I am a volunteer doula at a hospital based birthing center. I have been volunteering there for over 2 years now, and just had my first birth with a OB/GYN. Every other birth has been a midwife delivery. I noticed that the mood in the room changed quite a bit, mostly because he was called in in an emergency situation, (almost 10 pound baby got stuck) but was curious how other doulas have learned to work with hospital staff. The nurses at the hospital are usually fantastic (they are the ones that call us in), and the hospital is very pro-natural birth, but I still have a few Dr's and nurses who are dismissive of my role, or discount my opinion. Just curious if anyone else has any tricks up their sleeve.

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I think the best thing to do is show them your kindness, open heart and the love for your clients and babies.
Let them SEE how amazing doulas are! Most Ob's are like that because of a DOGB(doula gone bad)
and they set the reputation for the rest of us.
Continue to enjoy the time with Midwifes but don't let the Ob's w/a bad attitude get ya down, they just don't know better. In a way it is not their fault most of them don't know the benefits or anything about natural birth!
Though there are several OB's that are amazing and natural minded etc.
I agree with Chrissy. I have always found that if you are kind and understanding to the staff usually, after they see you a few times they will ease up on you. It seems as though we Doulas have to prove ourselves, our knowledge and wisdom about birth and its process. I don't think that this is all bad but, it is discouraging to you if you have to deal with it time after time. I have found that reminding myself I am there for my client and not the staff has helped me deal with this type of treatment. I say keep your head held high and continue to do what you do best, being a loving, caring doula!
Most OB's will discount your opinion, so I wouldn't share it with them. As long as you and "your mom" know where things stand, it will be good. I agree with others that just being there and honoring the staff who are doing their jobs can make yours easier. You will seem like less of a "threat" to their authority, and they will begin to welcome your presence.
If you could ask the head maternity nurse for a meet-and-greet so you can introduce yourself and your philosophy, it might go a long way to assuring them you're not trying to "take over".

Also, during labor, make sure you have the mom or her partner speak directly to hospital staff as much as possible--don't relay or express mom's wishes unless the mother cannot talk and no one else is around to speak for her. This goes for anything you know the mom wants in her birth plan: remind the mom, but don't just say it to staff yourself.
I absolutely agree that as a doula we need to SHOW our ability, capability, and love for the job at hand. Also with Jennifer, regarding the fact as a doula you need to let your client speak for themselves. Remind the client directly and allow them to say what needs to be said. This will enpower your client, and help the medical staff realize you are there to SUPPORT, not take over. I have to giggle over the term DOGB...in San Diego we coined the term,
"rogue doulas"!



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