I didn't have a doula at either of my births, but I had an awesome midwife (and backups) and a great husband, so I didn't need one (okay first time, didn't know about them ) If I had to have a hospital birth and didn't have my same midwife, I would definitely have a doula.
Edited to fix a major grammatical boo boo that will drive me nuts if I leave it.
50% reduction of cesarean rate
25% shorter labor
60% reduction in epidural requests
30% reduction in analgesia use
40% reduction in forceps delivery
From Mothering the Mother: How a Doula Can Help You Have a Shorter, Easier and Healthier Birth by Marshall H. Klaus (Perseus Press, 1993)"
Other studies have shown that moms who have doulas are:
*40% less likely to have oxytocin administered to speed up or augment labor
*less likely to have a baby who needs to stay in the NICU
*less likely to have post-partum depression
*more likely to breastfeed successfully
*more likely to rate their birth experience as positive and something that reflects well on their self image
These numbers BTW are from serious medical journal studies, not just word of mouth.
Additionally, doulas are not just for the laboring mom--they're for the laboring couple, helping to make sure the birth experience is the best it can be for everyone involved.
Also, a doula could be an invaluable asset should (heaven forbid) this labor and delivery not go as smoothly as your others.
Some sites to visit:
Mom to Cathleen 11/99
I'll fly out there and be your doula! If you can, do check out the book that Stephanie mentioned. It is amazing what a doula can do, not only for you (the laboring mom), but also for the dad. She is there to support BOTH of you and not to take away from the couples experience.
Thanks again for the support!
Good luck with your appointment, and have a wonderful birth!!
With my first I did not have a doula and my ex-husband was a terrible coach. I labored all night and he slept through most of it. Then I suddenly had a placental abruption-- was whisked to the O.R. My ex-husband was left standing there with no clue what happened or what was going on. The medical staff was too busy to answer his questions. Afterwards I resented him for a long time for not being there for me emotionally, and he was traumatized by almost losing his wife and child in birth without anyone to support him. Maybe if I had a doula it would not have been so difficult for me, and even if it did not change the course of my emergency, at least my ex-husband would have had some one to support and explain things when things went wrong.
With my second child my ex-husband was more than willing to spring for the then $400 for a doula. Well my labor was quick-- less than 4 hours, without complications. The doula was wonderful and even my ex-husband did better with support.
This time around my husband does not want to spend the money (now $800 in my area). Which on one hand is understandable-- I have lost my job due to being on bedrest since 10 weeks gestation (i am now 38 weeks). So it would be a financial hardship.On the other hand I know how much a doula can help and how the lack of one can not only negatively affect the laboring process, but the marital relationship as well. I found a doula in training, she has completed her coursework, has attended some births, but still needs to attend a few more to get her official certification. These doulas in training provide their services free of charge to build their resume for certification. I am completely comfortable with the fact that she may not have as much experience as some others. Partly because this is not my first (like you) so I pretty much know what to expect.
If you are comfortable with a doula in training, it just may be the right compromise for you and your dh. I found mine by explaining my financial difficulties to one of the experienced doulas in my area- she refered me to this woman. DONA.ORG is the website for doulas of north america. They may be another source for you to find a doula in training in your area. Some doulas also will provide services regardless of ability to pay because they believe it to be their calling. Check around, if money is the primary obstacle for your dh there may be a solution.
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