This may seem like a strange question but to doulas here-- did you want to have a doula at your own birth(s)? Did any of you feel like you didn't or don't want one yourself, even though you yourself love being a doula for other women?
Honestly I think doulas are no different then any other woman - some will benefit from one and some will be better off on their own. After all we are women first and doulas second.
Personally I had a doula at my last two births, BUT my doula also really knew what we expected of her and respected that. Had she gotten in there and was touchy feeling or talking to me or anything like that I probably would have wanted her to leave. We actually had a doula at both births more to help my husband. She was there to calm his nerves and remind him that everything was okay and normal. She also kind of held our "space", but she wasn't hands on and didn't really talk me through contractions or anything like that because that was my husband's role.
Like I said though had she been in there more I wouldn't have wanted her there, but then again she was also the perfect doula for us.
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
(Non-profit Organization Director and Program Coordinator / Doula / Educator / Massage Therapist)
Not strange at all. If I wasn't worried about a hospital transfer, I would not have had a doula. When things go well, I just want a midwife on hand to help catch and make sure everything is under control. Touching me is not necessary or desired.
We hired her for that reason though, and she was intuitive enough to stay out of the way and just BE there...mosty for the DH.
I don't like being bothered when I am busy and need to concentrate on the task at hand, and labor is definitely a time when I am busy. I've been a 'don't touch me, don't talk to me' gal with both my labors. But thinking about it in retrospect, if somebody had been around during the 2nd one to turn off lights (I swear, EVERY light in our house was blazing), get me water, make my hair a little less sloppy and in my face (all the things I wanted but couldn't communicate), help DH with setting up the tub and boiling water (didn't know labor would go so fast) and take decent photos during the event, I would have loved it. So, I guess logistical support doula would have been nice, but I didn't feel the need for one for emotional or physical support.
With DS1, our Bradley teacher came to the birth (I saw her mostly as an insurance policy because I didn't know what to expect). She was very quiet and unobtrusive (just what I needed), but she's the one who recognized that I was starting to get pushy, and she was a good witness and holder of space. She helped fill in details of the birth that made no sense to me when I asked her about it much later. That was nice.
I'm glad you asked this question. I'm pregnant and even though I love working as a doula, I kind of don't want a doula and it's been making me feel like a bit of a hypocrite! I guess for me, I don't have any concern about how my DH is going to handle labor and delivery as he helped his ex-wife through 4 unmedicated labors and deliveries. Also, I'm delivering at the same hospital that she did so he's familiar with the layout and how things work. But I am considering asking my friend if she would be willing to be there to take photos and give my DH a break if he needs it. She has a 1 yr old though so it would only work if her DH would be able to watch their baby during that time. I also tend to retreat when I'm in pain and just need to go through it alone so I can see how having another person around would bother me. I need to think about it some more but I'm glad to see I'm not the only doula considering not having a doula at her own birth!
Annie wife v2.0 to DH and joyfully parenting DSS 18 , DSD 15 , DSD 14 , DSS 12and heart hero DD 2. 8/2010
I had a doula (the same one) at both of my births. She knew exactly the kind of attention I would want...cold cloths when I was hot, water when I stuck my hand out, and NO TALKING OR TOUCHING unless I initiated it. That's just me, but I was worried that my husband would pass out when he saw the fluids/blood involved (he saw a man's arm ripped off in a press when he was co-opping in college and hasn't been the same since when it comes to bodily fluids and blood), and knew that if he did I would still need the little bit of support I NEED in labor. So I prepared for that possibility. As it turns out, he did NOT pass out (he says that it's DIFFERENT when it's your baby being born), but I still found it helpful to have a woman there who had gone through it before, even though he was great help just being there and loving me.
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!
I am also a doula and we are expecting for early July. What I find challenging is the doulas in the area that I have told want to come to the birth or have been pushy about it (wanting me to do it their way) and it is making me crazy already. I think that speaks loud and clear that it isn't the type of support that I need.
My first labour/birth were very simple. MW didn't even know what to do with herself, she went to get coffee for everyone.
I would love someone to be able to make food for everyone (or just put together a sandwich), take some labour/birth photos, and maybe play with DD if she wants. I just need to find that person and it is so hard!
Nicole: mama to DD and DS, childbirth educator and doula. Dancing the spiral dance of life
If I were to have another baby, no, I would not hire one.
That is me too.
I just want it to be my dh, my kids (if they are awake), and my midwife.
Wife + Homeschooling Mama to 4 + Midwife
I feel that I will probably at least try having a doula at my first birth. I've never been pregnant, so I'm not sure how my feelings will change when the day does come. But since I've never been in labor, it will be nice to have a doula there if I do need one. I'll just make sure she is aware that I might decide I need her to be "hands-off" (although I hope that would be understood anyway) since I have no clue how I'll react to labor.
I would rather have one and not need her, than need one and not have her!
I hired a doula for this birth even though I'm a doula and should know all the "right" things to do. There is no telling what kind of labor I will have or when an extra set of hands might help out. I'm birthing at home with my two midwives, my husband, 2 year old daughter and my doula. She will also be watching my daughter to make sure that she is handling the birth well and taking pictures. I think her presence will be a wonderful addition to the mix as she is a wonderful friend and fantastic doula.
I also learned my lesson last time. I wanted to hire a doula, but my midwife said I didn't really need one. I ended up transferring care at 37 weeks due to pre-eclampsia and was induced in the hospital later that day. My midwife came along as my doula, but she was trained as a homebirth midwife, not a doula and was not all that helpful in the highly-medicalized environment I ended up birthing in.
I've been a doula for a few years now, and am expecting #1 in May. DH & I wanted to hire a doula, but there is only one woman locally who feels like the right fit for me, and she isn't available around my due date. Instead we have asked a family friend, who normally does postpartum doula work, to act as our birth doula. She is reading The Birth Partner, and Orgasmic Birth in preparation, which are the two books I suggested when she asked. We have every confidence that whether we need her to do a lot of hands-on support, or do nothing more than offer her presence - she'll be able and willing.
I am a midwife... but I had two doulas (friends) and a midwife at my birth.
I didn't want a lot of touch or talking to either, but they held space, supported dp, made food, ran baths, got towels and stuff ready for the birth, etc.
The right doula will be able to support YOU and your specific needs- not the needs of 'most' women.
Absolutely!!! I would really want a doula - even more than a midwife I think. I would want one for my husband just as much as for myself.
I was a doula and it never entered my head to have one at my own birthing. :) My midwife brought two other licensed midwives to assist her, and my neighbor, a lay midwife, came to keep my older child company. I'm also a curl-into-fetal-position-and-wait person when having a baby, so there wouldn't have been anything for a doula to do. :)
I'm a very private birther and have never had anyone at my births, except the first when DH called our Bradley instructor b/c he was overwhelmed.
As a birth pro with my last two, I've felt the political game come into play. If I ask one person and not the other, then... or I know too much about the people I'd ask to be at my births. Or we socialize normally and I'm not one to socialize in labor so it would feel awkward. Or I'm not sure I could face them later. Or one is my apprentice and I'm not sure how I'd feel about that relationship after...
So it's always just been me and DH. I've had people on call if I needed them and he called a friend of mine when I asked for drugs in my third labor (baby was born before she could do anything to help). I'm kind of an in-charge person even in labor until I'm not and then, because I'm usually really in-charge, I'm very, very vulnerable and I don't let many people see me like that, so it makes sense that I'd be a lone birther.
I do kinda wish someone had been there for DH at my last birth. I retained the placenta and bled into my uterus. Had to have an "unplanned OR procedure" and two units of blood and left him in the room alone with a baby less than an hour old. I think having someone with him then would have been good. He did fine, though, and even brought tears to the nurse's eyes when he put baby skin-to-skin under a blanket to help her stay warm :).
i had 3 UCs before becoming a doula, so it felt kind of wierd for me (voyeuristic almost) stepping in to the doula role. I planned to get certified mainly to educate myself, not because I wanted to attend a lot of births.... But through the process, the whole concept of a doula really clicked with me in ways it didnt' before and I feel more comfortable than I expected.
I don't plan to have any more children. I think if we did, we'd still prefer an intimate birth, just me& DH... But I feel like I have more access to birthworkers I'd trust/be comfortable with and am a lot more open to the possibility of involving others than ever before...
Lia Joy Rundle CLD Self Directed Woman Self Directed Childbirth
Womanhood is not a destination. It is an archaeological dig.