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Old 01-29-2011, 07:22 AM   #1
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should I hire a doula?

I'll tell you my sitch and if anyone wants to weigh in, I'd greatly appreciate it!

I'm 18w and we have been planning a homebirth. Just a few days ago at our anatomy scan, I was found to have SUA - a single artery umbilical cord (should be 2 arteries). I go for a level 2 u/s with an MFM on Monday to find out more, but on the strength of the 1st u/s, the baby's growth is spot on and all other organs look good. After googling like a mofo for the last 2 days (good and ]bad out there, but a lot of good, uneventful births and healthy babes), it seems pretty apparent to me that if anything were to come up requiring interventions, it seems to be discovered fairly late in pregnancy or even during labor. As much as I love my HB m/w, I have been finding myself leaning towards a hossy birth for several reasons.

My back up m/w, who I've been seeing all along congruently with the HB m/w and has been doing all my diagnostic stuff (so insurance will cover it, our insurance covers no part of HB), guarantees to be the one delivering your baby. The hossy she works at allows you to labor (but not birth) in a tub and has the lowest c/s rate in the state. I haven't talked to her about other details of birthing with her as I've been planning on doing it at home, but from what I hear (I've talked to a couple other mamas who birthed with her and were pleased) it may be a good compromise to just plan on birthing with her.

So, based on what I've described, does it sound like hiring a doula would be a good idea? My 1st hossy birth was at a different hossy and I was less than thrilled. I got my natural birth, but felt really overwhelmed and distracted with all the people in and out of my room constantly and being repeatedly offered drugs, among other things. I'd love to hear some doul experiences, for or against. Honestly, I'm not even entirely sure I fully understand just what a doula does even...

TIA!

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Old 01-29-2011, 07:46 AM   #2
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Re: should I hire a doula?

I did years of doula work and would def recommend it for a hospital birth. Its someone who can support you and DH working together and stand up for your wishes if the hospital starts to want to push things on you. I had a doula for bella's birth and it was totally worth it. Sometimes you can find free ones because you need so many births before you can become certified.
I Chose not to have a doula this birth because we are having a hb and the options they would offer me in a hospital (pit, epi, monitoring, laying in bed, vaxing, eye ointment, testing) are not options at home and its my environment and i will have several people undivided attention.
Gl with your pregnancy and delivery whatever you choose!
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Old 01-30-2011, 12:01 AM   #3
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Re: should I hire a doula?

It sounds like you have a really good hospital you're lucky! I would hire a doula, better safe than sorry...they make everything so much easier in a "hospital" setting...you won't have to deal with ordering people around and trying to communicate what you want done during labor, she'll do it for you! I'm having my first in March, and there was NO way I was going to have a hospital birth without one. I've read and seen too many negative hospital experiences with pushy doctors and nurses...it makes things much less stress free on you when you have someone there with you who knows exactly what you want! Plus she's going to be keeping you calm and being just a wonderful support system. I'm all for them!
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Old 01-31-2011, 11:25 AM   #4
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Re: should I hire a doula?

I would definitely recommend hiring a doula for a hospital birth. If I ever have to go to a hospital I will have one with me (I have a couple of friends that are doulas). She will help to keep you focused during all of the distractions and help you to cope with labor naturally. She can act as a mediator between you/your SO and the hospital staff to help you get the birth that you want. Having a birth plan is great, but your OB will most likely only be there right at the end to catch the baby. The rest of the time, before AND after the birth, the nurses are who you will be dealing with. You won't know them and they won't know you and your wishes, so it would help to have a doula with you to keep them from doing anything that you don't want done to yourself and your baby.
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Old 01-31-2011, 01:02 PM   #5
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Re: should I hire a doula?

I have had all 4 of mine in the hospital. Our first 2 were preemies and needed to be born in the hospital (emergency csections, 1 due to pre-e and we were losing our other son in the womb, they had to be removed immediately at 34 weeks) I had a doula for our 4th birth only. I will have a doula from this point on.

It was funny though because most people that saw my situation would have thought we wasted $$. From the time I arrived at the hospital and my doula met me there until Penelope was born was 9 minutes!!! BUT my doula was key to me. THere was a lot of flying around and people in a tizzy because it was all going so fast. I have a personality that gets swept up in the busyness of life and I have a hard time settling down. So my doula actually got in my face and reminded me how to breath, reminded me how I was to sound out and stuff. She was the one that remembered that in the midst of the hustle and bustle that was even more harried than usual in the hospital, that we needed to get me back on track.

But I wish I would have had a doula in the other births. My first baby, I had never even heard of a doula, and I just went with the typical hospital plans. Had no idea what a birth plan was or anything. I just listened to my doc and stayed the course. I ended up in the hospital at 32 weeks and had a section at 34 weeks...I wish a doula was there to sit with me after Ayden was taken out of me in the OR because my husband needed to go with the baby. Instead, I sat there listening to the surgeon talk about his golf game and what his plans were for the weekend. He wasn't even talking to me, he was talking to the person who was helping.

The 2nd babe, I knew what a doula was at that point. BUT I went in for a normal later on ultrasound for a Gestationally diabetic momma and found out we were losing Landyn quickly. Sooo...raced to the hospital and had him. It would have been great to have a doula there to walk me through the whole bit. (he was a section as well)

My 3rd baby was my 1st VBA2C, and I did not hire a doula because I thought, meh, I have this, I am educated, my DH is educated, etc...we can do this...BUT what I didn't plan on was a different delivering doc who freaked my husband out to the point where he could not stand firm and be supportive the way I needed him to, because he was afraid of supporting me through what sounded like a bad decision (according to the doc). He was a wreck and I just needed someone to be firm for me. I got through it, but it was a mess to say the least.

Back to my 4th baby, so my husband stepped up the plate this time, he was armed and ready with knowledge and support. He was strong and brave for me. But it was great to have my doula there, because he had to answer all of the questions that they ask you when you arrive about allergies and all that jazz for me, so while he took care of the technical stuff, the doula was able to really focus me. Praise God for doulas! It was by far my favorite and most enjoyable birth.

Doulas are awesome for so many different avenues. They are great for hospital vaginal births, they are great for csections, they are great for homebirths, and often they are great for the breastfeeding support afterwards, my doula was a post partum doula and she was great because she was there to help me through the transition home and such. It was awesome!

I tell this big long story to say YES YES YES get a doula!!! It will be the best decision that you will make for your birth!!!
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Old 01-31-2011, 09:18 PM   #6
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Re: should I hire a doula?

I gave birth early yesterday morning. Too tired to go into details but I had a doula. I had no idea how it would work out. It was one of the best decisions I made and I believe contributed to my wonderful VBAC. She was amazing.

I had support, my husband had support and knew I was supported if he needed to step away. Really amazing.
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