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Discussion Starter #1
YAY! This is kind of a hidden dream and when my 6 month pregnant friend asked ME to be her birth coach (along with her hubby!) I felt so honored and elated. I am an RN and had the most horrible labor/birth. Through all of that I have a strong desire to pursue midwifery in the future.<br><br>
I really want to be a help to her, i was all alone and had NO coaching, NO help.<br><br>
Any advice? Any websites I should check out to gain skills? I don't want to assume I'll do a good job because of my passion, freindship and personality. I want to start learning now how I can best coach her and be a support to her.<br><br>
Thanks!
 

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If you can make it to a training session at all I would highly recommend it. I was pretty well read, had done a couple of births, etc, but attending DONA training made all the difference. Lots of good ideas as well as great energy.
 

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I would sit down and really discuss what type of birth she and her husband envision; their hopes, wishes for medicated/unmedicated, any specific fears/concerns they have (especially from any prior births). Even though you're friends, this type of prenatal doula-type conversation could really clarify what she wants and allow you to best help her. Otherwise, it might be easy to be a good friend (I'm sure you're already that!) but not necessarily know how to be the best labor support person kwim?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Great idea. I plan to do just that and chat with her about it all. I had a horrible experience, as i had just moved to this country, and she has the same story...just moved to this country (not USA) and it will be her first birth. She is also very introverted so i feel i can be her voice when she cannot.<br><br>
Any good links for website training? I would love to do professional training but do not have the resources to do so, and i have 3 months only to prepare!<br>
Any training will have to be self taught/self research.<br><br>
Thanks!
 

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<span style="text-decoration:underline;">The Birth Partner</span> by Penny Simkin is a great introduction to helping a woman in labor, and it's an easy read. Try doing some searches in this forum for threads where doulas and midwives talk about their favorite tricks, etc. You might also want to check out <span style="text-decoration:underline;">Ina May's Guide to Childbirth</span>, especially the birth stories, to get you in a happy birthing frame of mind.<br><br>
In my experience (though I'm still a pretty new doula), just being there, completely present and supportive, is a huge part of being a good birth partner. Also make sure that everyone has employment -- i.e. if dad's getting freaked or joking around, start giving orders and keep him busy! Protect the birth space -- be vigilant in maintaining her privacy, keep the lights low, project positivity to everyone who enters the room ("Isn't she doing a great job?!")<br><br>
Good luck! Your friend is lucky to have you on her team.
 

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Also, check out <a href="http://www.alldoulas.com" target="_blank">www.alldoulas.com</a><br><br>
Its a community of doulas, both experienced and new, and you can ask a ton of questions. They are great at helping and will point you in the right direction.<br><br>
Liz
 
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