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Old 01-20-2014, 01:45 PM   #11
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This is one of the only pieces of advice I practically hurl at pregnant couples: spend the money for a quality birthing class that you both attend and take seriously. And I don't mean a Saturday afternoon. I mean weeks of classes.
I will say my DH and I took a 12-week Bradley class with a very knowledgable instructor and read a lot and watched videos and practiced techniques... and it did not actually help very much when it came time for the birth. There is nothing like having someone w/ experience there with you in labor who can offer suggestions and tell you what's going on and what to expect. I always say I wish I had spent my money on a doula instead. I think a good doula does a lot of prenatal education in addition to being there for the birth. If something does not go as expected during labor and birth you can't just look it up in your birth book or ask your instructor but if a doula is there she can answer questions help give you the info you need to make decisions. Overall I think a lot of this answer depends on your DHs personality.

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Old 01-20-2014, 01:53 PM   #12
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My husband was as present as I wanted him to be. A lot of the time I was somewhere else, mentally, and I'm not really sure what he was doing during that time. When I needed him, I told him. I've never had a problem just saying, "rub my back," "hold my hand," etc. I'm bossy and that doesn't change in labor.
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Old 01-20-2014, 01:53 PM   #13
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Re: Is your DH a good labor support?

Ummm if I collectively put parts of my labor together he was batting .214 which I would say is somewhat decent.

Someone told him I would want ice chips and that didn't end well.
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Old 01-20-2014, 01:55 PM   #14
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Re: Is your DH a good labor support?

Oh and by the 4th much better! But it took 4
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Old 01-20-2014, 02:10 PM   #15
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Re: Is your DH a good labor support?

Quote:
Originally Posted by justineybean View Post
I will say my DH and I took a 12-week Bradley class with a very knowledgable instructor and read a lot and watched videos and practiced techniques... and it did not actually help very much when it came time for the birth. There is nothing like having someone w/ experience there with you in labor who can offer suggestions and tell you what's going on and what to expect. I always say I wish I had spent my money on a doula instead. I think a good doula does a lot of prenatal education in addition to being there for the birth. If something does not go as expected during labor and birth you can't just look it up in your birth book or ask your instructor but if a doula is there she can answer questions help give you the info you need to make decisions. Overall I think a lot of this answer depends on your DHs personality.
This is true, I also had a doula who was very helpful. I wouldn't have given her up for anything. My hubby wouldn't have known to request zofran when they tried to give me phenergin for my vomiting. I knew I didn't want to be sleepy, and our doula knew of the options.

I think a doula and a spouse serve different roles during labor. My spouse knew what things I might request (food, water, ice), what I meant by "hip squeeze NOW!" and he was prepared for me to be out of it between contractions, to be screaming during transition, and to be a total animal during pushing. He was able to offer a little physical and a lot of emotional support because he wasn't frozen with fear. That's what I meant by basic-training, he had the anxiety educated out of him. I guess it wouldn't work for everyone, but it certainly worked for him. He in no way replaced my doula, but he was able to be completely present for me and that's what I needed.

ETA: It probably sounds like we spent a fortune. Lol. We paid for the birthing class out of our HSA, and my doula was a friend who had 3 kids and whom I trusted, and she did amazing and now is studying to get certified. I also had a "volunteer" doula for the last 4 hours of my birth. I didn't know her, but she was trying to get her 50 births to become certified. I just had hubby call the local doula association when I went into labor and they sent out an alert to doulas-in-training in the area that they could show up if they wanted. So both my doulas were free.

Last edited by Palooka; 01-20-2014 at 02:13 PM.
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Old 01-20-2014, 02:23 PM   #16
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Re: Is your DH a good labor support?

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I also had a "volunteer" doula for the last 4 hours of my birth. I didn't know her, but she was trying to get her 50 births to become certified. I just had hubby call the local doula association when I went into labor and they sent out an alert to doulas-in-training in the area that they could show up if they wanted. So both my doulas were free.
Can I hijack long enough to ask the doulas reading if this is common? I'm having a certified doula, and don't know how I'd feel about someone else dropping in, but the doula hasn't even mentioned this as an option for helping others get their training. If it is, I want to think about it.
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Old 01-20-2014, 02:26 PM   #17
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Re: Is your DH a good labor support?

Mine is not super helpful, he just can't deal with what is going on. We'll be having an experienced doula this time around. I need someone who can speak for ME. If he could go the old fashioned route and sit in the waiting room until they tell him what gender baby is, he would.
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Old 01-20-2014, 02:36 PM   #18
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Re: Is your DH a good labor support?

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Can I hijack long enough to ask the doulas reading if this is common? I'm having a certified doula, and don't know how I'd feel about someone else dropping in, but the doula hasn't even mentioned this as an option for helping others get their training. If it is, I want to think about it.
We were actually told about it by our hospital. My midwife group has some relationship with the local doula association, and the nurses in L&D had the number on hand and helped hubby make the call. However, I did email the association while I was pregnant to make sure we were doing everything correctly.

I don't know where you are, but you can use the DONA website to find your nearest association and email them asking if they have a similar program.

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Old 01-20-2014, 03:19 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Palooka
This is true, I also had a doula who was very helpful. I wouldn't have given her up for anything. My hubby wouldn't have known to request zofran when they tried to give me phenergin for my vomiting. I knew I didn't want to be sleepy, and our doula knew of the options. I think a doula and a spouse serve different roles during labor. My spouse knew what things I might request (food, water, ice), what I meant by "hip squeeze NOW!" and he was prepared for me to be out of it between contractions, to be screaming during transition, and to be a total animal during pushing. He was able to offer a little physical and a lot of emotional support because he wasn't frozen with fear. That's what I meant by basic-training, he had the anxiety educated out of him. I guess it wouldn't work for everyone, but it certainly worked for him. He in no way replaced my doula, but he was able to be completely present for me and that's what I needed. ETA: It probably sounds like we spent a fortune. Lol. We paid for the birthing class out of our HSA, and my doula was a friend who had 3 kids and whom I trusted, and she did amazing and now is studying to get certified. I also had a "volunteer" doula for the last 4 hours of my birth. I didn't know her, but she was trying to get her 50 births to become certified. I just had hubby call the local doula association when I went into labor and they sent out an alert to doulas-in-training in the area that they could show up if they wanted. So both my doulas were free.
That sounds like a wonderful experience with you DH and doulas! My experience with a birth class was with my first pregnancy/birth (and I didn't have a doula) and I think DH and I both just felt very lost when the moment finally came to put all that knowledge to use. I actually also had a friend as a doula for my second birth (who was working towards her certification). My DH was so convinced he had gotten a stomach bug because he felt so sick but after my DD arrived he felt much better. Silly fella! I do love him.

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Old 01-20-2014, 03:24 PM   #20
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This is one of the only pieces of advice I practically hurl at pregnant couples: spend the money for a quality birthing class that you both attend and take seriously. And I don't mean a Saturday afternoon. I mean weeks of classes.
...
It was bar none the best decision we could have made. My hubby was a freaking rockstar while I was in labor.
I totally agree with this. Did hubby know intuitively every single thing I needed/wanted the entire time? No - but neither did I! Doing a class together was the BEST decision because he became EDUCATED about the process and totally supportive. He wasn't perfect, but experiencing labor with him was incredible. Had we not done the class, he would have wanted to be supportive but wouldn't really know how to be. I LOVED that he knew just about as much about pregnancy/birth/postpartum as I did. That way he wasn't totally freaked out about the less than glamorous process, and he has such a greater appreciation for what it took to bring our son into the world.

Do the class!

ETA: I do understand the people saying the classes didn't help them. I don't think I used a single one of the "techniques" they taught. BUT! Being educated and knowing that my husband was also educated made me feel so empowered and much more comfortable with the entire process. Even without using any of their "practical" tips, it was so worth it to us.

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