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Old 08-26-2012, 11:35 PM   #1
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have you had a doula before? I'm considering it!

I am delivering at a birthing center here in North TX and I'm very excited to have a different experience than my pitocin induction last pregnancy. I have been doing a ton of independent reading and research on the Bradley method, books like Birthing from Within, and stuff by Ina May Gaskin. I feel pretty prepared for the birth, but just had a cool opportunity come my way.

A Bradley instructor and doula who works with this birthing center is trying to get into birth photography and asked for volunteers to help her build her portfolio in order to start her business. I jumped at the chance for FREE birth photography since I probably wouldn't have considered it otherwise.

Since she'll be there anyway throughout labor and birth, she has offered her doula services at a discount (not sure how much yet, have to meet with her to discuss) if I'm interested. I hadn't seriously considered hiring a doula previously, but the more I think about it, the more appealing it is to have someone else there besides the midwife for support since this is my first unmedicated birth. (My husband is no doubt well intentioned, but not a doula by any means )

Did you have a doula with a previous birth? Will you this time? What was the cost? How much was your doula involved?

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Old 08-27-2012, 07:37 AM   #2
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I have 2 doulas for this birth and am very excited about it and have only ever heard good things from those who have had doulas before, I wouldn't use her though, the reason being, she can't focus on two jobs at once. I know some doulas that do both birth photography and doula but they respectfully say they will only do one or the other. Doulas can get a few snap shots in but nothing to the caliber of a professional photographer because they can't focus on the photography if they are focused on you and your dh during labor. Does that make sense? I do have a north photographer too :-)
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Old 08-27-2012, 09:03 PM   #3
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Re: have you had a doula before? I'm considering it!

Thanks Alicia! Anybody else have advice/experience with a doula?
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Old 08-30-2012, 12:21 AM   #4
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Re: have you had a doula before? I'm considering it!

I had a Doula in training for my first birth (no charge) and my current Midwife's assistant is a Doula and that is included in the fees (I had her for my 3rd and will have her again this time). I HIGHLY recommend having a Doula. They anticipate your needs (sip of juice, going to the bathroom, cool cloth on the back of your neck) and are a wonderful source of support. My husband is a fantastic coach but he loved having our Doula there because it gave HIM the chance to go to the bathroom and eat himself. My Doula knew where to rub my back and when to not talk to me... She's gifted. I had a long hard labor with my 3rd. She was posterior and huge (9lbs 9oz and almost 23"). When my Midwife and Doula arrived I thought for sure I was 5-6 centimeters because I'd been having painful contractions for hours. I was a 3. My Midwife laid down to get some sleep and I started crying. My Doula (who knows my beliefs) asked if she could pray for me and that really calmed me down. She reminded me how strong I am and that soon the baby would be in my arms. Her support was exactly what I needed.

Anyway, this is turning into a novel but I am very much pro Doula! A natural birth is a beautiful, powerful, life changing process. It can challenge you in ways you didn't expect and having someone there with the express purpose of giving you support is priceless.
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Old 08-30-2012, 07:48 AM   #5
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Re: have you had a doula before? I'm considering it!

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Originally Posted by el's mama View Post
I had a Doula in training for my first birth (no charge) and my current Midwife's assistant is a Doula and that is included in the fees (I had her for my 3rd and will have her again this time). I HIGHLY recommend having a Doula. They anticipate your needs (sip of juice, going to the bathroom, cool cloth on the back of your neck) and are a wonderful source of support. My husband is a fantastic coach but he loved having our Doula there because it gave HIM the chance to go to the bathroom and eat himself. My Doula knew where to rub my back and when to not talk to me... She's gifted. I had a long hard labor with my 3rd. She was posterior and huge (9lbs 9oz and almost 23"). When my Midwife and Doula arrived I thought for sure I was 5-6 centimeters because I'd been having painful contractions for hours. I was a 3. My Midwife laid down to get some sleep and I started crying. My Doula (who knows my beliefs) asked if she could pray for me and that really calmed me down. She reminded me how strong I am and that soon the baby would be in my arms. Her support was exactly what I needed.

Anyway, this is turning into a novel but I am very much pro Doula! A natural birth is a beautiful, powerful, life changing process. It can challenge you in ways you didn't expect and having someone there with the express purpose of giving you support is priceless.
Thanks for the encouraging testimony!
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Old 08-30-2012, 09:21 AM   #6
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Re: have you had a doula before? I'm considering it!

My SIL did a few weeks ago for her super long labor. Im SO glad she did, we worked as a team to support her and it was terrific. If you have the option and the means to make it happen, I dont think you'll regret it at all.
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Old 08-30-2012, 12:39 PM   #7
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Re: have you had a doula before? I'm considering it!

I went to 42 weeks and 2 days with my DS. I had trouble sleeping and eating the last few days of my pregnancy. I went into labor at midnight. I started out exhausted and anguished. My labor was 22.5 hours long. I spent 2 hours pushing. I lost my freaking mind somewhere around hour 18. I had no ability to cope anymore. I was exhausted. I had made my birth team swear they would steer me clear of any and all interventions. They were instructed to pretty much ignore any requests for pain meds, etc. I never imagined that it could be as hard as it was though. I really needed an epidural. I don't know how else I would have made it through. My doula was the only one who could see this. She advocated on my behalf when I simply could not. She was an amazing source of support and information all the way through. She didn't leave until my son was successfully nursing. She was and still is AWESOME. She is my doula this time around too. I have a very supportive mom and hubby who were in the delivery room with me the first time and will be again this time. I have a two fabulous and supportive midwives who will do anything they can to help me achieve the natural labor and delivery that I desire. Still, I can't imagine doing it without my doula. She's priceless.
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Old 09-01-2012, 08:31 PM   #8
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Re: have you had a doula before? I'm considering it!

I would say go with the doula! My first birth was an induced hospital birth and my second was all natural at a birthing center. My doula was wonderful and I am using her again with this baby. It is great to have someone who is just there for you and dh, not working for the hospital. They know how to and will be an advocate for you when you can't be for yourself. My doula also does birth photography and more of it is done after the birth rather than during the labor and birth. She does do both, but your needs come before pictures.
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Old 09-03-2012, 08:50 PM   #9
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Re: have you had a doula before? I'm considering it!

I had a 'doula in training' (no charge-even when I insisted) for my second birth and she was invaluable! Sadly, she moved away, so I can't use her this time. I also had my sister attend my birth and she was the one who took pictures. I honestly don't see how your potential doula, could do both jobs well. I would use her for one purpose or the other, but not both.
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Old 09-03-2012, 09:40 PM   #10
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Thanks for all the great input ladies! She is going to take pictures and be there to offer suggestions/guidance but not in a full doula capacity. Love my midwives and birth assistant- with them plus my hubby I feel very supported!
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