwife who has the pitocin.

 

I think if anything went wrong you would instinctively assume a certain amount of responsibility if only because you have seen a certain number of births and situations.  From there you could be held liable. I would definitely do whatever I knew how to do and maybe it would be wrong and I would be held responsible. For this reason I, as a doula, wouldn't attend UC.  The woman asking you may have a subconscious (or conscious) desire to have *someone* there "just in case" (even knowing doulas aren't medical care providers). I'd be very careful and take care of my own self and future as a doula.

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#7 of 13 Old 01-13-2011, 10:00 AM
 
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In theory, I am ok with being a doula attending a UC. In reality, each time that I was asked and really dug and kept asking questions of the family, it would finally come out that they wanted "someone who knew stuff" there. They didn't want anyone doing procedures, but wanted someone who might have an idea as to if a transport was needed.... I did NOT want to be that someone. I would encourage doulas who are asked to attend UC births to just dig deeper with questions about why the family wants a doula, what are they hoping for, what are their plans for an emergency, how they will recognize an emergency, what education they feel the doula is bringing to the table, etc. Asking questions might help sort out if it is a birth you want to attend or not.


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#8 of 13 Old 01-13-2011, 11:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you, this and a few of the posts above express very well what I've been feeling in my gut. I do think she wants someone there "just in case." Anyway, this has all helped me clarify my feelings about it. Thank you all!
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MidwifeErika View Post

In theory, I am ok with being a doula attending a UC. In reality, each time that I was asked and really dug and kept asking questions of the family, it would finally come out that they wanted "someone who knew stuff" there. They didn't want anyone doing procedures, but wanted someone who might have an idea as to if a transport was needed.... I did NOT want to be that someone. I would encourage doulas who are asked to attend UC births to just dig deeper with questions about why the family wants a doula, what are they hoping for, what are their plans for an emergency, how they will recognize an emergency, what education they feel the doula is bringing to the table, etc. Asking questions might help sort out if it is a birth you want to attend or not.




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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#9 of 13 Old 01-13-2011, 12:11 PM
 
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Your friends only experience has been her two births in a hospital, and she is leaping to an unassisted birth, but wants you for security a "friend who is a doula".  Not a good idea.

 

  I would advise her to first explore and meet the homebirth midwifes in her area. 

The Homebirth midwifes i know are all philosophically Very different then a *hospital* midwife who is stuck and bound to following hospital policies.

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#10 of 13 Old 01-17-2011, 01:33 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sweet.p View Post

Your friends only experience has been her two births in a hospital, and she is leaping to an unassisted birth, but wants you for security a "friend who is a doula".  Not a good idea.

 

 


For many, this isn't a jump. Perhaps she wanted UC's all along, but for whatever reason (physically, emotionally, relationship wise) she couldn't. Just because she's had two hospital births, doesn't mean she is less emotionally prepared for the aspects of a homebirth. 

 

As someone who wants a UC, I'd much rather have a friend there who fully understood normal physiological birth, over a good friend who didn't. (I'd also want them to be a good photographer, but that is neither here nor there). Just because a woman is reaching out for support from a friend, doesn't mean she isn't capable of a UC birth. She might just want someone who knows how to do counter pressure, or basic massage skills....for hours and hours. Knowing your friend has doula length stamina would set the heart at ease also, I'm sure. ;) 

 

I'll be holding the space for a UC in March. 


Birth Attendant. Placenta Encapsulator. Reiki Practitioner. Vegan. Aspiring Midwife. Breastfeeding Educator Student. Two years of trying for our love child.
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#11 of 13 Old 01-19-2011, 06:23 PM
 
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I have not read all the replies and won't as I know it is a heated topic.  I have not had the opportunity to doula for a UC birth, But would be more than happy too :)


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#12 of 13 Old 01-19-2011, 07:32 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamato3cherubs View Post

I have not read all the replies and won't as I know it is a heated topic.  I have not had the opportunity to doula for a UC birth, But would be more than happy too :)


LOL - I thought we all handled it very well thus far smile.gif


Michelle married to my highschool sweetheart and mom to: DD '88, DS '90, DD '91, DD '94, DD '97, DD '98, DD '01, DD '08, and DS'09

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#13 of 13 Old 01-19-2011, 07:36 PM
 
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I have never attended one, but I would and I would have a contract signed stating they are not relying on me for medical advice/help.


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