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Old 11-10-2012, 09:02 AM   #5
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Re: Tell Me About Doulas

My doula never interacted with the hospital staff and had a strict policy against doing so. Most doulas I know have this same policy. She was there solely for me and my husband.

The difference between having her and just another family member or friend was her training in childbirth. When I was stuck at 8cm (in transition!) with my first kiddo, she was able to suggest position changes, massage techniques and provide specific encouragement through each contraction. She was able to help my husband help me when he felt at a loss.

The nurses at the hospital were great, but they were mostly familiar with epidural patients who couldn't and didn't move on their own. So they seemed to be at a loss for what to suggest to me to help relieve some of my pain and hopefully help me finish dilating and get to pushing.

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?
No, no, and no.

The closest she would have come to interacting with staff is to get really close to my ear/face to tell me what they were doing or what they were asking me, because they had a tendency to just talk to me loudly from the end of the bed or from the computer, not realizing that my "sphere of communication" really narrows the further I get into labor.

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.
Some doulas do have massage training and/or licenses. A lot of them go to workshops for different things to help women in labor, massage being a big part of that. As for giving up your voice, that's not the role of a doula at all. She does not, or should not, speak for a laboring woman. To be honest, though, the further I get into labor, the more my husband does have to speak for me because I just lose all sense of caring about anything except getting through the next contraction and getting baby out. So, for me to be able to think through and make clear-headed decisions at the later stages of labor is somewhat difficult unless the person who is talking to me explains things very calmly, clearly, and close to me, and asks very specific questions. I'm not out of my head, but my head is definitely working on other things!
~J, wife to one, mama to three wild and crazy guys and one little lady!~

Last edited by Belle; 11-10-2012 at 09:11 AM.
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