Anyone skipping using a doula at home? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 37 Old 12-23-2009, 12:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We are having our first at home and our midwife recommended us hiring a doula. The problem is our insurance wouldn't cover it because they are not care providers. It is a big expense, and even if we got a student w/ a discount, it's a stranger here that I'm not really sure I need and/or will be much of a help anyway.

My husband and I took a long course on the Bradley Method. We know all the things we can try and have practiced them. He feels confident that he can handle anything that comes up.

Anyone do a homebirth without a doula? Did you wish you had someone else there? Is another family member enough support?

I kind of feel like here in NY doulas at home are used like a nurse is in the hospital, where they kind of monitor you so the doctor can just show up when you are ready to push. In this case, she's there to watch you and call the midwife when you are ready to push. Am I paranoid? It seems like a doula is a good investment if you are going to the hospital, but at home it seems excessive to me. Any thoughts? Experience on the subject?

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DD 1/20/2010
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#2 of 37 Old 12-23-2009, 12:42 AM
 
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I've never used one, but with the way hubby and I worked together I never felt I needed one. I've worked as a doula (I'm trained, not certified because I went the midwifery route instead) and worked with doulas so have no problems with them at births at all. I just personally didn't want or need one.
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#3 of 37 Old 12-23-2009, 12:59 AM
 
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I think if your DH has been pro-active with the Bradley method, then you are good to go. My first baby was born at the hospital, and I did have a doula, but that's because my husband wasn't up on all the Bradley relaxation techniques. (we didn't take a class, I just read the book) He was supportive of natural childbirth, but we didn't practice it together, KWIM?
Definitely by my 2nd and third births I felt I didn't need a doula, because of his support.

Lisa, proud Army wife to DH and stay-at-home-mama to Alex (4), Cassidy (2), and brand spankin' new Bridgette.
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#4 of 37 Old 12-23-2009, 01:22 AM
 
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I'm not using a doula. I'm also in NYC and it does seem quite common to use doulas, especially if it is your first baby. I think my midwife recommends it if it is your first child. As for me, I'm not too much of a people person so the less people around me the better. Other than my midwife, the only other people that will be in my home at the time of the birth are my husband and 3-year-old son.
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#5 of 37 Old 12-23-2009, 02:32 AM
 
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I know I definitely could have used a doula for my hospital birth, but for my homebirth, I don't think I would have wanted the extra person here, to be honest. Then again, my mother was there and acted much as a doula, as far as labor support (heck, she even "caught" haha!) so in that sense, I did have a labor support person around other than hubby.

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#6 of 37 Old 12-23-2009, 02:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks so much for all your thoughts. I guess I kind of got sucked into the idea of it being kind of mandatory since it's our first. I don't have a problem with doulas either--but I think we are going to be ok. It will just be me and husband and my mother who has had her own natural childbirth via Bradley Tech.

Bradley has some really great ideas. The shower already is great for relaxation. Being in my home, having a meal, taking a hike, sitting on my birthing ball and the pillow propped positions and slow dancing all appeal to me as good tools. DH has been good w/ practicing labor positions, the massage, and making me do my pelvic rocking and squats daily. (and also helping me watch my diet, especially now w/ the holidays--easy to replace protein and iron with tons of sugar and fat!)
He already joked about being a coach/doula as a second career if things don't go well with work. ha ha I'm so excited. Our baby will be here in about 6 weeks!

It's good to hear there are other couples out there that did this together, and confident moms. Thanks again & Happy Holidays! :-)

Cookie
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#7 of 37 Old 12-23-2009, 02:57 AM
 
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I just had my little girl 7 weeks ago at home and we didn't use a doula---mostly because we had two midwives and an apprentice midwife, my mom, my sil, and my husband. Whew that seems like a lot of people! In other words, doulas are great if you need an experienced support person, but at home, honestly your midwife should be around for a big chunk of your labor. And although my husband was amazingly supportive, if for some reason you don't think your midwife will be around--then I would consider hiring a doula---even if she ends up sitting in the other room for most of the time, or just giving your husband some breaks.

Mama to P. born at home 10/09, and W. born in the hospital 2/13

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#8 of 37 Old 12-23-2009, 11:33 AM
 
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Does your midwife come with an assistant? If not, that might be one of the reasons she's recommending a doula - not only so you have another support person, but so SHE has a little help, too. That said, it does sound a little unusual for a midwife to recommend a doula for a home birth. My midwife suggested it to us, but only as a way of making sure we had a support person specifically for our 4 y/old. If you don't have older children, it's really hard to see why you'd need one, especially since your husband seems like he's really got his stuff together on this. In the end we decided not to hire a doula, because my midwife brings an assistant with her and because we have friends who've volunteered to help with our daughter if we need it. I would go with what you're comfortable with. If insurance won't pay and you can't afford it, then your midwife really can't argue with that!

Jen, mom of  two amazing girls, b. 2/16/06  and 1/29/10 hbac.gif

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#9 of 37 Old 12-23-2009, 01:03 PM
 
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Not getting one here (well, I am thinking about a post-partum doula, but not a labor doula).

My dh did awesome last time, he was all I needed...and that was in a hospital. My midwife has doula experience, so I feel like I will get anything else I need from her.

Em, married to Alex, mom to Samantha (11 yrs) and Cullen (5yrs) and Maybe (5/16/2010) Trying to grow 4,000lbs of produce on .2 acres. See my blog!
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#10 of 37 Old 12-23-2009, 02:51 PM
 
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Nope, no doula. I had my DH, two sisters, mom and 2 midwives. This time it will be the same roster adding two friends. We're all on the very same page when it comes to birth so I don't feel like hiring a doula. I would though if my DH weren't as confident in his support of me and I didn't have the extra family and friends support.
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#11 of 37 Old 12-23-2009, 04:56 PM
 
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I had a doula with my last homebirth and LOVED having her there. I actually wanted one to help support dh during labor. I'm a bit high-needs and like my partner's support, so I wanted someone that could give him a break as needed or offer suggestions to things that might help as well. I was very pleased with having her, even for a second birth, and felt she offered us a lot.

My dh is awesome at being loving and caring, but she really had spot on suggestions and ideas to help me along. And she was good at providing motivation to do helpful things I didn't want to do - like walking the stairs. My dh wouldn't have really come up with all that on his own. And I didn't feel like our Bradley class really prepared me well for dealing with labor, so I was glad she was there.

Now, this time around, we're probably not going to have one because our budget is just too tight. I have another friend that is supposed to be coming down to serve in that role, but she might not make it. But having done this recently with dh, I think we're in a much better place to skip the doula this time and I'm going with hypnobabies and feel like that will really help as well. Though if I had the money, I'd hire my doula again in a heart beat.

Karen happily partnered mother of 3 beautiful girls (teen/toddler/newborn).
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#12 of 37 Old 12-23-2009, 05:06 PM
 
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Originally Posted by cookiemom View Post
The problem is our insurance wouldn't cover it because they are not care providers.
Did you know that doulas now have their own insurance code? You may already be aware just wanted to bring it to your attention because it's VERY new! Probably insurance companies won't know about it either if you just call and ask about a doula.

Of course it does not guarantee coverage, just FYI!

Q: What is the Health Care Provider Taxonomy Code that we are talking about?
A: It is a number 374J00000X. It is called "doula" and falls under the "Nursing Services Related Provider" section.

Jessica, wife to Greg since 7/04, mama to the rainbow1284.gif Gman 7/06, 3 brokenheart.gif , rainbow1284.gif Asher 1/11 and a wonderful surprise due in August!

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#13 of 37 Old 12-24-2009, 12:56 AM
 
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Originally Posted by jessica_s View Post
Did you know that doulas now have their own insurance code? You may already be aware just wanted to bring it to your attention because it's VERY new! Probably insurance companies won't know about it either if you just call and ask about a doula.

Of course it does not guarantee coverage, just FYI!

Q: What is the Health Care Provider Taxonomy Code that we are talking about?
A: It is a number 374J00000X. It is called "doula" and falls under the "Nursing Services Related Provider" section.

Heather Mike Married 8/1/99 Mom to Charlotte Aug 04, Nov 06, and Katherine Oct 07
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#14 of 37 Old 12-24-2009, 01:15 AM
 
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No doula here. This will be our first. We our birthing at home with a mw and assistant mw, dh and a couple other people. I just don't feel like a doula is a neccesity for us.

Lovin my sweet babygirl 3-17-10love.gif and expecting another in March! love.gif

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#15 of 37 Old 12-24-2009, 02:29 AM
 
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My midwife suggested that I would not need a doula because she and her assistants are also doulas, like doula-ing, and would be happy to provide that kind of support during labor.

Another midwife I interviewed said that was not quite her style/main focus during labor and if I wanted lots of labor support that she would suggest that I hire a doula.

I would probably go with what my midwife recommended, because doing that with my birth worked out really well. My husband was a fabulous Bradley coach, but the midwife's doula experience/tips/tricks really helped him help me.

Melissa, wife to Brian, mommy to my home born, breastfeeding, sling-riding, sleep sharing, cloth diapered, intact kiddos Adam 11/09 and Leah 8/12.

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#16 of 37 Old 12-24-2009, 02:34 AM
 
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I'm not using one either, although I did with my hospital VBAC attempt & wouldn't have had it any other way.

My hb midwife comes with another midwife & 2 apprentice midwives all whom use to be doulas at one point. They don't mind being very hands on which is what I needed last time to to horrid back labor from a posterior baby.

Christa ~ Mom to Hannah (5), Keira (3) & Lexi (17 months)
 

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#17 of 37 Old 12-24-2009, 11:27 AM
 
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Originally Posted by cookiemom View Post

I kind of feel like here in NY doulas at home are used like a nurse is in the hospital, where they kind of monitor you so the doctor can just show up when you are ready to push. In this case, she's there to watch you and call the midwife when you are ready to push.
That seems strange. Won't your midwife be there the whole time? To me, that was one of the reasons that a midwife was preferable over an OB.

We used a doula with dd1, who was born in a hospital. She was invaluable as someone with experience with natural birth who was with me the whole time. We also had done Bradley, but DH just didn't have any experience, so I appreciated having the doula there.

We are not using a doula for this one, a homebirth. There will be two midwives and an assistant. I feel more confident in my abilities, since this is a second birth and, more important, I am more confident in my midwives' abilities to support me and give good advice.

Sarah, mama to Miriam 9/26/2006 and Isaac 2/12/2010
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#18 of 37 Old 12-24-2009, 11:40 AM
 
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I didn't have a doula at my hb in September. My mw had her apprentice there and my mom was in the room with us. Dh wasn't in the room until I was pushing dd out (he wasn't helping with my labor - tried but no go... and he was really helpful with the other two). I wouldn't have wanted anyone else there.

when I had ds, in the hospital, my sister was there as my doula and I was glad for her presence.

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#19 of 37 Old 12-26-2009, 11:22 AM
 
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My labors tend to be very fast and I don't like being touched. My Dh's supportive presence and a midwife to what needs to be done was enough for us last time, and that's how we're planning this time too.
I think doulas are great for those who need the support, but they are not a requirement for a good birth.

Mom of 4 aspiring midwife "Friend"ly seeker
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#20 of 37 Old 12-26-2009, 04:23 PM
 
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Doulas aren't usually qualified to do any sort of monitoring/assisting. The whole idea is that they're at a birth for YOU. A MW and her assistant(s) will be looking out for you physically, but that's not always the same as the kind of emotional care a doula can provide. Your doula won't have to let go of your hand to take heart tones, but your MW would; that isn't about whether a MW is good at providing emotional support, it's about her priorities. A doula will also often come whenever in labor you want her to, while a MW will usually try not to come before active labor is established. I don't feel like it's unusual at all for a MW to recommend a doula at a homebirth, because the roles are different.

I think doulas are great. True, not everyone needs one. But they can be SO helpful. Dads are often caught in the moment and can't really step back and analyse what they know to come up with new suggestions, and don't have a really big experience bank to draw "this has worked before" information from. Doulas can be really invaluable for that. Some dads can perform that task REALLY well, but it's hard to know until you get there.

I'm not saying you need to get one or anything, just that I really see how helpful they can be and how that applies even at a homebirth. I think most doulas become doulas to help women through childbirth, not specifically to be guardians against hospital providers, and attending homebirths is more along the lines of what they really love to be doing.

Mama, homeschooler, midwife. DD (13yo), DS (11yo), DD (8yo), DD (3yo), somebody new coming in November 2013.

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#21 of 37 Old 12-27-2009, 02:04 PM
 
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I didn't use one and had absolutely no desire too either though. I can't stand anyone being near me, touching me, talking to me, etc when I'm in labor. So there would be no purpose in having a doula at a home birth for me. Dh knew what to do: don't touch me, don't ask me anything or talk to me, and keep ds and my mom away from me. He did that and it was exactly what I needed.

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#22 of 37 Old 12-27-2009, 04:53 PM
 
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I had a doula for my homebirth with DD, but I'm not planning to have one this time around. (If you do get a doula, make sure you get a doula that you're really compatible with. I didn't like having my doula there at all.)
I have a friend who's hopefully going to be able to drive into town to help out. I don't know how much birth-related help I'll need, but it'll be nice to have someone to pass the time with, and someone to help out with my daughter and my dog.

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#23 of 37 Old 12-27-2009, 05:20 PM
 
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I didn't have a doula with my hb with ds, but looking back I wish I did. My midwife didn't provide the emotional support that I needed, and my dh, though absolutely wonderful, was clueless . I remember saying "I don't know what to do!" "nothing feels right!" My midwife would just say "do whatever your body tells you", but I needed concrete suggestions.

Also, this time around, ds will be about 3.5 when the baby is born, so he'll need dh as his support person, which leaves me needing a doula.

Enjoying life with DH since 05/04 and our two boys Oliver 02/07 and Theodore 07/10 
        
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#24 of 37 Old 12-28-2009, 01:28 AM
 
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I didn't use one and had absolutely no desire too either though. I can't stand anyone being near me, touching me, talking to me, etc when I'm in labor. So there would be no purpose in having a doula at a home birth for me. Dh knew what to do: don't touch me, don't ask me anything or talk to me, and keep ds and my mom away from me. He did that and it was exactly what I needed.
This is me, too. I didn't need/want any labor support during contractions, though I did appreciate the occasional "You're going a great job" from my husband in between contractions. I actually kicked him out of the room during each contraction in active labor, so it was just me.

I will say that a doula would have been nice when the baby was actually born, because the midwife just missed it, and it was just me and my husband. It would have been nice to have someone to grab a towel or to take pictures. But hopefully that won't happen again. We were actually planning for my mom to be there, too, but she was downstairs and we didn't have time to call her upstairs.

-Rachel
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#25 of 37 Old 12-28-2009, 05:38 PM
 
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I didn't have one. I had DH and a nurse who came with the MW and both were incredibly amazing. The nurse looked after my physical needs, and DH looked after me emotionally. I know that not every DH is up to that role, though.

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#26 of 37 Old 12-28-2009, 07:06 PM
 
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I wanted one and needed one, but my MW brought 2 apprentices to the birth who acted like doulas at times (awesome ) and my hubby even provided loads more support than I had imagined would beforehand. So, no, I didn't have one but it turned out we were just fine without one. Looking back now, I think another person would have overcrowded the room!

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#27 of 37 Old 12-28-2009, 08:22 PM
 
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I'm not planning on having a doula attend my labor and homebirth. I have a team of two midwives and an apprentice who were all doulas in the past. I asked if I should hire one at my first appt and they said between the 3 of them they are happy to provide all the support I need.

SAHM to Kaylynn 12, Alec 10, Gideon 5 and Silas my hba2c baby born 4/12/10! h20homebirth.gif  vbac.gif cd.gif bftoddler.gif

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#28 of 37 Old 12-28-2009, 10:27 PM
 
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I have had four babies at home and have used a doula each time. We love love love to have one! That said, I don't pay for them as I am also a doula and "in the know"!

You can contact DONA and get a new doula who wouldn't charge or would only charge a very small fee if you are interested in having one. You should still interview a couple of them though, even if they are free.

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#29 of 37 Old 12-29-2009, 01:58 PM
 
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I am still on the fence over whether or not to get a doula. I guess the biggest reason for me wanting one is for extra support for my DH, reallly. I am pretty confident that I can do this, that being said, it's our first baby and definitely our first homebirth experience. Neither of us really knows what we're in for. We're very much in the prepare for 36 hours of hard labour, hope it's only 3 mindset. And if all goes long and hard, having a doula there to help support DH (and me when DH needs to recharge) would be amazing. I also think I am a bit more inclined towards having someone else there because we don't have family nearby so there is NO ONE else to act as labour support.

The only other person we might have there is a really close friend of mine. We've always discussed being at eath other's birth so I am hopeful that she will be there. However, she has been a tad flaky lately and I am wary of putting too much trust in her completely amatuer abilities.

Also, as supportive as my husband is, sometimes we fail to communicate really well under stress and I am a tad bit afraid that when I really need him, he might be too unsure to follow through with what we had previously discussed.
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#30 of 37 Old 01-01-2010, 01:24 AM
 
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I had 3 doulas at my homebirth for my 2nd child!! Well, one official doula and two good friends who came later who are also doulas. Nothing like a circle of women around you, massaging and sharing in the vibe. a-maz-ing!

But really, I liked having the doula there for me, so DH wasn't having to worry as much. We did the Bradley thing, and were great students, but after a really long labor at a birth center, he was spent and I felt alone and needed someone to encourage me to get up and get moving, though the pain was keeping me from doing it. The midwives I had were not intrusive and let the mom do her own thing. But as a first time mom I needed more help, and thought I didn't want any "strangers" in my birth. Its rare that a doula feels like a stranger unless you hire her right away. Most doulas do an interview and at least 1-2 prenatal meetings to get to know the mom and her desires.

My doula was great because I wanted someone with me during early-heading into active labor, and it was many hours before the midwife came. She timed contractions when I asked, kept me a little distracted, made sure DH was good and happy. I loved having her. She also got amazing pictures, wrote a beautiful birth sotry, and was there to hold my hand when things got a little crazy and scary during an unexpected pushing phase, when the midwife needed to clamp and cut the cord to allow the baby to be birthed. She helped me focus and pant through it. I knew what was happening. And wasn't afriad,but it was unexpected, and NOTHING like the first baby.

Wouldn't birth with out one!

mom to Reaghan born underwater into midwife's hands 1/17/07 & Myra born surrounded by doulas and midwife at home 1/12/09. Birth Educator, and Photographer, Baby #3 Coming May 2013!

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