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Old 11-10-2012, 08:53 AM   #8
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Palooka
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Re: Tell Me About Doulas

Quote:
Originally Posted by z2akids View Post
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 me, yes. I had 2 "doulas." The first was a good friend and family member who had a natural birth 3 years earlier, and the second was a volunteer doula-in-training who I had never met before going into labor.

My friend brought her knowledge of me and what I wanted. When I was puking and the midwife was about to give me a dose of regelin (anti-emetic that makes me super tired) my friend spoke up because I was too busy puking. She asked the midwife if they could do an IV dose of zofran instead. They could, and the midwife even commented on what a great suggestion that was because they all knew I wanted to be awake and alert. My hubby wouldn't have known the difference between the two drugs. She and hubby also took turns squeezing my hips, which was a huge help!

The volunteer brought some calming and comforting techniques she'd learned and practiced before. When things got scary she had some really mellow mantras she'd repeat to bring me down.

They both were very helpful to me in different ways, though later I heard that they felt a little awkward having to work together. So next time I will have just one. Thankfully, my friend so enjoyed helping me that she has decided to become a certified doula!

Quote:
Originally Posted by z2akids View Post
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?
A doula would/should never argue with a nurse or midwife, though they might ask about alternatives as in the zofran example I gave above. Doulas are there to support the mother, not to contradict the medical experts. Doulas are not trained to read strips or anything like that. They are trained to read moms. It's like having a good friend who has also seen 50+ babies be born--which is how many I think my friend needs to see in order to get her certification. It's not a license, because anyone can say they are a doula and the state can't prosecute them (the way they could if someone said they are a doctor but they weren't licensed). However, there are boards that certify doulas, and they have many requirements. My friend will probably work part-time (she has 3 little ones) on getting her certification for the next couple years.

Quote:
Originally Posted by z2akids View Post
Honestly, I think if 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.
It's not giving up your voice, it's adding to it. A doula shouldn't ever speak for you, she should ask you what you want and then help you express it. Husbands can sometimes get nervous or scared because they are so emotionally invested in you and the baby. A doula is there as a calm person who cares but won't lose her cool easily. They also do things you might not realize you need, like bring you a good smelling tea or run and find a birthing ball when you're too in pain to think.
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Last edited by Palooka; 11-10-2012 at 09:05 AM.
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