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Old 11-11-2012, 06:21 PM   #24
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Re: Tell Me About Doulas

I think the problem is that there is a divide between what doulas are supposed to do and what they actually do. I was with my sister for her last birth, and her doula was awesome. Never offered medical advice, just told her she was doing well and helped her cope with pain. However, she seems to be the rarity. I don't think a lot of doulas realize the toes they may be stepping on in certain situations, because so much of it comes down to wording and vocal inflections. For instance, if a doula politely says "My client would like to be taken off her her monitor, as it's been 45 minutes and all is looking good," I'm sure that the majority of nurses and doctors wouldn't think twice. However, if that doula is thinking "geez, I can't believe the unnecessary procedures this poor woman has already been subjugated to," that same phrase will come off very differently...sarcastic and know-it-ally, and she won't even realize.

Anyhow, this topic is something I feel conflicted about. I do have a lot of problems with the way that the maternity system is run in the US for low-risk women, and I think that, in theory, doulas could help. However, at present, all it ends up doing in a lot of instances is pissing off doctors and nurses even more, which certainly isn't going to motivate them to let the next woman in labor step outside of the box.

I feel pretty fortunate in that it's not something I worry about (doula versus non-doula). I have no reason to plan on anything other than low-risk pregnancy/birth, in which case I would birth either at home or in a birth center with a CNM team, and a doula wouldn't be necessary. If I required interventions, I would obviously be happy to be in a hospital and would fully trust my doctor and nurse team to take care of me, rendering a doula unnecessary.
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