Husbands/Partners, Doulas, and Homebirth - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 35 Old 10-22-2010, 08:29 PM
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I usually encourage doulas, a lot, but let the doulas sell themselves.
It's really nice to have two right-there people for the mama to make sure she's never alone. One can run to the bathroom while the other sits with you. Doulas can be fabulous for using their knowledge/skills/experience/intuition to figure out what you like and then stepping back to allow the partner to do it. For instance, when a mama is getting quite warm with transition, I will get a bowl with ice water and a washcloth. I will ask, "cool cloth for your forehead" as I begin to mop her brow. If she likes it, I set up her husband with the bowl and keep him in cool washcloths for her. I do the identification of the "problem" [too hot], the "solution" [washcloth], and make sure it's acceptible for her, but he does the actual care and never leaves her side.
Interviewing is free. Most people interview 3 doulas. Doulas (And midwives, too!) are used to not-getting 2/3 of the people that interview, so there's no pressure there. There are some awesome doulas at the $1200 rate, here. But plenty at the $600, $900, and nearly-free range as well. I'd want to shop.

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#32 of 35 Old 10-22-2010, 09:32 PM
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I agree with the others that this should be your decision and not mandated by your midwife. But one other's REALLY hard for a husband to read some books and take a class and then understand everything that is happening. Heck, I see something new at almost every birth I attend (after close to 60) and I think all doulas agree that learning about birth never ends! I try to never get in the way of a partner and sometimes the partners do fine without many suggestions. But if something very specific comes up during the birth, it's nice to have someone who has attended many births and can maybe decipher the situation. There are so many different tools that can be used but they are specific to different situations and I think it's hard for partners to pick up on all the subtleties of labor, no matter how much they read up. Also, in case of a transport, it can be nice to have a doula by your side to help you think through decisions that might come up or tell you what she's seen in the past.

Jamie, DW to Jeff, birth and postpartum doula and Hypnobabies instructor.
4 years and 5 IVF cycles in the making, Elliott was born at home in water on 2/2/11.
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#33 of 35 Old 10-23-2010, 06:57 PM
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Just quickly sharing my personal experience with a doula at a hospital birth: she was physical support and my husband was emotional. I held on to him for hours at a time, no break. This wasn't for optimal physical position or anything but I just needed to be in contact with him while we did labor. She was behind me doing counter-pressure on my back and also fetching hairclips, ice water, etc. I would think at home that aspect would be even nicer - lots more options of things you can eat or drink, places to move, etc. She also used her expertise to suggest different positions for pushing or whatever but nothing that usurped my husband.

I think the question is which doula. Ask her how she could support your husband so he can support you. Mine was not the Earth Mother let's braid your hair type (although that's great if that's what you need/want). She was more of a get things done gal, which I found comforting in a different way. It probably helped that my doula was also our Bradley teacher so she knew where she fit in.

Best of luck choosing a doula. Don't settle!
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#34 of 35 Old 10-23-2010, 07:02 PM
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OP, I agree with your husband. A well informed and well trained hubby is your best doula. Have him brush up on his reading.

I have first hand seen doulas wreck the precious and amazing "couple energy" that can be present at birth.

Listen to him, don't spend money on a stranger at your birth. Instead, practice with him on how to respond to you. He sounds like he'll do well.
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#35 of 35 Old 10-25-2010, 07:31 AM
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My husband and doula were both very much needed at my homebirth. One did support, while one did troubleshooting and they switched roles when needed. During the first part (it was all pretty much active labour) DH needed to get the kids off to his parents and doula was there providing acupressure to my back and getting me through contractions while this was happening. She was the one who was on the phone to the midwives, she was the one who helped to find this, that or the other thing. During that time, DH was by my side supporting me.

They both worked together really well to help make the labour, birth and immediate post partum a really stress free experience, so all I had to do was focus on getting through the contractions. DH also felt really supported too. It felt good for him to have a woman there who like all moms, can get manifest blankets where needed, grab the phone, get some water or some ice without having to be walked through the process. He felt way more relaxed to have a teammate, so maybe your hubby in addition to seeing how it will benefit you, how it will benefit him too.

I think labours can be done with one support person, but I think two support people, in my case was optimal. One of the midwives who has been doing this forever said it was one of the most peaceful dignified births she had attended, and really I couldn't have been more happy with how my homebirth went.

Don't trust anyone under 5! Mom to 3 boys under 5. Blogging to save my sanity.
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