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What did you base your decision on? I'm trained as a doula and always assumed I would want one, but now that I'm pregnant with my first babe I wonder if I'll want an extra person/stranger there! I feel like I'll probably be pretty private about birth (less people present versus more)...but it's so hard to know since I haven't done this before! And you just never can know until you're in the situation. Any of the close friends who I may want there instead as support (who have birthed before) live too far away. I guess I'm thinking of dh too; he's VERY squeamish, and I'm not sure how great he'll be at helping with coping techniques, etc. I thought a doula might be good to have for both of our sakes! We are planning a homebirth...
 

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i wanted a doula b/c i wanted someone to concentrate on <b>me</b>, not just the baby coming out. and i wanted someone who has done this before and will be calm when i freak out. i'm worried that my husband will try to offer suggestions and i'll be like, you'd don't know what you're talking about!! plus, he's so close to me and i know he gets upset when i'm upset, so i need someone there who can keep their calm, keep their head together. i almost like it better that it's a "stranger," not a close friend or family member who may make assumptions about how i'm going to react/act. i figure, all bets are off when it comes to labor, so someone who has a "clean slate" about me and can offer new/novel suggestions to cope is great.<br><br>
my DH is shocked at how much we're paying, but i have a feeling it will be worth every penny. esp. if they keep me from punching him!!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/mischievous.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="mischief">
 

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I had a doula the first time and she wasn't that great, though I know that is atypical. Honestly my mom being there helped more than anything. For a homebirth I don't think you'll need one as much, you'll be in your comfort zone, and for me, I felt exactly as you do....there were too damn many people at my birth! Mom, DH, midwife, 2 birth assistants, and the doula...too crazy. This time I want to keep it to a minimum, though I definitely want my mom there because she was a huge help.
 

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I guess for me, the decision is made from the perspective that I regret not having one at the birth of my daughter. Since my husband and I attended birth class together, once my 'bag of tricks' ran out for pain relief and relaxtion in labor, so did his! Also, that extra set of hands concentrating only on me and doing things w/o having to be asked, I presume, will be really, really nice and reduce some of the pressure on him!
 

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I'm trying to find a doula through <a href="http://www.dona.org" target="_blank">www.dona.org</a>, but I'm finding that a lot of my emails go unanswered and then when I do get through to someone, they're not available in July due to planned vacations :-(<br><br>
But I want one because this is our first birth, neither my DH nor I really know what to expect, and I'm going to be trying to have a natural and intervention-free birth in a hospital so I'm hoping she can help advocate for us in that direction.
 

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I wanted one at my first birth, because I wanted someone there who had done it before. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"> However, DH was against having a stranger in the room, so we didn't.<br><br>
We should have. All the reading and learning I'd done went right out of my head, and DH had never learned it in the first place. And the labor nurses had a lot of other things going on, you know?<br><br>
This time, I didn't give DH a choice. We did it his way last time, it's my turn. If there's a third, we MIGHT discuss it again.<br><br>
KC
 

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I originally wanted a doula because I wanted a woman there to support me who had been through childbirth before and would know what I was feeling. She was amazing for that purpose, but I was suprized at the reason I really ended up loving having her there so much. I had no clue ahead of time how much I would need my husband. She made it possible for him to never have to leave my side. I mean, I needed him right in my face the entire time. I don't know what I'd have done if he'd left to refill my drink, or pee, or anything like that! She totally took care of everything so that he could support me. I don't think she sat down the entire time. I chose my childbirth teacher to be my doula because I wanted someone I already knew and trusted, so it wasn't like having a stranger there at all. And honestly, I was so consumed with labor there could have been 10 strangers in the room and I'd have been completely oblivious to it!<br><br>
I'll have a doula this time as well, I know now that I would never intentionally do it without a doula... and I am in training to be one myself as well!
 

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I'm a doula myself and don't particularly want one. DH and I did fine on our own last time, and I don't want more people there than necessary. I will have a friend who is a doula there, but primarily to watch DS, since I'd like him to be there for the birth itself if he's ok with it, and I feel much more comfortable having doula-friend around than most of my other friends or family <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>KC in KS</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I wanted one at my first birth, because I wanted someone there who had done it before. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"> However, DH was against having a stranger in the room, so we didn't.<br><br>
We should have. All the reading and learning I'd done went right out of my head, and DH had never learned it in the first place. And the labor nurses had a lot of other things going on, you know?<br><br>
This time, I didn't give DH a choice. We did it his way last time, it's my turn. If there's a third, we MIGHT discuss it again.<br><br>
KC</div>
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Exactly!
 

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Like a lot of posters have said--the first time, we both chose to have one because we wanted someone who knew what was going on, since we were both clueless! It was also good to have someone to "consult" with regarding interventions, since our first was a hospital birth. I ended up with a c-section, so I was extremely thankful to have someone with me while they stitched me up and my baby was off somewhere else (with DH never leaving her side! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/luxlove.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="throb"> )<br><br>
This time, we're having a HB and my husband initially wondered if we would need someone else around. He then wondered if we would need her for childcare for our 3-year-old! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> But I insisted she was going to be there, and once she had come over for our initial consultation, he was glad of it--she's an extremely relaxing, peaceful presence, and that can't be a bad thing when we are aiming for a relaxing, peaceful birth. And just like before, she will be there to support him, too, so that he can not only take care of his own needs when necessary but can be free to tend to me the rest of the time! I feel like it's not just the mom who hires the doula--it's the couple. At least, in our case that was definitely true.
 

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In my opinion, a good doula is no longer a stranger by the time you give birth.<br><br>
I feel like they become a friend and it is another woman who does not carry the same baggage as family might, who can really relate to your exp as a woman.<br><br>
For both of my births, my husband was my source of focus and comfort. He really knows my body and he really gets me. I dont have to speak to him, he just knows. HOWEVER, there were girly things he did not get. for my second birth, it was my midwife/doula who knew to braid and brush my hair. she remembered to take pics and she also had the intestinal fortitude to get firm with me when I was on a pitocin drip w/o ANY pain meds and was about to lose my grip. My husband would have caved seeing me in such pain. She looked me striaght in the eye and said, "Shannon, this is NOT what you want and you know it." that was ALL I needed to hear. She was great.<br><br><br>
I would NEVER have a baby w/o a labor support person who is not family.
 
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