to Doula or not to Doula. - Mothering Forums
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 18 Old 02-20-2013, 06:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
drouege's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: New Orleans, La.
Posts: 43
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)

This is my first pregnancy and I like to think my husband and I are very iinformed, but Im pretty unsure about this whole Doula thing.

Basically, we have a midwife, which was not easy to find in New Orleans, and she suggested that we look into a doula just so we know all our options.

So we did. And although I think the extra positive energy may be reassuring, I also feel like thats what my husband is there for. And since there arent very many doulas in New Orleans they are rather expensive and not covered by insurance. Are they really as helpful as they seem or can we do this without one.????

drouege is offline  
#2 of 18 Old 02-20-2013, 06:45 PM
 
georgiegirl1974's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 920
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
For a first birth, I'd definitely strongly consider a doula if you are committed to having an all-natural birth. If you don't want to lay for a doula, I'd highly recommend taking some sort of class...like Bradley or hypnobabies.

mama to DD (7), DS (3.5), and another DS arriving in August!

georgiegirl1974 is offline  
#3 of 18 Old 02-20-2013, 08:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
drouege's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: New Orleans, La.
Posts: 43
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)

Thanks for the advice, we are actually registered for both a Bradley and hypnobabies class. I figure you can never be too informed.

drouege is offline  
#4 of 18 Old 02-20-2013, 10:46 PM
 
philomom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 9,430
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
A well trained Bradley dad is your best doula. Save your money. I personally don't need a stranger to be with me during the intimate birth of my family. My hubby did all the things for me that needed doing and he was so loving and wonderful. He has very special memories of the nights our children were born.

Edited to add... I had natural childbirths in a hospital setting with hubby and a beloved CNM.
philomom is offline  
#5 of 18 Old 02-21-2013, 05:04 AM
 
ciga's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: new england
Posts: 908
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

My husband was awesome and well informed and so incredibly supportive during the birth of our first child in a freestanding birth center.  That said, I am seriously considering having a doula this time around for what will be a hospital birth.  I know that I will need my husband to be exactly what he was for me last time and if he was having to deal with hospital staff AND me it would have been too much.  I want a doula so that my husband doesn't have to be my only voice.  There were also labor situations that came up last time that we were totally unprepared for even though we had done hypno babies (like 24 hours of back labor) where I feel like a doula might have been able to help us find coping techniques in the moment.


mama to two little men...3/25/2010 and 10/3/2013
ciga is offline  
#6 of 18 Old 02-21-2013, 06:00 AM
 
LilyTiger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 1,807
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)

We did Bradley and had a wonderful doctor who was a former homebirth midwife.  We felt very prepared.  I still shelled out for a doula and it was the best decision we made the entire process.  I had back labor and needed counterpressure for basically every contraction from 1pm until 3am when our daughter was born.  Little things like parking our car for us so we could go straight to triage (we had a hospital birth) and relieving my husband so he could grab food or talk to the doctor, etc.  When our daughter's HR went crazy after my water broke and then when they couldn't find a heartbeat, our doula was a wonderful source of support for my husband (I was way too in the zone to notice anything at that point).  She helped with positioning while we were at home, worked with us to make the decision for when to go to the hospital, and talked with my doctor about the options available throughout the process. 

 

Ultimately, I had a totally natural birth under very difficult circumstances and our doula was completely amazing the entire time.  My husband said the next day that even though he felt totally prepared, he was in reality totally overwhelmed by the entire thing.  He is adamant that the next birth we will have a doula as well. 

 

If you have a totally normal textbook birth with no complications and a very well trained partner, you might not need a doula.  But since there's no way to predict whether that's the case, I would strongly consider one.  Good luck!


Beautiful baby girl born 8/13/2012. Little star baby lost at 10 weeks pregnant, 12/18/2013. Currently due 12/13/2014 with a rainbow.
LilyTiger is offline  
#7 of 18 Old 02-21-2013, 09:05 AM
 
BonsaiBirth's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 2
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Its fantastic that your husband is committed to support you in the best way he can. Gaining the know how through classes for this experience is a great step. Having the support of someone else who knows the birth process and has both you and your husbands interests in mind is a great tool to add to your birth bag. Midwives are there for the medical portion while a doula is there for the emotional support, physical comfort techniques, and informational when the midwife is occupied. A doula can be very impactful. Good luck with your decision! Have a blessed birth.

Disclaimer: I am a doula new to New Orleans.
drouege likes this.
BonsaiBirth is offline  
#8 of 18 Old 02-21-2013, 12:48 PM
 
thecoffeebean's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 1,396
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I had both a doula and an amazing, Bradley Birth-trained husband present for my first birth, and it was amazing. We did have a CNM in a hospital setting, but now I am going with an OB for our next birth. I was debating whether or not to hire a doula for this baby, and DH brought up something really neat. He said, "You know, there's just something special about having another woman there for support. Someone who's given birth herself." And that really hit the nail on the head for me. So we are hiring a doula this time. :-)

Mama to Iris (01/10) and Gus (08/13)
angel.gifangel.gifangel.gifangel.gifangel.gif
thecoffeebean is offline  
#9 of 18 Old 02-21-2013, 06:11 PM
 
luvroo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 6
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I am a single mom and also a first time mom so I plan to have a doula. I want to labor at home as long as possible, and I think having a doula will help me to support me and know when to go to the hospital. My mom is amazing, had 3 natural births herself, so she will also be a huge support to me...but I don't want to tire her out or make her feel like she has to be there and can't take breaks/sleep. I'm extremely close with my aunt and she has also offered to support me, so I think I will have her come for the night after baby is born (she co-slept with her kids until they were in grade school and nursed them until age 3, so she will be great to have around for breastfeeding/night time parenting lessons!.) That way my mom can get a full night sleep that night and help me when I get home from hospital (my parents live with me). That was a little digression, but the main point is I think it's great to have as much support as possible and also stagger support people so that not a single person is doing everything. I realize it's different with a husband and obviously a husband would pay a much more central role, but they are human too and with a really long labor would probably be a much better support if they caught an hour nap while the doula supported the mother. Labor/postpartum is a marathon, not a sprint, so expecting one person to be a steady and level-headed source support for that whole period without resting is not best for me. I also have a very firm belief that patients should NEVER be without a family member in the hospital (I'd count a doula in the family member category since she is looking out for you). Also with a doula, if baby needs to be separated, dad can go with the baby and the doula can stay with the mom. I really think a doula will make a huge difference for me, and I'm definitely willing to sacrifice other things to save up enough money for that support. 

luvroo is offline  
#10 of 18 Old 02-21-2013, 10:20 PM
 
mereniki's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 8
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I think it's so great that there are so many supportive husbands out there! I'm pregnant with baby #2 right now, and plan to get a doula this time around. I didn't want one with my daughter's birth- I felt like having a stranger there would be weird...but having been through labor now, I can say that I somehow lose my inhibitions during that time and things that bugged me then definitely do not bug me now (BFing in public, having someone else see your boobs, etc), and I welcome the presence of another supportive female in the room during my labor. My husband was relieved when I suggested it. He knew he had to be there this time, but he said he didn't like the pressure of trying to read my mind, since he couldn't really understand what I was going through. I feel like a doula would be better at practical ways to help me through whatever I need at the time. Also, I really want to try using essential oils during this labor, and I don't trust my husband to do all the right ones...I'm sure there are doulas in my area who have experience using them and can help me with it.

mereniki is offline  
#11 of 18 Old 02-22-2013, 08:59 AM
 
nstewart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 1,721
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by BonsaiBirth View Post

Its fantastic that your husband is committed to support you in the best way he can. Gaining the know how through classes for this experience is a great step. Having the support of someone else who knows the birth process and has both you and your husbands interests in mind is a great tool to add to your birth bag. Midwives are there for the medical portion while a doula is there for the emotional support, physical comfort techniques, and informational when the midwife is occupied. A doula can be very impactful. Good luck with your decision! Have a blessed birth.

 

 

I agree with everything above. 

 

In addition, you don't know what you are going to want/need in labour.

 

My DH was wonderful, and very supportive.  We have a great, close relationship and good communication.  We attended classes together before DS was born, and I let him know that I would want his support and encouragement during L&D, to be near to me, to tell me encouraging things. 

 

Fast forward to actual labour, I didn't want him to talk to me at all.  If he tried to tell me I was doing great, he got a look of death because in my mind at the time how the heck could he know if I was doing well or not?  He had never been to a birth before!!  My doula, I trusted.  When she told me I was doing great, I believed her.  When she suggested things to do, I did them, because I trusted and believed her.  DH was still there, he still supported me, he held my leg as I pushed DS out, but I needed more than him to be there for me.

 

So, notwithstand the fact that you may have a great, supportive DH and you are both informed, you may want the type of support a doula can bring that your husband can't despite being well informed.

 

We are having a HB with a midwife this go-around, and we are hiring a doula again.


N, wife to my goofball K partners.gif and mamma to my EC grad D (July 2010) and my new little love S (May 2013).  Exploring the uncharted territory of tandem nursing with my two boys.

nstewart is offline  
#12 of 18 Old 02-22-2013, 02:27 PM
 
FLmomof1/1ontheway's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: South East Florida
Posts: 119
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I had my first baby in the hospital since my husband and family insisted on it. I was told I could labor in the bath tub and that wouldn't be a problem. I was well informed. I had 10 birth plans printed out, and my husband and I attened Lamaze. I trusted my midwife whom was not working that day. Well when I got to the hospital it went to crap. My husband was SO scared at the onset of my labor. As soon as we got to the hospital he was of no help or support. He was glad we were there and stood back in fear. I didn't get a birthing room with a tub. I spent my entire labor pissed off know that the moms in the room with the tubs were probable laid up with epidurials. No one did anything to comfort me. I was not prepared for how labor felt. You will not know until your there. Long story short. I was denied a drink. I had to pee the whole time but no one took me to the bathroom. My MIL had me hee-hoo which made me hyperventilate. I vomited with every single contraction. My birth plan was not respected and I was eventually hooked up EFM, and an IV. My midwife broke my water to "speed" me up like my labor wasn't going fast enough. I did get drugs because it was a horrible, horrible situation. Last I let the EFM and midwife decide how long and hard to push. Out of fear of vacumme extraction or forcepts I pushed wildly in room full of strangers shouting at me. 20 minutes to push out a 9lb 5oz baby. I tore extremly bad internally and externally. I had hip pain for 8 months. I was only in labor 8 hours. This being your first though you think you know enough and think your husband will be able to coach you really don't know how it's gonna go until it does. I don't know where your birthing but I really recommend a doula. I never had one with 3 kids so far, but I can only imagine it would of been a much better experience if one had been there that day with my first.

supermod.gif who isbelly.gifwith #4  has jumpers.gif . Believe in homeschool.gif,bfinfant.gif,familybed1.gif,femalesling.GIF,h20homebirth.gif,goorganic.jpg,saynovax.gif

FLmomof1/1ontheway is offline  
#13 of 18 Old 02-22-2013, 07:52 PM
 
SamSarah's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 72
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I am about to give birth with my first babe.  At first I wasn't sure if I wanted a Doula; I had a midwife, a friend and my partner all lined up.  

A few things really changed my mind: my partner was clear that he wanted to be present to support me and be with babe, but the idea of having to know what to suggest and how to support the birth was very overwhelming and scary.  The idea that a Doula could be there who had a lot of knowledge about what was going on and what could be done was a huge relief to him.  Now that we have met and know our doula - who is really grounded, clear and experienced (nearly 300 births), the idea of having her support has completely reassured us both.  From the simple thing of her answer when i expressed concern about the possibility of being over whelmed with breast feeding: "I'll just come by and help".  The midwives really come for the active labour, having someone there as soon as I want, with the job of supporting me, who stays until everything is done - seems frankly like the bigest comfort I could imagine.    I'm really happy that we have opted for a Doula, and my graditude for that decision has grown month to month.  That said, I'm in Canada and the Doula is the only out of pocket medical expense we faced (other than some of the chiro and massage fees), so the decision is based on different things.


Live in Vancouver, Canada.  Pregnant with first baby.  Work in democratic/free schooling.  Partnered. stillheart.gif

SamSarah is offline  
#14 of 18 Old 02-23-2013, 10:56 AM
 
LDoulaSteph's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 84
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

When I was pregnant with DD 2yo (before I was a Doula myself) I planned a natural birth, with midwives, took natural birth prep classes and read all the books I could get my hands on that would prepare me for the birth I wanted. My mom had 3 natural births in hospital and she was going to be there with me and DH as support. I had read about Doula's but thought I was well prepared and probably would be fine with all the support and info I had. When we attended our last birth class our teacher talked briefly about Doula's and what they do and for some reason both DH and I looked at eachother and at the same time said "why don't we have a Doula?" 

 

Anyway we ended up hiring one at 37 weeks and I can't say enough how happy I am that she was there. Obviously my experience with a Doula was amazing as I quickly became one myself after having her at our birth. My DH was awesome, so supportive, breathed my through every contraction and stayed strong and calm. He did however need to nap during my 36 hour labour. He didn't remember to have me drink and eat and pee but luckily my Doula was there to take care of that so he could do what he did best that day. My mom was a great comfort but even though she had natural births herself she DID NOT handle me being in labour so long well. In fact while I was pushing she nearly passed out and had to leave the room to vomit. Again, good thing we had that Doula there to hold my other leg (which I really wanted for some reason LOL). So that is my 2 cents on the Doula thing. 

 

When I got pregnant this time around DH sat me down and said "I know you are a Doula and don't take this the wrong way but, I'm going to need a Doula for this birth too so can we hire one again?" Of COURSE!!! We'll be having the same Doula for this birth because I can't honestly think of one reason not to namaste.gif


Mommy, Wife, Birth Doula, Breastfeeding Counsellor. 

bftoddler.gifpos.gif

LDoulaSteph is offline  
#15 of 18 Old 02-27-2013, 06:07 AM
 
wildmansmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 180
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

When I was pregnant the first time, my OB took one look at my birth plan and told me I should have a doula or else I wouldn't get the natural birth I wanted.  After much discussion with DH, we agreed that a) we couldn't afford a doula and b) that's why we had taken all of those childbirth classes.  No doula, no natural birth... greensad.gif

 

If you are seeing a midwife at a true birthing center, I wouldn't be as concerned about a doula.  If you are seeing a CNM who works through a hospital or OB you may want to consider it. 

 

We are having a friend serve as doula this time around (because we still can't afford one!) and it's given me a lot more confidence about the upcoming birth. Not that DH wasn't awesome at the last birth, he was.  But.... when I looked at him and said I didn't think I could do it anymore he gave in with me rather than encouraging me to continue even for just another 15 minutes.  We are comfortable now with the choices that were made, but I struggled a lot with what I considered a failure with my first birth.  I know having a doula this time around will allow DH to relax and not be responsible for being the one to draw the line, he's just there for love and support.

wildmansmom is offline  
#16 of 18 Old 02-27-2013, 08:30 AM
 
sageowl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Oregon
Posts: 631
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Are you having a homebirth, or delivering in a hospital?  (For a homebirth, you may be fine with just a midwife since you won't be dealing with medical staff/interventions/being away from home,etc). 

 

If you're delivering anywhere else, however, I'd consider a doula (or at least having a backup support person, preferably someone who has had a baby before).  No matter how informed your husband is, he won't have the kind of knowledge/experience a doula has.  Also, having an extra support person is nice because labor can go on for a looooooong time and your husband will need to tend to his own needs too (which is easier to do is someone else is there to relieve him for awhile).

 

If money is an issue, you might want to consider hiring a doula who's still in training (but has attended some births already)--they charge less, or having another support person (who isn't necessarily a trained doula, but has some kind of experience with childbirth).

 

sageowl is offline  
#17 of 18 Old 06-17-2013, 07:19 PM
 
BirthUnravelled's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 1
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

We did Bradley and my husband was AMAZING for all 3 of my natural births.  He was all I needed.  But I also know that not every woman has that.  Maybe they're a single mama, or their partner isn't around, maybe he's deployed.  Or maybe this birth stuff is just too much and too overwhelming for him.  So even though I never needed a doula, I appreciate how important they are!  So I became one!!

BirthUnravelled is offline  
#18 of 18 Old 06-18-2013, 10:26 AM
 
cynthiamoon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 1,488
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

drouege--- I noticed this is a post from February... did you make your choice? What did you go with? 

 

Just to chime in for other mamas... 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nstewart View Post

Fast forward to actual labour, I didn't want him to talk to me at all.  If he tried to tell me I was doing great, he got a look of death because in my mind at the time how the heck could he know if I was doing well or not?  He had never been to a birth before!!  My doula, I trusted.  When she told me I was doing great, I believed her.  When she suggested things to do, I did them, because I trusted and believed her.  DH was still there, he still supported me, he held my leg as I pushed DS out, but I needed more than him to be there for me.

Very good point!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sageowl View Post

Are you having a homebirth, or delivering in a hospital?  (For a homebirth, you may be fine with just a midwife since you won't be dealing with medical staff/interventions/being away from home,etc). 

 

If you're delivering anywhere else, however, I'd consider a doula (or at least having a backup support person, preferably someone who has had a baby before).  No matter how informed your husband is, he won't have the kind of knowledge/experience a doula has.  Also, having an extra support person is nice because labor can go on for a looooooong time and your husband will need to tend to his own needs too (which is easier to do is someone else is there to relieve him for awhile).

 

If money is an issue, you might want to consider hiring a doula who's still in training (but has attended some births already)--they charge less, or having another support person (who isn't necessarily a trained doula, but has some kind of experience with childbirth).

 

Ditto! 

 

And... I think that if all you want is someone who can give your husband a rest so he can eat, got to the bathroom, ETC., then maybe even a friend or family member would do the job. They won't have lots of experience or expertise to offer, but then again, neither would your husband! 


Writing about life-long learning and discovery at: www.neoapprentice.com 

:: A neo-apprentice knows there are no true masters. 

 

25yo FTM to a Wiggle Panda diaper.gif, student teacher read.gif, newlywed love.gif 

cynthiamoon is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off