Hay ladies Im a birth doula, and think every woman should have one.
I am having a homebirth with my third and Im not so sure I want to hire one this time around.
Sadly my last 2 doulas were not amazing and I feel I deserve to have the kind of doula I am- giving  110%.

Part of me thinks I have enough support with my midwife, hubby,mom etc.
Then the other part thinks, is that "bad business" or marketing if I dont have a doula?
I really picture my birth being AMAZING and I know that I will 'talk myself" thru some things and depend on my husband and midwife to do the rest.

The other side of me thinks, there is always the unexpected and what If my husband gets tired or I really need a professional??

WHO IS A DOULA THAT HAS HAD BABIES, did you have a doula or not and why?

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Replies to This Discussion

I am a doula and I would ask you how the doulas you had as attendees at your birth helped your husband? How did he feel about the extra support? Finding the right doula is hard and I often wonder if I met all my previous clients expectations... Perhaps writing out how your doulas met your expectations and didn't meet your expectations would be beneficial. You could choose to interview other doulas and ask those questions that pertain to those specific needs that weren't met. I believe that all women have the guidance in choosing what is right for them and trust in your intuition for this upcoming birth~
I had both of my babies before I became a doula, so unfortunately, I cannot answer your question directly. But I can say that doulas who attend the births of doulas have alot to prove! There is no denying that it is big shoes to fill. Maybe the doulas that you had at your births were not on their game OR they felt intimidated by your knowledge as a doula. Or maybe their practice style is to not disturb a mom who is in her zone and coping well. Was that the case with you? Ask yourself what specifically you had wished your doulas would have done at your births.

If you decide to have another doula at your birth, just directly communicate what you expect of her and the things that help you the most. Respectfully, even the best of doulas have a hard time being mind readers. We both know that it is hard for a laboring woman to articulate herself when she is in the act but that is why I encourage alot of prenatal preparation. Don't take for granted the fact that you both have "been there, done that."

If you decide to not have a doula at your birth this time around, I definitely do not think that it is bad business. It is a personal choice in which business should not be involved. If the unexpected happens, will your midwife (or her assistant) be able to handle it?
The doula at my last births was definatly helpful for my husband in making him feel better, not as much responsibility for him etc. I am afraid this Doula will NOT meet my expectations- they are VERY high.
All of my clients but ONE has have success full VBACS, HB's etc.
I have made a list of what I expect and things I say and do at births that I would like..and Im thinking why can't I just give that to my husband, mom and midwife?
I know forsure my midwife and her assistant can handle ANYTHING, I work with them and they are amazing!
A lot of people ask me "are you going to get a doula" and it got me thinking..what am I going to do.
im due early september. I have some time, but want to have some kinda plan.

My thought right now is to just have my husband,mom and midwife- and have this doula on backup/call just incase we or my husband feels we need her. Thanks for your input ladies!
i had the same doula for my 2 vbac births. IF, i were to have another child i would definately have a doula again.
what about a post partum doula? she can come in and help you get things organized, throw in a load of laundry, let you take a shower while baby naps etc....
Hi Chrissy

I know exactly what you mean about your doulas not being amazing as I felt the same about my last birth. However, I know it's made me a better doula as I now know what NOT to do!

However much you think you know about support during labour, it's pretty much impossible to be able to apply it to yourself. The key to labouring quickly and easily is to be able to switch off that thinking part of your brain. I worked for a fellow doula last month - her previous birth had been very traumatic and had resulted in a ventouse and third degree tear. She was terrified about giving birth again when we first discussed me doulaing for her and she had planned a homebirth.

On the day, she did end up transferring in to hospital (baby's heart rate had begun to race and she decided she would be happier in hospital) but she had THE most amazing birth. It has completely transformed her - truly, it's like looking at a different person. I recall her asking me something during her labour, can't remember exactly what it was, but she was very frustrated at herself for not knowing instinctively - I remember her saying "but I should KNOW this, I'm a doula!" She has said since that she would never give birth without a doula (well okay, me!) again. I'm sure she knows that she could do it herself now, regardless of whether I was there or not, but she says that her whole experience was made different because I was there for her, and she admits that she would have panicked and had an epidural had I not been there quietly telling her how well she was doing, and having 100% belief that she would be able to do it.

I know that our system is different here in the UK, but as an ICAN Chapter Leader, I know how things are in the States and I'd say that your need for a doula is even greater than ours. I find that the majority of my work with clients is done during the antenatal meetings, so make the most of your time when you are able to think clearly and spell out exactly how you wish to be supported during labour. Good luck! xx
Try a different type of doula or shall I say a doula that offers special skills. This can help you grow as a birth professional as well as a laboring mom. Have you had a hypno birth doula, a doula that is also a massage therapist, do you offer either of these in your services? You will get the experience of something you do not offer and may grow as a doula because of it....hummm, I don't know. Did your past doulas offer this. Are you only used to one style of doula?? You know what you want from your experience. Someone out there is able to fill your needs I'm sure.
You may even want to offer your birth as a "give back" birth. let a doula in training get the experience she needs. You will always have your loved ones and midwives to pick up if need be. OR you can let this doula in training know you may lean on the rest of the birth team but you will have her there as support and she will be able to get in her paper work if she is certifying....
Hi Chrissy
First, you are an expectant mother not a doula at this time, so base your decision on what is best for you and those involved in the birth, not what you feel you are "suppose to do" in the name of the profession.
I am a doula for hospital births, Executive Director of toLabor (formerly ALACE) Doula Training & Certification, mother of 6 children; 5 born at home (never had a doula but had midwife, her assistant, husband and family present), and I am also the assistant to a homebirth midwife in my community. My feeling is that a doula is needed at hospital births whether there is a midwife or an ob as primary care but at home it is really dependent on the midwife.
Have you spoken to your midwife about your feelings whether to have a doula or not? If not, please do. Ask her what her practice is a far as how involved she will be in labor...when might she arrive, what is the role of her assistant, and even, is she comfortable working with a doula. depending on her answers you may find your answer.
The midwife I work with is who, we as doulas, are trying to emulate.... she is a true midwife...with woman 100% and my role as her as assistant is just that, to assist her to do her job. Yes I am also doing labor support and all that entails so I am also present as a birth doula but that is not my primary role because she is doing a magnificent job of it and encouraging the family members to be actively participating in that role.
If your midwife is this kind of midwife and her assistant is there to assist her and all of you as well, and your husband and your mother, then from my perception you have all you need. Having one more person in your home is kind of redundant and perhaps counter-productive.
That all said, its your birth and you are having your baby at home for many reasons I am sure and one is so you can have whoever you want. Trust your intuition.
Be well and have the wonderful birth you envision
Thérèse Hak-Kuhn
I find it quite funny that many doulas I know tend not to have doulas at their own births! I think that if you are confident that you will have the needed support, then just go for it and enjoy your experience. You've been through this before and so has your husband, so it won't be a case of him not knowing whats normal etc. Don't get a doula just because you think its "bad business" not to get one. You might end up ruining the experience because you will be focussing on what the doula is doing / not doing instead of what your body is doing and needs. If you are well prepared, (which I'm sure you are), and your midwife, husband and mom will be present (and sensitive to your needs), I'm sure you will do just fine. xxx
I love your response ladies, thanks so so so much!
I feel much better.
I have spoken with my midwife and she said " I do not think you need a doula, you have plenty of support already and I know you can do this"
She also does not like having a lot of people there. I also work with this midwife at births and she totally supports doulas etc. she just says she does not feel I need one.
I think im going to have a 'back up plan' and let my husband and midwife make that call but I feel with them i can do this.
my only concern right now is my husband does not want "all the coaching responsibility" he really wants help so Im going to talk to her about that as well.
Orginallly my very good friend and midwife in training was going to be there but now she is moving away and will not be able to ;(
Im leaving it all in Gods hands and going to follow peace.

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