I said yes, because I wouldn't rule it out. The doula I had at my first birth had births that were different than what I wanted for myself (induced and medicated). But I do think sharing birth with a mother or sister who has already had children is part of the support I wanted in the labor and delivery room, although the experience I got with my doula was different from what I would have gotten with my sister present. My doula was educated on many different aspects of births and had attended births that were very different from her own. My sister and mother tend to be very opinionated based on their own experience, and that might have made things worse.<br><br>
For that matter, I chose an OB who had given birth to a child, but she kept telling me I might have to have a c-section, and she scheduled me for an induction at 28 weeks. She was really bumming me out. I canceled the induction and ended up going into labor when she wasn't on call. The OB I ended up with was much more easygoing and never mentioned c-section to me, and he had never given birth.
The doula I had was amazing and she had never given birth. The assistant MW who did have a child said things like "oh your fine, I felt like that too" but never gave me anymore than that. My doula was 100% focused on me and the labor and when I was too out of it to to hear or understand what the MW or DH was saying (contraction land not drug interventions) she would look me straight in the eye and tell me and I knew exactly what I had to do next. It helps she had sat in at over 200 births and was training to be a MW herself. I think you just need to be really carefull in interviewing a doula so you get an idea of what they are like and how they will work with you.
I would never hire a<br><br>
child birth educator<br>
who has NEVER been a parent or given birth. I just think people should know what the heck they are talking about. Experience is the greatest teacher.<br><br>
Too many "experts" today run around w/ all kinds of half-baked advice telling everyone what to do.<br><br>
Havin been raised Catholic, I had my fill of celebate "advisors" telling everyone in the parish how to raise a family. I recall one priest who did leave the priesthood to marry and raise a family, five children(!). He admitted that it opened his eyes.<br><br>
I do not agree with most of you.<br><br>
I did attempt to train as a doula, and the service told me that they did NOT want me b/c I had children to care for. So that may be only one positive argument in favor of a childless doula.
I would not hire a doula who had not birthed children herself basically for all the reasons already metioned. I am currently training to be a childbirth educator and eventually a doula and midwife. In my training, I observe childbirth classes. I was truely disturbed by a class I attended where the "instructor" had never given birth herself. Her teachings were not only ridiculous at times, but also dangerous. I think to teach someone about the process of childbirth, you need to have done it.
well what i think has really already been said but i really dont think it makes a difference. our midwife does not have kids, and there midwifes that i know with kids i would NOT want to be at my birth. it really depends on the person. just get to know the ppl that are going to be at your birth.
Strange thing. I read the post and my immediate answer was - of cause not.<br>
But after I started to read all other replays, I realized, that in my birth there was 3 people, my husband, my midwife and her husband. The last one have no experience in delivery of his own baby (<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"> ), but he was the best person in my birth, he was the only one, who really understand me and my needs in this time.<br>
My dh and midwife did great job, but he felt me even better.<br><br>
So, it depends on person, but I still think she/he have to be a parent (not mandatory biological).
I am a doula and I am not a mom. I think the most importnant thing a doula can do is to have an open mind and be supportive.. thats their job they are labor supprot people and every labor is different. One person mentioend that the midwives assistant kept telling her she was fine thats one of the things we were trainded not to do in our doula training........ we were trained to encourgae the woman that she is doign a great joba nd that she can do it...........<br>
I brign with me an understanding I completely udnertsand why some women wouldn't feel me right.... but at the same time I hope people would at least meet me and then decide..... I have been called to birth I feel it where I belong it's soemthing i stongly believe in as a lfie changign voyage. I haven't had children my self becuase I am goign to college to becoem a midwife and I'm torn as to when to have kids. and wether I shoudl have them before I becoem a midwife we'll see how my work as doula goes.<br>
again i think the biggest thing a doula can bring with her is an understanding that your birth is yours and she needs to udnerstand you and help you find your way through the labrynth of brith however you need to get there........ a doula isn't there to speak up for you against interventiosn but she is there to help you feel empowered to speak up for yourself to ask for you to ahev that extra minute to think about things....<br>
just my two cents...... and mines alittle baised but if it wa sme I'd hire the person ic onnected with no matter if she ahd chilren or not!<br><br>
A doula is there to help a woman through child brithweather it be natural or c-section.
I personally wouldn't.....but then again I had a male OB, and I doubt her ever "delivered" a baby. LOL<br><br>
But I guess it is different with a doula. I don't have one, but what I have read about them, it seems it would be in the best interest of all if she HAD has a child.
Nope,no way. My reasoning is my oldest DD was delivered by a midwife that never had children. She was the biggest<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/censored.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="censored"> to me and as I found out later most of her new mom's. I had severe back labor-told me the only way I was going to get any relief was an epidural. Didn't offer a shower,birth ball,tub nothing. She was useless with nursing advice. She was the one midwife in a practice of four that I didn't want.
No I would not.<br><br>
I agree with applejuice:<br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Experience is the greatest teacher</td>
Yes I would. I actually am. My doula hasn't given birth. However, for *my* needs she doesn't need to have the same experiences I have had/will be having. I need a support person who can offer different things to help me with the pain. I need a support person who can calm me down (I get tense and b*tchy in pain). I need a support person who can help keep Dh from freaking out, give him something concrete to *do*, and to be there for me if he needs a nap (Dh is the type of person when he needs to sleep, he just NEEDS to sleep... so unless its near transition/pushing it'll be nice to allow him a break if he needs it). I believe my Doula offers everything I need, and we mesh very well.<br><br>
I understand the point of 'wanting them to know what its like firsthand' and if thats important to you then by all means find someone who matches up to what you need. That makes sence to me. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">
It is certainly your choice, which ever way you decide. But I think that saying that you would never hire a doula without chidren would limit you greatly. I have seen some fabulous doulas who didn't have children. I have seen some awful/useless doulas who had children. I personally don't think that that should be the litmus test.<br><br>
Philosophy, range of experience, availability, enthusiasm, training, and personality would be so much more important to me when hiring a birth attendant, be they my doula, my lactation consultant, my mw or my OB.<br><br>
I have personally experienced that bias that an attendant with children can bring to the birth. I myself have two children. I never thought pushing hurt....I was relieved to push. Each birth I had this overwhelming urge to push that simply took over any other impuse or feeling. In one of my first births I attended as a nurse, a woman didn't want to push because it hurt. There was no cervical lip or anything like that. It just hurt. She said she felt like she was being torn in two, that her pelvis was going to break. I had a hard time with that initially, because I just kept thinking about my own experiences and I simply couldn't believe that this woman was having that much pain with pushing.<br><br>
Now I have seen enough and grown enough to understand that my personal experience means nix. Sure, it is nice occasionally to commiserate or share with someone when we do happen to have something similar in our pregnancy or birth experience. But I don't think we have to be exactly the same to be able to lend support to one another.<br><br>
How else are you going to divide women up into qualified and unqualified?<br><br>
There are differences between every person. Am I unqualified to attend birth center births, because I didn't have one? Well, I've attended close to 100 now, and I have not heard any complaints so far. I have even had moms call me when I wasn't on call, asking me to be the nurse at their birth. I never carried my babes to term....should I not attend pregnant women who went past 36 weeks? I had stadol in an effort to kick my hypertonic uterus into an effective labor pattern...should I only attend women who plan on having some sort of drug? I never had back labor. Am I unqualified to attend a woman who has back labor? I never had varicose veins, can I support or give suggestions to someone who has them? I never had nausea or vomitting during labor, can I adequately support and provide care for someone who does? And how will anyone know until after the fact what kind of birth they are going to have?<br><br>
My laboring experience is uniquely mine. Yours will be uniquely yours. Now that I have recognized that, I have improved emensely as a caregiver and support person for laboring moms. I don't even think about my own personal experiences anymore when I attend a mom, since they are truly irrelevant to the moment at hand. My own personal experiences might actually get in the way if I were to compare them to what the mom I attend is feeling and experiencing. I want to only focus on that mom and what *she* is feeling and communicating with me, not what I think she should be feeling and communicating, based on my personal experience.<br><br>
Just some food for thought. I'm trying to remember what sort of percentage of our clients even ask me if I have children, or where I gave birth. I know most of them know I have kids, since I'm sure I bring it up or they see my kids' pictures on the walls. It never even occured to me that they were asking that, to make a decision on whether or not I was qualified to provide support during labor! Hmmm. These forums sure do make you think!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Edited because I apparently have problems finishing sentences!
Although I had posted that experience is the best teacher -<br><br>
The training one receives as a nurse-midwife/HCP/CCE/CLC/OBGYN should teach not everyone is the same, despite one's personal experience.
Sure they *say* that. They even teach that at doula training. But you can't always help but *think* a certain way. And actually, that is the entire point of my long winded ramble. Everyone is not the same, despite their personal experiences. I would extend that to not hiring a doula based entirely on her personal experiences. Personal experiences can be completely irrelevant.
Women hire men care givers to birth their baby all the time......... THEY have never had a baby! I know its not doulaing, but they DON'T know how you feel. A never pregnant doula I am sure would have just as much ability at mothering a laboring mom as a mom who has given birth. Its a female thing!!!!!!!!!!!<br><br>
Wouldn't it be more important to find a doula you connect with, no matter her history?
1) the person matters. The education, the knowledge and the "feel"<br><br>
2) there is a looong tradition of unmarried childless females careing for both pregant, birthing females and babies. Think of the older sisters, the younger sisters, the madian Aunts.....they have attnded births and taken over care of children who have lost months. Mothering and nuturing is instictive and in-borth; it is not the result of a baby popping out of you. ......read history (journals of wagon trains), read the Bible.<br><br>
3) Just like there can be good male OBGYNs who have never been pregant; why can't a female without child be just as good.<br><br>
4) I'd rahter have someone who expereince and a backbone; rather than someone who has "just happened to get pregant" standing by me answering my 3 am phone calls!!!!
I would agree with the poster here.<br><br>
I just got done with some doula training over the past few days and there were a large number of girls there, probably 40% of the class were not mothers. I had a hard time with that, as DONAs definition of a doula is "a woman experienced in childbirth, etc." and really how CAN one really know and fully understand without experiencing?<br><br>
Anyway, it was really obvious to me that they just didn't "get" certain things about birth and the mother's emotions, or how it felt to push... I wouldn't feel comfortable myself hiring a doula who had never given birth, and this class really solidified that in my mind. These girls are not, and will not be prepared to meet the needs of a mother in labor until they have experienced it themselves, regardless of how many births they might attend.<br><br>
Part of the doula relationship is relating to the mother, anticipating what she's feeling, empathizing with her and giving her strength when she has none. This can be achieved with a pre-mother to a certain level, but it can't possibly go as deep as with a woman who has already delivered her own baby, and preferrably more than one.<br><br>
I guess I could see both sides of the coin. If I met with a woman who was extremely knowledgeable about birth and who had lots of experience with truly natural birth and had worked closely with homebirth midwives, for example, but had not given birth herself... or, if there was a doula who had actually given birth but had done so in a totally medicalized setting and believed most first timers needed an episiotomy, for example.... I would definitely feel much more comfy with the woman who totally trusted in a woman's innate ability to birth, regardless if she had done it or not herself, kwim?
<blockquote></blockquote><span style="color:#FF0000;font-size:xx-small;">Warning :: Spoiler Ahead! Highlight to read message!</span>
<hr><span style="color:#000000;background-color:#000000;">To me, it seems a bit like hiring a lactation consultant who formula fed her babies.</span>
Actually there's a wonderful LC here locally who has a great reputation for being caring and very helpful. She's on LLL's list. And she's never breastfed. Adopted and bottlefed, and she's healing part of herself by helping others to nurse.<br><br>
As for doulas, I probably would if the person was compassionate and caring. I myself had an epidural birth with my dd and plan to have another one, but can be very supportive to women who go through natural childbirth.<br><br>