We are honored to have Ana Paula Markel, ICCE, CD (DONA) on our site to answer any birth related questions this week. Ana Paula Markel is a mother of 4, birth doula, birth doula trainer and childbirth educator. Ana has supported hundreds of families to transition into parenthood. In Ana's view there is no right or wrong way to give birth or parent but there is informed decision and conscious and awareness in choice. Women deserve support and to be heard in their life changing transition into motherhood.
Hello! I am a mother of two beautiful children both born via c-section. After 20 hours of 'labor' induced by the hospital and no sleep or food, they allowed me to push for what they say was about 2 hours, I feel it was closer to the 30 mins. Regardless, I ended up w/ a CS due to my daughter being 'stuck'. I remember seeing her head, and her hair, but they forced me in my drug induced state to have a C. With my 2nd child I just did what the doctors said and scheduled my second C-Section. The day of, I went into labor naturally, but they insisted that I have the C section. After attending my friends home water birth, and reading and attending conferences, I feel that had I had the knowledge and support I do now, that I could have sucessfully vaginally birthed both my children. So we are hoping to get pregnant with #3 this summer, and I would love to have a vaginal birth. I have had issues with breastfeeding (to the loss of why to many lactation specialists) and I feel that I can do this. With having 2 prior C-Sections, do you feel it's safe enough (in a hospital setting) to attempt a vaginal birth? My children were 8lbs 1oz and 9lbs 4oz. Thank you! !
Doulas come at a premium here in Los Angeles (some cost as much as the OBGYN), and according to my insurance company (Blue Cross PPO) they are not covered. Can you tell me ways to help my husband take on this role during our hospital birth? Are there networks of Doulas in training that I may find?
'I am considering a doula because I'd like to labor at home as much as possible. What I want to know is what does this usually mean?'
A: I myself considered a doula but decided to take it on with my husband. We took a hypnobirthing course and we decided to go to the hospital when i felt ready. I was in labor for four hours before I got to the hospital.
Who makes the call as to when mom should go to the hospital?
A: I would discuss this with your Dr. My Drs. advice was to go to the hospital if my water broke or if my contractions were 4mins apart for an hour. After getting to the hospital if I was less than 4cm then I could go home (I was 5cm when they checked me at the hospital). You can also ask to be checked at the Drs. office instead of going to the hospital (during office hours). With the hospitals in my area there's a 24hour time clock from the time a woman's water breaks to the time a woman needs to have the baby delivered. - Something to consider if your in the hospital and they want to break your water (the baby looses cushioning and cause stress on the baby).
Also, I have questions about the role of the doula during labor. My whole concern is around not being informed and wanting to get info as things are suggested/ or about to be done to me by hospital staff. How can a doula help here?
A: I would have a great birth plan and discuss it with your Dr. and make sure your husband and doula are all on the same page. If your in a stage of labor where you can't 'talk' then you'll need your husband or doula for support in communicating.
I've heard that doulas shouldn't advocate for you but help you have better communication with your provider, but I would like a doula who will step in and give me information, is this beyond the scope of their work or is it dependent on each doula? A: I can't comment on having a doula but i can comment on having a rock solid birth plan and hashing out all the scenarios ahead of time with the Dr. My husband and I did that politely of course with our Dr. In our experiences there are several protocols on the nurse level, hospital level, insurance level and Dr. level - and they all compete with one another.
Most importantly keep a positive mind set and "don't take on others experiences as your own"
Have a Happy Birth!
PS - i'm a mom of two - one was induced and one was completely natural and the natural childbirth experience for me was awesome!
I am currently pregnant with my first baby and my husband and I are planning a home birth. In addition to my midwife and doula is it helpful to have anyone else there to assist? Or are those two attendants and a birth partner typically sufficient to help everyone feel cared for and comfortable? Thank you, Sara
Hi, I am hoping for a VBAC with my 2nd child. My son was born via C-section b/c I developed a fibroid (12-13 cm in diameter) low on my uterus. My previous ob said that b/c my son couldn't drop due to the location of the fibroid, I had to have a C. My new ob says that b/c the fibroid is a bit smaller (9cm) that I might be able to try for a VBAC. She says that as long as the baby can get her head around the fibroid, there shouldn't be a problem.
Do you have any experience with VBACs and fibroids? Are there any resources you can recommend? We plan on having a doula and delivering all natural (although my ob is strongly advising me to keep an open-mind as far as pain control considering my situation) but will have to deliver in a hospital. Luckily, my ob is very supportive and fully intends to deliver me via VBAC. Thanks!!!
After the birth of the baby, do you let the woman deliver the placenta on her own or do you "help" it along? That was the most painful part of birth for me when after I delivered my precious baby boy, my ob ripped the placenta out of me. I was totally unprepared for that and I would really like to not experience that part of child birth again.