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Old 09-12-2012, 05:43 PM   #1
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Doulas

What do they do exactly? I am thinking of hiring one for my labor this time around. I am hoping to have an all natural, water birth delivery.

Did you hire one? Did you feel they helped in achieving your goal for a natural birth? Any advice?

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Old 09-12-2012, 06:05 PM   #2
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Re: Doulas


I would like a doula but they are SO expensive here (IMO), 500-700 dollars. Id like to see what others say as well.
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Old 09-12-2012, 06:17 PM   #3
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Re: Doulas

As a Doula *I* (cant speak for all Doulas) spend time with the mother prenatally to go over what she'd like in birth, talk about any fears or anxieties, etc. We also go over newborn choices postpartum, feeding choices and so on. I attend prenatal appointments with her if she wants me to (some of my clients have been either single mothers or had husbands deployed and no family near). At birth I help her emotionally and physically. Helping her squat, sway, chance positions, talk her through any anxieties, help her focus, explain things she may not of understood from the Doc/nurse, help her nurse once baby is here (I'm a certified breastfeeding counselor), help her get comfy. Then I help her with nursing in the days and weeks after baby is here, go over her birth with her, and I will also bring her some food in the days after birth.
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Old 09-12-2012, 06:27 PM   #4
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Re: Doulas

That sounds fantastic! My other births have been medicated (though not well..) and I'm really looking forward and trying to prepare myself to take a natural route this time. My epi's never seem to work so I figure, whats the point?


My husband is PHENOMENAL during delivery but I think a doula would increase my chances of going natural.
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Old 09-12-2012, 06:32 PM   #5
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Re: Doulas

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Originally Posted by SarahBk View Post
That sounds fantastic! My other births have been medicated (though not well..) and I'm really looking forward and trying to prepare myself to take a natural route this time. My epi's never seem to work so I figure, whats the point?


My husband is PHENOMENAL during delivery but I think a doula would increase my chances of going natural.
Yes Doulas are really great with lowering the intervention in a birth, and they do not take the place of the dad. Even if you do end up needing medication a Doula is not there to judge and you still need support medicated or not
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Old 09-12-2012, 06:45 PM   #6
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Re: Doulas

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Yes Doulas are really great with lowering the intervention in a birth, and they do not take the place of the dad. Even if you do end up needing medication a Doula is not there to judge and you still need support medicated or not
Thanks so much for the information!
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Old 09-12-2012, 11:30 PM   #7
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My doula was awesome! My goal had been to have a natural non-med birth, but life didn't work out the way I planned. I ended up being induced. She went to the hospital w us and helped me come to terms with my decision to be induced. I was pretty unhappy about the whole scene. She went into the room kind of cozied things up, asked the floor supervisor for a great nurse and helped me transition into the hospital.

In the weeks prior to the birth she met with me and DH about our goals and how she could support those goals. She told me about things were standard at the hospital and helped me write a birth plan.

At the birth (it was a 4 day event) she was either with me or on call and within 5 min call. Once things really got going she helped me focus on my goals. I had pit birth which was really just horrible and I went pretty far wo getting an epi. My DH had a tough time with what was going on and kind of shut down. He wasn't able to give me the support that I needed.

Things got really tough and scary for a while. I had a real break down with my mw (who turned out to be awful and kept insisting that I'd probably be a c/s). The doula helped me process what was happening bc I just could not listen to one more thing the mw had to say. She held my hand and slept in a chair beside me while waiting out if I was going to have a c/s or not. She supported me when I got the epi and agreed that it would help me rest so that I could have a vaginal birth.

She helped direct me in the pushing phase and helped latch the baby.

Without her, I'm sure I would have had a c/s I was ready to stop fighting with the mw and her backup dr. She just provided unfailing support of my decisions. I'm sure if I had decided to have a c/s she would helped me with that.

After everything was done she helped me process what had happened. I was pretty traumatized by my birth experience. She provided me with the validation that my experience was not normal and my perception of my birth as difficult was accurate.

She was worth every penny. She never said you should do x or y. She did provide insight on the birth process but she never held herself out as a medical provider and she did not advocate for me to doc or mw. She was there to support me.

My point is that even if you have a goal other than natural birth or things go differently than you plan a doula is an incredible resource.
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Old 09-13-2012, 02:15 PM   #8
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Re: Doulas

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Originally Posted by JennTheMomma View Post
As a Doula *I* (cant speak for all Doulas) spend time with the mother prenatally to go over what she'd like in birth, talk about any fears or anxieties, etc. We also go over newborn choices postpartum, feeding choices and so on. I attend prenatal appointments with her if she wants me to (some of my clients have been either single mothers or had husbands deployed and no family near). At birth I help her emotionally and physically. Helping her squat, sway, chance positions, talk her through any anxieties, help her focus, explain things she may not of understood from the Doc/nurse, help her nurse once baby is here (I'm a certified breastfeeding counselor), help her get comfy. Then I help her with nursing in the days and weeks after baby is here, go over her birth with her, and I will also bring her some food in the days after birth.
Yep, what she said Also I do a lot of consulting with the parents before birth and offer information on all of their rights in the hospital, and newborn procedures that they might want to research and make a decision on beforehand. During the birth I can come to the house and help out with counterpressure, breathing, position changes, etc, so that labor is well-established before heading to the hospital. I also try to figure out which position the baby is in so that if baby is posterior we can try some things to help baby turn. Then after the birth help with establishing breastfeeding, focus on mom, etc.
Another advantage to a doula is that there is less stress on the partner. That person can take a break and have less pressure on them because the doula is there to stay with the mother.
500$ is a lot of money (I get it because I'm super poor!), but to pay someone to be on call and provide pretty much unlimited support, it's not crazy high or anything. The last birth I was at was 14 hours long and I was up the whole night, plus being on call for weeks beforehand. It happened to be the weekend but if it wasn't I would have had to pay childcare, etc if it wasn't. I haven't yet talked to someone who paid for a doula and was disappointed with the role that they played at the birth.
And it depends on the hospital and nurses...but being a doula around here is TOUGH. I haven't had a quick easy labor yet (12-24 hours for all of them so far), and sometimes the nurses are downright rude, abrasive, or not at all encouraging. Sure, sometimes nurses are really nice, but even nice ones say things that can be discouraging to a mom who wants to have a natural birth. (for example, a nurse might say things like "you'll be in labor for 5 more hours at least", but I will say "no one can know that! You can have this baby in 1 hour; who knows? Just take it one contraction at a time".) The doula is there to play damage control in some ways and that is a very hard, but important part to play. I actually haven't charged for a birth yet, and I don't like to ask for money, but it's a tough job and if a doula needs the money, it's not too much to ask. I'd love to be able to volunteer indefinitely, but I just can't afford to.
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