would anyone NOT recommend a doula? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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Old 11-20-2009, 05:52 PM
 
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Originally Posted by philomom View Post
You know, my dh and I talk about this from time to time but we both believe that if a man would not support you fully during labor... maybe you shouldn't be bearing his children. Haven't we given all to our hubbies when they have been sick/injured or in pain? Why shouldn't we expect them to do the same for us?

Labor support is much more complicated than feeding chicken soup to a male with a case of man flu. It requires not only a deep level of compassion, but moreover something that's not bound to the state of the relationship: knowledge of the birthing process and psychological insight, communication experience with medical personnel ( in case of hospital births) and the ability to stay focused and calm.

Now see, some of these things are not easily acquired and in no way reflective of the relationship, amount of love or potential parenting abilities. So why...why exactly should one not have children in that case?

My husband has a terrible, terrible phobia of blood. He cut his finger badly last week, bad enough to requires a bandage that needs daily changing. I do it...because the second someone comes close to the wound he is about to faint, he feels queasy and completely out of control. He looks upwards as to not lose consciousness. Note I said phobia, fear is irrational.

Or imagine a couple where the husband works a lot to support his family. He might have one very demanding job, or maybe even several jobs working many hours a week. When he comes home, he'd have to make the decision to spend his very limited time with his family or read and read and read about the birthing process. Should he do that just to prove himself worthy? I don't think so.
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Old 11-20-2009, 07:22 PM
 
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Originally Posted by philomom View Post
You know, my dh and I talk about this from time to time but we both believe that if a man would not support you fully during labor... maybe you shouldn't be bearing his children. Haven't we given all to our hubbies when they have been sick/injured or in pain? Why shouldn't we expect them to do the same for us?
Maybe if a woman can't rely on herself to get through labour, she shouldn't be getting pregnant. That makes about as much sense, IMO, as the idea that the ability to support one's wife during labour should make or break you as a prospective husband.

I'm probably out as suitable canditate as a wife, though, since I tend to roll my eyes at dh whenever he is sick. I tend to think he overreacts, and I get all passive-aggressive if I think he's taking too long recovering. I'll bring him soup and blankets, sure. And then I'll bake cookies and eat them while he's sleeping. I guess we deserve each other.

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Old 11-20-2009, 07:23 PM
 
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Originally Posted by daisymama12 View Post
I had a hypnobirthing coach for DS#1, and no extra support for #2.
My kids often want to hear the story of their births, so we tell them; Mama was calm, Daddy was nervous and put the mail in the fridge (true).
This is such a cute story!

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Originally Posted by HisBeautifulWife View Post
Why not? If you have to go through it with no breaks what makes them exempt?
I've always told my dh to sleep at the beginning of my labours, because I want him in peak shape if I really need him. He doesn't have the labour hormones that I do to keep him going. And it just seems like a way to punish or get even with one's dh if one is forcing him to endure everything you are, just because you have to go through it. I don't get that attitude. It makes me so sad to hear that women would want their partners to suffer, just because they are suffering.

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Originally Posted by Veritaserum View Post
My husband is a wonderful man who just doesn't happen to be gifted at labor support. It's not like he's cold and callous and unwilling to be present. He simply likes a quieter role. I'm perfectly fine with that and in no way feel abandoned by him. I think it's unfair to expect that your husband is going to provide perfect labor support. If it happens, great, but if your man doesn't happen to be good at labor support it does not mean that he's uncaring or worthless.


My dh has a needle phobia and some kind of a vein phobia. When he has needed blood drawn, his blood pressure drops and his veins practically disappear and it takes forever to do. He's not a wimp, or lazy, or whatever anyone may be thinking about dhs who don't play an active role in labour support. When I was pg with our first, we both understood that dh would be holding my hand and getting me drinks and making sure I was comfortable, and staying far away from where the actual birthing was happening, because he felt faint just talking about things like crowning and tearing. As it turned out, he ended up taking an active role in the actual birthing portions of all of my labours/births (he was the only one there with me when our youngest decided to arrive before the midwives, and he did a stellar job of catching the baby), but even if he had felt faint or needed to help in some other way, I wouldn't have considered it a labour support fail. He's not unwilling.

Now, I don't like interference from anyone when I'm in pain, and I hide in the bathroom and talk to him through the door if I need anything. But if I needed a lot of support, sure I would look to others to help us out. It's about recognizing my needs and his needs and making sure we meet them. Because I love him and he loves me and we want to support each other.

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Old 11-20-2009, 08:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Brisen View Post
I'm probably out as suitable canditate as a wife, though, since I tend to roll my eyes at dh whenever he is sick. I tend to think he overreacts, and I get all passive-aggressive if I think he's taking too long recovering. I'll bring him soup and blankets, sure. And then I'll bake cookies and eat them while he's sleeping. I guess we deserve each other.
Make that two of us! I'm trying to get better about it, because I know he doesn't have a great immune system. He works with kids and goes to school, never gets enough sleep, and pushes himself till he's falling apart. But then he REALLY falls apart. This happens at least once a month. Drives me batty, but I love the pathetic little sickie.

Actually reminds me of why I need a doula. My husband was great labor support, and I was insanely needy. But he never got a break. And thanks to us being in the hospital and him being completely sleep deprived and beat up (literally and figuratively), he got sick the day after DD was born. You'd better believe I'm having a doula and that he'll be able to rest if he needs to...because I need my husband functioning much more in the days after birth than any other time!

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Old 11-21-2009, 12:50 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Mamabeakley View Post
However, I would unilaterally recommend a doula to any woman/couple planning a hospital birth.

Yes, I'm surprised there hasn't been more discussion about hospital vs. OOH birth. With the atrocious condition of maternity care in America today, anyone planning to birth in a hospital who doesn't want "the hospital ride" probably could benefit from the presence of a doula.

I ended up getting a doula around 35W because I still had anxiety about being in a hospital. I didn't think I needed the extra support or DH needed the help, I just wanted her to "protect" me from the hospital staff. I know there are limits, the doula can't speak for me to hospital staff, but I knew there ARE things she can do to protect me, such as warning me if they're about to do something without informing me (let alone obtaining informed consent!)

I figured if we didn't end up 'needing' her support, we were out $500. That wouldn't kill us. I'd rather BE PREPARED because you just never know what labor will be like & what you'll need. You just don't know - I'd rather be safe than sorry in that case.

Turned out, my labor was so fast, I felt the urge to push before we'd even left the house AND before the doula had arrived at our house! She was still a help during my 40 min of pushing at the hospital, & a MASSIVE support via email before birth & then afterwards with BFing. A great investment. my doula!
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Old 11-21-2009, 02:32 AM
 
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Old 11-21-2009, 03:22 AM
 
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Originally Posted by philomom View Post
we both believe that if a man would not support you fully during labor... maybe you shouldn't be bearing his children. Haven't we given all to our hubbies when they have been sick/injured or in pain? Why shouldn't we expect them to do the same for us?
Well there's been plenty of eye rolls about the first sentence, and you can add mine to the list. But as for the second, I want to point something out that might help broaden your perspective a bit?

If your husband is sick, injured or in pain, of course you'd do what you can to help him however he wants you to! INCLUDING if he decides he is sick, injured, or in pain to such an extent that he wants another, more experienced and skilled person to assist him through the illness, injury, or pain with or without you. It doesn't mean you are doing it wrong, or badly, or anything. It doesn't mean he doesn't love you and want to share his life with you. It doesn't mean he should have never married you. It JUST means he wants a doctor/chiropractor/nurse/whatever to use their extensive experience and skill set to make the process more comfortable for he and you both.



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Originally Posted by philomom View Post
You've had five babies with a man who can't support you properly through your labors? That makes me feel so sad. What stories will you tell your sons about their birth days? My son hears how amazing his dad was and how we did the work of birthing together and how we felt closer than ever after each birth. It was truly a peak experience in BOTH of our lives.
Why isn't a father amazing for supporting his wife by encouraging a doula if that's how she feels best supported? My husband is AWESOME throughout my childbirth, in fact our doula (same person both times) says she feels useless to even be there! But, we both want her there! She's a fantastic liason between us and any medical personnel, she's a huge emotional support addition to me and him both, and it's quite handy that she's a deaf interpreter, but that's just a bonus LOL My point is, I do trust him 100% to be my support, but HE feels more supported with a doula there to assist us both, however she can, which results in ME feeling more supported.


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Originally Posted by philomom View Post
You carry the child in your own body for nine months and risk life and limb to give birth to his child and he can't be your best labor support? Do you have any idea how horrible that sounds to us? I think my dh and I do have a point here.... sorry that you disagree. This is a forum.. a place where ideas get exchanged, judged and tossed around.

Our Bradley classes were the best.... they completely empowered my hubby and educated him on everything. We did toss out the idea that he was my coach, though. I find coaching and cheerleading irritating.
It comes across as though you are seeking accolades for having the 'better partner' than those who choose to include a doula in their birth experience. That may not be your intention, so I just thought I'd point it out in case you wanted to clarify with a little more compassion for those who chose different paths? It also seems as though your personality is such that the role of a doula, or even a 'coaching partner', whether that's your husband or not, isn't something that works for you. The bottom line is that your style works for YOU, others can explore and find what works for THEM...and it's all ok in the end

FWIW I took Bradley, loved it and it really helped. It was taught by our doula, who we used for both births.

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Old 01-27-2010, 04:14 PM
 
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i liked my doula at my last HB but i felt i really did not need her there there were to many women and i could of probably saved the money
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Old 02-01-2010, 02:46 PM
 
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I had a hospital birth with TWO doulas. One was my primary one, and the other was doing an observation in order to complete her training.

We decided to hire a doula because we thought it would be helpful to have someone there who was solely dedicated to comfort measures and support for both me and DH, and we wanted that someone to have seen a lot of births, and ideally to have gone through the labor process herself.

We had a midwife and she was great, but she wasn't with us constantly, and she was focused on the medical side of the birth and interacting with the hospital.

DH was a great support partner, but there's no way he could have attended as many births as my doula before my labor! Besides, have you ever talked to a nurse or doctor about what is like when their spouse goes through a medical procedure? Seeing your beloved partner in pain is different! You can't expect that every partner will be able to handle the emotions of labor 100% perfectly at all times, especially with no breaks to eat or go to the bathroom.

DH was helped immensely by our doula, her experience as a mother and a witness to many births. I was tremendously grateful that I had support at every moment of labor. I had pitocin but chose to have no pain meds and those contractions were intense! I never had to worry about where DH was because there was always someone by my side, helping me through every contraction. DH was there for almost all of them, but he did have to go the bathroom a few times and took at 15 minute break to eat.

I also had two friends there for support. That was seven people including the hospital nurse! And I felt that I needed them all. But I also told all of them in advance that if I ended up feeling that I wanted privacy, I might kick them out. They were all fine with this.

I could certainly imagine someone who feels very private not wanting a doula. It's hard, because it's hard to know what you will really want until you are in the middle of it. I could also imagine things being different with a home birth. But for a hospital birth, I think it's good to have as much support as possible.

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Old 02-01-2010, 02:55 PM
 
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I also think that it just depends on a plethora of factors. I didn't have a bad experience and am certainly not anti-doula (quite the opposite)! Having said that I think for *me* a doula would have been cumbersome and unnecessary but that's just my take.

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Old 02-02-2010, 04:21 PM
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I chose not to have a doula at either of my births. My first, a CNM-attended hospital birth, had a nurse, CNM, and my ex there. I felt really private about the whole thing. I don't feel like I needed a doula, either. We took Bradley classes and I had a fast, easy birth, and caught my son myself. My second birth was a UC, and while I didn't feel the intense need for privacy, I didn't even consider that I'd want a doula at home. My husband was there, my mom, stepdad and sister were there (my stepdad and sister on another floor with my then-3yo). Neither my husband or my mom turned out to be a lot of help. Neither had ever given birth (my mom had c-sections), they were both anxious, and the birth was longer and harder than my first and I had a difficult time with it.
I'm pregnant now with my third (another UC) and plan to have 2 friends there as doulas-- both have had natural births (I was the doula at one's birth), have attended at least one birth, one is a massage therapist and one's a lactation consultant. While neither are professional doulas, I have been one myself and feel that the job is more about caring than training. I think that having them there will be a great help. I think they can help my husband to be a better support for me.
I didn't marry my husband to be a doula. I can hire a doula. I married him because I love him, he is smart, funny, a wonderful friend, lover, and father. While I was reading this thread I joked that he gets a C- for labor support, but I don't regret bearing his children.
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Old 02-02-2010, 05:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by philomom View Post
You know, my dh and I talk about this from time to time but we both believe that if a man would not support you fully during labor... maybe you shouldn't be bearing his children. Haven't we given all to our hubbies when they have been sick/injured or in pain? Why shouldn't we expect them to do the same for us?
I find this to be a very ignorant statement.
Not everyone has the ability to be good labor support. Not all women are cut out to be doulas, not all husbands know intuitively what their wives need in labor.
My husband is lost when I am in labor. He is a very cerebral, practical, logical man and the ebb and flow and unpredictablity of labor and birth is disturbing for him. The blood and goo and sounds and smells of labor also bother him. It doesn't lessen his love of me and his desire to want to help but he just isn't comfortable. Honestly, one of the hardest things he has ever done for me was to help me stabilize my PICC line when it ripped out. It was extremely hard for him but he did it without question because I needed him and that was it. To anyone else it would seem no big deal but I knew how he really pushed himself far beyond his comfort level that day.
I hire doulas or bring a friend. I get the support I need and my husband participates at his comfort level. He isn't abandoning me to go watch football or go golfing. He is there and as present as works for him.
Let's put the shoe on the other foot. What kind of wife would I be to force my husband to do something that really makes him uncomfortable? He should be miserable and uncomfortable because I am? I don't wake my husband up and make him stay up when I am nursing in the middle of the night either just because I am.

Karen, homeschooling Catholic mom to 8. #9 due 6/10
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