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Old 11-10-2012, 06:02 AM   #1
z2akids's Avatar
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Ohio
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Tell Me About Doulas

I didn't want to continue to hijack another thread, but I am really curious what those who are doulas, have had doulas or who work in L&D think is the role and purpose of a doula.

Let me preface this by saying, I'd never even heard of a doula 12 years ago when I was pg with my first. I would not have wanted anyone other than my DH in the room with us while we were having our kids. We didn't have friends or grandparents or anyone like that there. I cannot imagine having hired someone to be there in tha very intimate time with us.

That being said, when I think doula - I think basically paying someone to fill in a role as friend/family member. Someone to apply counterpressure or to supply support while you are on a birthing ball. Someone to take some pictures so that your spouse can be in them as well.

But, when I read threads here, I read things like - deal with the nurses, tell the nurses what mom wants, tell the mom the pros/cons of contemplated treatments, etc. Is this the role that doula is fulfilling generally?

For L&D people - if a doula came out and told you mom wanted x treatment done or stopped, would you? I see this from my hospital view and cannot imagine altering treatment of an A&O competent adult based on what a "friend" told me. If a friend/family member/paid support person came to the nurses' station and told me that the patient wanted X, I would head to the room and talk to the patient, but I would do the same thing if the patient hit the call button. Unless the individual is the POA, I take treatment decisions from my patients, not other individuals. Granted, my patients are sick, so perhaps there is a big difference there. I cannot tell you how many times I've been admitting an 80+ year old COPD patient and asked them about a flu shot and their 50/60 year old child tells them - oh, you don't want that, everyone I know gets the flu after the shot. They wind up throwing up for weeks. I just keep my mouth shut and move on and discuss with with the patient when visiting hours are over.

Do doulas take courses on reading strips and are they competent to read the monitors and what is going on with baby? Do you become certified/licensed for that sort of thing? As a doula, do you advise your client on what a decel (for example) means in terms of what the nurse/doctor wants to do?

Honestly, I think it I had wanted a paid person in the room with me while laboring, it would have been someone with a massage license. Perhaps I am just too much of a control freak to give up my voice to advocate for myself to someone else.
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