Doula at a c-section? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 17 Old 12-16-2011, 01:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Have you had a doula at a c-section?  Would you choose to have your doula attend a planned c-section?  Do you think it would be helpful?  How so?

 

I'm trying to plan for a likely repeat c-section and am trying to decide if I want to ask the doula I hired for my VBAC support to come to the c-section. 

 

I'd love to hear others thoughts and experiences. 

 

Thanks in advance!


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#2 of 17 Old 12-16-2011, 02:16 PM
 
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I didn't have a Douala. But I would imagine it would be nice to have someone there to support mom and dad, someone to take that first picture of mom and dad and baby in the OR, someone to ask how you were doing while Dad was over at the warmer, someone to remember those little things like the fact that you want the epidural/spinal before the catheter is placed....

 

I can certainly see a place for a Douala at a c-section. Be sure to check with the hospital about how many support members are allowed in the OR, but two is generally not too many.


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#3 of 17 Old 12-16-2011, 04:50 PM
 
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We had hired a doula before finding out my daughter was breech and failing to get her turned around. The doula was great during the turn around process, providing lots of information and alternatives, finding chiropractors etc.  Only one person could be in the OR with me, but she came to see us in pre-op, and then afterwards to the room. She helped with nursing being established, etc. She also didn't charge us the second half of the cost, which was nice of her. The support during the run up was great. The in hospital visiting was nice but inessential.

 

In the hospital where I gave birth they have a dedicated nurse for the Mum at a c-section who did all those things JollyGG describes, so a doula in the OR would have been too many cooks I think.


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#4 of 17 Old 12-16-2011, 07:02 PM
 
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Originally Posted by voca View Post

In the hospital where I gave birth they have a dedicated nurse for the Mum at a c-section who did all those things JollyGG describes, so a doula in the OR would have been too many cooks I think.



With my first I had a dedicated nurse for that stuff (my college roommate actually - they did some rearranging of responsibilities to put her there once they figured out that she knew me) plus my original doctor snapped several pics for us. I had been under the care of a GP so once she handed my care over to the surgeon (small town) she was there in a more support role and the baby's doctor once he was born. It was great having all that support. As I said, it was a small town, so the surgeon was an acquaintance of ours as well and gave me a play by play of the procedure on my request as well, even though he wouldn't let me watch. All the support I got really made my 1st c-section a very positive experience.

 

With my second planned c-section the only person I really remember checking in frequently with me was the anesthesiologist. He was great, but I don't remember having an nurse assigned to the role that my friend had had played in my 1st c-section. The second was in a different town from the 1st. The anesthesiologist did snap a picture for us.

 

With my second I had one nurse who was a bit difficult when I first arrived. Had I been a less assertive person I think she could easily have made me feel silly for some of my requests. A Douala would have been a big help as support facing someone unhelpful like her had I needed it. Lucky for me, I'm a bit of a B and I simply requested a different nurse.


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#5 of 17 Old 12-16-2011, 07:09 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by parsley View Post

Have you had a doula at a c-section?  Would you choose to have your doula attend a planned c-section?  Do you think it would be helpful?  How so?

 

I'm trying to plan for a likely repeat c-section and am trying to decide if I want to ask the doula I hired for my VBAC support to come to the c-section. 

 

I'd love to hear others thoughts and experiences. 

 

Thanks in advance!

 

For my second - I was going for a VBAC and I hired a doula since with my first I desired more support along with someone to support DH.  Long story short, I ended up having an emergency c-section (FTP - after 7 hours of pushing) and it was amazing to have my doula there.

 

I wrote her presence into our birth wishes - even if I ended up back in the OR to be there for the closing, which would allow DH to follow the baby after his birth.  I could not have asked for a more wonderful experience. She even accompanied me back into recovery which was great because she had her phone which was awesome to let me listen to some music as I waited for DH & babe to return (turns out they whisked him briefly to the nursery due to a flux in temps) and I got him quickly back. 

 

DH didn't feel torn about having to try & support me and also watch out & follow the babe and my doula was great in reminding me of certain wishes with my c-section.  I would completely be in support of hiring a doula for a c-section.  I even started my doula training to be able to offer this service, unfortunately life has gotten in the way a bit.

 

Good Luck!

 

 


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#6 of 17 Old 12-17-2011, 06:26 PM
 
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I hired a doula knowing that there was a strong possibility I would have a c-section and also knowing that the doula would not be allowed in the OR with me.  Originally I worked out a deal with my doula that if I was scheduled for the c-section and gave her notice that I would not need her to be on call for the birth itself I would only pay her for a prenatal support visit at home and a postnatal support visit at home (50% of her normal fee).  When the time came I was tentatively scheduled for a section but was really hoping that the stars would align and I would be able to have an induction (or miraculously go into labor on my own the day of) - unfortunately it was not meant to be and I had surgery.  I opted to have my doula come to the hospital preop when things were still undecided and she provided a lot of support and reassurance that I was making the choices right my for me and my babies and she came the day after surgery and helped me deal with a lot of the emotional issues surrounding both the birth and my babies staying in the NICU.  Though she didn't attend the birth itself I found her services very valuable - it was definitely worth it for me.


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#7 of 17 Old 12-18-2011, 10:06 PM
 
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I say it can't hurt to ask. I had my DH and midwife with me for my c/s. We asked the OB if the midwife could be present and she said yes. I'm sure it varies among hospitals and doctors. I'm going to ask for two support people again this time around. That way I have someone to be with me when DH goes to be with the baby.


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#8 of 17 Old 12-19-2011, 08:53 AM
 
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we did (though last time it was unplanned) and will this time. 

she: wasn't allowed in surgery, but waited with the family.  she helped enforce our wishes with visitors and helped with breastfeeding (we had a rough go of it) and would go get things, bring us things, help us, stayed with me when dh had to leave to go take care of our animals, etc. 

she helped keep me calm before the surgery, too.  maybe many of those things a family member could have done, but it was much easier for us to have the doula, just based on the relationship i have with most of my family.  she enforced hand-washing rules, etc. for people holding the baby, and most importantly of all, came home with us.  she cooked us something nice, straightened up a bit, etc.  and i was so grateful for her help.

she also helped us with the placenta encapsulation- the person who did ours said it was illegal for her to transport it in a raw state (?) and the doula took it home/to the placenta preparer, and videotaped the process for us, as well as having taken photographs in the hospital, etc. 

if you can have another person in the OR, she/he can take photos, too, and rub your neck, etc.  and perhaps tell you what's happening if you don't want to view the birth.  it was absolutely worth it for us, we love her.


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#9 of 17 Old 12-21-2011, 08:50 AM
 
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When it became clear that I needed a highly medical birth/c/s, my midwives moved into doula mode and an OB took over my medical care.  I thought it was a great idea, but in the end I did not find the doulas helpful.  The specific reasons it didn't work for me

 

1) I'd chosen the midwives/doulas because they are very competent, not because I felt any bond with them.  Based on what I know now, I would only work with a doula if she was someone I really liked and wanted to spend time with in a stressful situation.

2) The hospital where I gave birth sees a lot of patients who want a natural birth, so I felt like the nurses were pretty hip to want I wanted and I didn't need anyone to intervene with them.

3)  I was very sick and had a preemie, so a lot of the stuff that woman might push for if she had a c/s were just not option for me.

4) I felt like a couple of the midwife/doulas were uncomfortable with high risk medical births/and were really not sensitive to how hard it is to have a preemie/have a baby when you are sick as a dog and made some insensitive comments.

 

So if I had it to do over I would choose a doula I really liked who had some previous experience with high risk/c/s births.


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#10 of 17 Old 12-21-2011, 09:56 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maryeliz View Post

When it became clear that I needed a highly medical birth/c/s, my midwives moved into doula mode and an OB took over my medical care.  I thought it was a great idea, but in the end I did not find the doulas helpful.  The specific reasons it didn't work for me

 

1) I'd chosen the midwives/doulas because they are very competent, not because I felt any bond with them.  Based on what I know now, I would only work with a doula if she was someone I really liked and wanted to spend time with in a stressful situation.

2) The hospital where I gave birth sees a lot of patients who want a natural birth, so I felt like the nurses were pretty hip to want I wanted and I didn't need anyone to intervene with them.

3)  I was very sick and had a preemie, so a lot of the stuff that woman might push for if she had a c/s were just not option for me.

4) I felt like a couple of the midwife/doulas were uncomfortable with high risk medical births/and were really not sensitive to how hard it is to have a preemie/have a baby when you are sick as a dog and made some insensitive comments.

 

So if I had it to do over I would choose a doula I really liked who had some previous experience with high risk/c/s births.



Maryeliz - Your points #3 & #4 are some of the reasons I was originally thinking (still pondering if I ever have time!) of becoming a doula as I believe all moms - especially those in high risk categories should have access to a doula's support.   I saw that with my sister who had pre-e with both her boys and probably HELLP with her first.  She needed someone to be a sounding board, but not provide medical advice (I'm not an MD!), just support with the decisions she was having to make. 

 

I felt very lucky to have my doula who is just a wonderful supportive person and not with an agenda per se. 

 


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#11 of 17 Old 12-21-2011, 11:34 AM
 
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I don't have experience myself, but a doula seems like a good idea. I wish I had had one for mine, if we have another - I hope to have a doula present.

 

Good luck!


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#12 of 17 Old 12-22-2011, 05:38 AM
 
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ktj-it would definitely be a niche market, but I do think doulas with high risk/c-section/nicu experience do a good service.


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#13 of 17 Old 02-10-2012, 09:47 AM
 
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We had a doula for an unplanned c-section (homebirth transfer).

 

I was incredibly grateful she was there. We fought hard to get her into the OR with us. I didn't want to be left alone while DH went with baby to the warmer, and if our doula wasn't there, I would've been. She remembered to ask for our placenta, and got it safely to the woman we hired to prepare it. She remembered to take photos, and she was there to comfort DH, who was terrified of seeing his wife go through a surgery. 

 

She also visited us in the hospital and at home post-partum to make sure breastfeeding was going okay. She brought lavender smelling oils into the OR and talked me through the whole surgery, telling me what was happening, and keeping me calm.

 

I vote for a doula for any type of birth- vaginal or surgical. They are invaluable. Even if your c-section is planned, she can be that extra support person who remembers the photos, who makes sure you and DH feel safe and okay, and who helps advocate for your birthplan.


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#14 of 17 Old 02-14-2012, 09:17 AM
 
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Only one person could be in the OR, so that was my husband, but the procedure was short owing to the fact that I already had an epidural and didn't need to be knocked out.  Our doula went home (long labor) but ohhhh how I wished she would have stayed a while (she offered).  She would have been great helping me establish breastfeeding and my dd had a lot of trouble.  So, a doula?  Sure, especially postpartum.


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#15 of 17 Old 10-03-2012, 07:42 AM
 
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I am bumping this thread to see if there are more responses (I hope that is an acceptable practice- I am a newbie).  This was a question i have been having as well.  My first child I labored naturally and pushed for four hours without a problem.  However, he couldn't  come through the birth canal. After the delivery we found that I have an Android pelvis and have small cracks that healed (likely from younger years sports) and I am not a canidate for a vbac.  When the time comes I will be able to go into natural labor, but then I will need another c-section.  I would like a doula there even though I didn't have one for the first birth and didn't feel I needed one for the labor etc.  I think I need MORE support for a c-section.  Anxiety etc.will be a problem for me there, whereas my first labor everything just seemed normal and natural I didn't really need support until I was being given the spinal for my surgery.

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#16 of 17 Old 10-06-2012, 12:41 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dakotacakes View Post

I am bumping this thread to see if there are more responses (I hope that is an acceptable practice- I am a newbie).  This was a question i have been having as well.  My first child I labored naturally and pushed for four hours without a problem.  However, he couldn't  come through the birth canal. After the delivery we found that I have an Android pelvis and have small cracks that healed (likely from younger years sports) and I am not a canidate for a vbac.  When the time comes I will be able to go into natural labor, but then I will need another c-section.  I would like a doula there even though I didn't have one for the first birth and didn't feel I needed one for the labor etc.  I think I need MORE support for a c-section.  Anxiety etc.will be a problem for me there, whereas my first labor everything just seemed normal and natural I didn't really need support until I was being given the spinal for my surgery.

After my experience of not thinking I needed one the first time, but wishing I had one. I would say it's better t be safe than sorry and get one the second time. If you even think you might want one, I say do it. It's better to have a doula there for support and not need her, than to wish you had one while you are going through it all. 


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#17 of 17 Old 11-17-2012, 10:27 AM
 
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I'd say definitely! if I had had to have one (that was planned, my baby was breech for like, freaking ever) I would have still kept my doula on! 


 
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