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Old 11-23-2007, 01:51 PM   #1
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Hire a Doula? Yes or No?

Did you or have you ever had a doula? What was your experience like? What exactly did she do for you? Would you hire one again? Please share any doula info you would like. TIA


SAHM to Liliana 01-13-06 &
Gabriela 10-15-08
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Old 11-23-2007, 01:59 PM   #2
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Re: Hire a Doula? Yes or No?

I didn't have one with my lil boy but now that I know about them I wish I had , I am hiring one this time for sure , no matter what I have to do lol . Here is why ..

1. I am going natural
2. I am going for a VBAC
3. my hubby is a great guy but is clueless as to what labor really is and got overwhelmed last time
4. while they will try to be there my parents may not make it in time for the birth so I would only have poor hubby with out a doula
5. I plan to labor at home till I reach good active labor
Rachel, wife mother crocheter

Last edited by itsymama; 11-23-2007 at 02:01 PM.
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Old 11-23-2007, 02:07 PM   #3
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Re: Hire a Doula? Yes or No?

Yes! I had a doula for my dd (my first) and I would do it again in a minute. I wanted to stay at home for as long as possible, I wanted my husband to have some support, I wanted someone there that I had met beforehand and had experience with births at this hospital, I wanted someone who knew exactly what I wanted for our med-free birth experience and would help us achieve that. I got all of that and more. I got GREAT pictures of the birth! My husband could support me 100% and the doula took some great shots. She also wrote out the birth from her point of view which was really special. My birth experience was exactly what I wanted and put us on a great track for breastfeeding and early bonding. I would definitely use a doula again!

Last edited by lotemp; 11-23-2007 at 02:38 PM. Reason: more stuff to add! :)
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Old 11-23-2007, 02:11 PM   #4
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Re: Hire a Doula? Yes or No?

I had a doula for Avery's birth. In addition to wanting (and achiving) a med free birth, I had a lot of issues/fears to work past regarding the twins traumatic births. She helped me be comfortable and helped dh help me. She reminded me that it was MY birth and I could make the decisions. She headed off people at the door so I could labor in peace. I would definately hire one again if I were having another hospital birth. She made the whole experience 100% better! Totally reccomended!
Courtney, wife to Matthew. Neurotic attached mom to Rosemary Elyse 12/11, Lucy Kathryn 12/07, Avery Jakob 7-05 and two tiny angels in heaven, Anthony & Grant
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Old 11-23-2007, 02:27 PM   #5
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Re: Hire a Doula? Yes or No?

I had one for baby #3. Baby #2 was a 23 hour marathon, and I knew that DH wasn't mraculously going to turn into the supportive partner that I needed for labour. Also I had a back injury an an epidural was contraindicated - so I knew I was doing it naturally whether I wanted to or not. So I chose a doula. I wish I ha her for the first or second. The third was over in 4 hours - 3 of which were mildly uncomfortable. Not complaining! I just don't think I got the max use out of my doula!
My doula met with DH and myelf 4 times prior to delivery. She did some teaching re: pain management idea, devising a birth plan, thing he can offer, explaining her role, and building our trust. Her job was to mother me - not to be involved in medical care and not involved with the baby.
She had aromatherapy, offered massage (feet, back) had hot and cold packs and intuition as to when to offer something. She had thick skin and was accustomed to and not offended by transition labour and the horrible mean thing that we may say at the time. She encouraged position change, frequent peeing, walking rocking. She directed my DH to assist when DH would have otherwise checked out the tv (not kidding).
She stayed for an hour post partum to ensure comfort with BF'ing and returned the next day to visit and fill in any missing memories.
She wrote a birth story of DS and met for coffee with me 6 weeks postpartum.
She was a supportive friend that knew exactly what to do. She was expensive, but worthwhile. I would have preferred to have her for #1, or #2, but very happy I had her there! Only downside i that my best frien was also there and if the doula wasn't there I think my friend would have been more involved and felt more included. Good luck!
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Old 11-23-2007, 03:36 PM   #6
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Re: Hire a Doula? Yes or No?

My doula?! Well. We met a doula in training with our first. They have to get so many hours at births before they can charge you. So she was free. But I labored so fast she didn't make it. She did do visits with us prior to his birth and loaned me a birth ball and books. She did offer breasfeeding support postpartum. We ended up becoming great friends though. She wasn't able to attend my second birth. My third birth was again super fast and she didn't make it. But my forth birth was when she really came in handy. I had a week of prodomal labor. The first day of 'labor' she came and stayed for over 24 hours. Then 5 days later I started laboring again. And DH wasn't home and wouldn't be home for a few hours so she came over and labored quietly with me. That piddled out too. But based on her 5 years of experience she assessed that my LO was not chin to chest. Based on my belly being so far extended she figured he was flopped funky and his head wasn't engaging. So she had me holding up my belly during contractions. I did get a good night sleep and she made me breakfast in the morning. She left and then came back later. After good sleep and a big lunch labor started again. We ended up going in for an u/s because of some issues during my cervical check. And found out that his head was indeed crocked to the side and not chin to chest. When we got home I laid in a way to keep my belly up so baby could get in good and tight against the cervix. And within 2 hours he was ready to be born. So we are very glad to have her assesment. I could have piddled out of labor again. Or worse labored and pushed on a baby that was in a bad position!
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Old 11-23-2007, 03:55 PM   #7
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Re: Hire a Doula? Yes or No?

We didn't have one with our first, but we are having a post partum doula this time, and after talking with her about what kinds of things she'll do for us & all that, I don't think I'd ever NOT have a doula again.

Our baby won't be here until around New Years, so we won't get to experience our doula for quite a while, but we talk a great deal, and she's really sweet, and the more I learn about her way of doing things, and the services she offers----every woman should have a PP doula, even if she thinks her own family will be help enough. Have the doula come in a few days a week, and family members come in the rest of the time, if that's how you roll.

In my case, NO family will be here except my husband & son, and the doula will come in every other day. I don't want my family here because they don't know anything about nursing, and latch, and cloth diapering, and all that, so they won't be of any help. I don't need hindrances, I need assistance. PP doula to the rescue!
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Old 11-23-2007, 06:50 PM   #8
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Re: Hire a Doula? Yes or No?

I hired a doula for an attempted v-bac. She was also a masseuse (wonderful!). I couldn't labour at home because of inlaws and DS so had to go to hospital fairly early and didn't get a room so I had to wait hours before I could call her. Then I ended up being really restricted because of vbac and eventually had a c-section. Given all of this I still really appreciated her being there for me and my husband (I felt comfortable with her generally). She talked us not only through the labour but helped us stay positive. She took off the pressure from DH, which I think eased his stress about feeling helpful. She was also really helpful afterward with BF and keeping me positive. I'd say go for if you can afford it and don't mind sharing your experience. Congrats
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Old 11-24-2007, 07:34 AM   #9
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Re: Hire a Doula? Yes or No?

We didn't have a doula with DD, and I don't think we really needed one despite 26 hours of labor and a hospital birth (we were only at the hospital for the last 4-5 hours of labor). However, Bradley classes prepared my DH VERY well, and he was awesome...calm, confident, completely supportive.

We ARE hiring a doula for this upcoming birth (a homebirth), but we are hiring her to care for DD, watch her, keep her busy, but also involve her in the birth as much as DD would like to. I know a doula is over-qualified for this, but was the only type of person we could find that has been at a birth (other than her own) and would be completely comfortable around birth, able to explain things to DD, etc. And also, if DH needs to tend to DD, our doula would be qualified to support me momentarily in his absence.

I think doulas are awesome, but as a Bradley instructor, I always tell my students (which usually have supportive partners), to make sure they find a doula that will help/encourage dad in supporting mom, NOT to take over for dad. Unfortunately I know a couple doulas who really take-over. You also want to find someone who understands it is YOUR birth. It seems like some women become doulas to help them heal after their OWN traumatic births, and have heard bad accounts of them trying to make their clients births their own. So...all in all, doulas are great, just interview a bunch of them and find someone with the personality and skill that you are looking for!
Kara ~ Wife to my greatest love & best friend & Mama to our 3 beautiful children
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Old 11-24-2007, 09:10 AM   #10
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Re: Hire a Doula? Yes or No?

I had a doula for my last birth. Melody was AWESOME! Mt ex husband had no idea about birthing, he needed "suggestions" to work with....such as "Kelli sure looks uncomfortable....." and then DING! a light bulb went off and he was saying, "let me help you into a new position."

What a doula does:

offer support in all phases of pregnancy, labor and delivery and infant care. Melody offered to meet with me several times, and even once accompanied me to the drs office to meet the drs and midewife she would see during my delievery.

helps keep you focused on your goals, such as what ever birthing style you choose. Melody even helped me become an bit of an expert on birthing styles.....she loaned me books and emailed me back and forth for weeks until we choose my action plan....which was really several different pieces of several methods.

helps keep partner focused on goals.

helps in pain management, usually with massage, imagery, etc. melody gave me an awesome massage, my whole body when I went into transition. She kept me focused on my love object ( a duck I bought for Baby) we watched a tv channel with pretty flowers, white sand beaches and waves, she kept me talking until I couldn't talk anymore.

What a doula will not do. She will not be the voice of you or your spouse. If you forget something you wanted, she will remind YOU or your SO but she will not tell the drs and nurses, unless you tell them first.

I highly recommend doulas. Mine was the best.
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