Birthing without a partner or with unsupportive partner - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 9 Old 01-18-2010, 07:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I may be birthing without my DH. Even if he happens to be there physically, I don't know if he'll be able to provide any support to me during labor and delivery.

We are planning a homebirth for this birth. This will be our first homebirth and only my second birth with my DH. All of my previous births were in the hospital with an epidural.

I'm considering a doula, I don't think I can afford one as I'm scraping every penny just for the midwife.

Tips, advice, BTDT stories?
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#2 of 9 Old 01-18-2010, 09:32 PM
 
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Get a doula! Contact some local doulas and see if they have any doulas in training that are working toward a certification and could help you out for low to no cost?

Doula & Nanny,  Momma to Hope, my angel baby 6/17/08, and Momma to be- to a little boy, EDD 3.13.13

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#3 of 9 Old 01-18-2010, 10:14 PM
 
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Originally Posted by momofboysajs View Post
I may be birthing without my DH. Even if he happens to be there physically, I don't know if he'll be able to provide any support to me during labor and delivery. ...
I was just talking to my midwives about this topic this afternoon. I've just finally accepted this same thing about my DP. He is being totally supportive, but has no clue exactly how he will react during childbirth. I was expecting him to be there for me, to be my birth coach, to be the rock I need while I'm having our child...and there's nothing wrong with that expectation, but as I did more research on this, it kind of dawned on me that this is HIS experience as well, and he has to get through it the way he's comfortable so that he witnesses our first child come into this world in a trauma-free, pleasant way. That might mean that he will have to leave the room, or not look at the actual birth process, or whatever...but however he gets through the labor and delivery, it will be in his own way...which may or may not look a thing like what I envision his role to be. I also read that often, the father/partner also needs assistance and attention so that they are not exhausted at the end of the process, when both parents will have to care for the new baby. They need someone to make sure they're eating and sleeping and have all of their needs met.

I'm just sharing my thoughts because I've really been thinking about this a lot here lately. I actually told him the other night that even though I wanted certain things from him (like I want him to be in the house, at least!), he wouldn't have to worry about my needs because my sister and mother will be there for both of us during the process. And I hope that took a bit of stress off of him.

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Originally Posted by EricaDoula View Post
Get a doula! Contact some local doulas and see if they have any doulas in training that are working toward a certification and could help you out for low to no cost?

Or if you're strapped for cash, do you have any close female friends or maybe a sister or mother who would be willing to act as the birth coach / doula (or could you make a new friend, fast?!!!) I actually considered hiring a doula or using a doula in training even though my sis and mom would be here. I still might hire one for any post-partum needs that come up. And how many midwives will be there during your birth? My midwives come as a team, and they bring their assistant with them as well. They let me know that any/all of them can also act as doula if need be...maybe your midwife/wives will be able to perform the role of "doula"? Worth asking, anyway.
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#4 of 9 Old 01-19-2010, 11:11 PM
 
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My dh and I both prefer me to have a doula because we both recognize that he's really not cut out for good labor support. Having a doula enables us both to get the support we need. He's very supportive in that he wants me to have whatever I want/need during labor/birth. That's a rather overwhelming thing for him to take on by himself. Our last four babies were born at home with a midwife and our last three had doulas as well.

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#5 of 9 Old 01-19-2010, 11:27 PM
 
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doula. doula. doula.
my DH was stoned and drunk at our homebirth. completely unsupportive. honestly i didn't care because i was surrounded by strong women who were taking care of me. i had my midwife, her apprentice and a doula in training (who was free and was WONDERFUL!!!). after the fact it made me angry that he was so not there, but during the whole thing, it was really all about me and my baby. and i had a wonderful homebirth!!!

Legal Mama to TWO homebirthed, unschooled, unvaxed, cloth diapered, mei tei loving, still breastfeeding baby girl 1/14/07 and an intact 8 pound 10 ouncer baby boy 4/5/10.
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#6 of 9 Old 01-20-2010, 01:03 AM
 
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My husband was at both my births, but, I wouldn't call him "unsupportive." He "supported" me doing what was best for me in the baby. What I would call him is pretty "useless." He just wasn't into the whole labor prep, be a birth coach, thing. But he wanted to be there. And I absolutely wanted him there. My husband IS my rock, but he doesn't have to DO anything. He just needs to be present.
I was actually pretty ok with just holding his hand and rocking and crying to myself to get through things. I realize that doesn't work for everyone, but for me, it cuts it just fine.
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#7 of 9 Old 01-20-2010, 01:28 AM
 
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I don't personally feel like a doula is an essential part of having a pleasant birth - especially when the stress of having to afford one might not be worth it for you personally. I don't know if that's your case or not, but I thought I'd mention it. I had a drug-free, midwife attended, hospital birth with DD and DH really didn't have to do much, other than tell me I was doing fine and push on my back every now and then. I honestly have no idea on earth why I would've needed a doula. I believe they're great and I support women who want them getting them, but personally I would NEVER spend the money on one, because I literally can't see one thing a doula could've done to make my birth experience better. It was great without one.

You are having a home birth with a midwife, who will probably also bring an assistant. They're getting paid to be there and support you. It's not like an OB attended hospital birth, where you are essentially ignored until it's time to push. They don't have anything else to do or anywhere else to be. Yes, they're going to be focused on the medical aspect of what you're doing, but they are also more than capable of assisting you emotionally - or at least they should be. If you think a doula is for you, then that's great. If not, don't stress about it and worry you can't have a good birth without one. Midwives are trained to be supportive and it IS part of their job, IMO.
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#8 of 9 Old 01-20-2010, 12:51 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lilyoftheincas13 View Post
My midwives come as a team, and they bring their assistant with them as well. They let me know that any/all of them can also act as doula if need be...maybe your midwife/wives will be able to perform the role of "doula"? Worth asking, anyway.

My doula is actually now a MW in training! She's attending births as an assistant to one local HB MW. I think if anyone asked the 2 of them, "Do you think I need to hire a 3rd person to act as a 'doula' or could the 2 of you help with counter pressure, physical & emotional support, etc?" I suspect both this MW & her asst would say, "We'll support you!"

While I'm sure they support doulas & would never tell you "Nah, you don't need one." If you explain it would be a financial burden and ask if the could support you in this way, I'm sure they can and they will. And I'm sure they expect that to be part of being your midwifery team ANYWAY, ya know?

As others have said, in a hospital birth, your HCP (MW or Doc) often doesn't even show up until it's time for you to push. The nurses have other patients to tend to & they often don't want to even bother being "supportive" (So many of them prefer you in bed, quiet & hooked up to monitors so they can't pay attention to the machines.) But a HB is a totally different scenario.

So I wouldn't stress about not having a doula. I'd just give my MW team a heads-up that I'm going to prefer the support of other females who have BTDT as my primary labor support team. IMO, no need to tell them that you don't think your DH will be supportive. Just ask them if they could please take that lead as birth coaches.
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#9 of 9 Old 01-20-2010, 02:18 PM
 
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My dh has a lot of PTSD issues related to me birthing this child (with our last, I had a severe PPH and he watched it all and it was BAD!) To calm his fears, I decided on a hospital birth with a naturally minded midwife (WAY more natural than me ) and a good friend of mine who is an L&D nurse will be with me no matter what. I know they will be able to support me if dh cannot.

If you do not have any close friends who could support you, I would call a doula. A lot of the ones I know will work out a barter system with you if need be. Have you talked to your midwife about this? She might no someone who would be willing to do it for free (usually women who are just starting out as doulas) or she could even step in to this role herself if she thinks she can.

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