Do any of you doula's attend homebirth? Are you able to do it exclusively, or do you have to go to the hospital often?
I really want to be a doula, but the hospital scenario just stresses me out so much. Do I have to get used to the hospital, or might there be enough demand for my services at homebirths?
I've done both hospital, military hospital and homebirth situations. It depends on the mom for me. If she is striving for a natural birth in a hospital setting and the medical staff pressures her to do things that she doesn't want to, it can be difficult. If though, she is wanting meds. or an epidural, I am there to support her decision and her. Its tough though. I really have to remove myself and just be present for her and try not to let the medical interventions or staff get the best of me.
Out of 65 births only 3 were homebirth - the rest have been hospital and birth center. In my are the demand for doulas at homebirths is extremely low - for all the obvious reasons. I think mainly it's because most women do not need a doula to do the regular 'doula stuff' at a homebirth and they invite thier sisters, friends, and mothers to provide that support. The midwives in my area are very warm, careing and (for the most part) patient so the mothers who choose homebirths here have very little to worry about.
I do feel though, that doulas need to attend homebirths - for thier own sake. It helps them to see/remember what normal is.