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Doula or no Doula?

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  • What are the benefits of having a doula? How do you look for one? Does anybody have an opinion or experience with this?



    Thanks!
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Victoria on 8th October 2007
  • having a doula is a personal decision and no one can tell YOU whether you need one or not. some benefits to having doulas are that they know a lot about the process of giving birth and can give you suggestions for different positions and natural alternatives to medical interventions. they are there to do the best they can in giving you the birth experience that you want. it is a different role than the one your partner has. there are two major doula/birth assistant organizations one is DONA and the other is ALACE. you can find certified/professional doulas on either site.

    I have to say, I just took a three day workshop, this past weekend to become a labor assistant and feel very inspired and very strongly that doulas can truly make a difference in a woman's birth experience.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by on 8th October 2007
  • We were fortunate in that our instructor for our childbirth class was a doula. We felt comfortable with her and asked her to join us for the birth. We decided to have her meet us at the hospital rather than our home (although doulas will come to your home and assist with early labor if you want them to). I went into labor at 10:00 at night and by the time 10:00 in the morning rolled around I was extremely tired. By noon we had tried the rocking chair, the ball, the jacuzzi and then they decided to break my water to speed things along and finally I just gave in and wanted to sleep. I knew I wasn't going to be able to push if I didn't get some rest. That's when I decided to get the epidural and I actually slept for a little bit. Although everything didn't go exactly as I had planned, I was just happy that I delivered a healthy baby boy and everything went as well as it could. I really did not want a C-section and I think I avoided that by getting some rest so that I could push.



    My only advice would be to be flexible in your birth plan and to try to surround yourself with people who will respect your wishes, whether that be a doula or a doctor or a midwife.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Melissa on 9th October 2007
  • yes that is really the point melissa: a doula's job is to ensure that your wishes are respected, and that you are the one to make your own decisions.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by on 9th October 2007
  • I ABSOLUTELY ADORED having a doula. I'm still not sure that I would have made it through without drugs if I hadn't had her. My husband was not able to calm down enough to provide stability for me, though I was still very happy to have him there. My doula really helped me focus and calm myself. She was always there with a hand to steady me or just a soothing touch. She wasn't there to help with medical decisions or anything like that, but she was there just for ME. Everyone else had other jobs to do, but her job was just to take care of me, and I really needed that. I've lost touch with her since and I feel like I lost a part of my family.



    We found her through an ad at our birth center that she posted. She was in training to be a professional doula, and just needed a few more births under her belt before she was official. That meant that we were able to hire her at a reduced rate, which was important considering we were very poor college students! After our delivery went so well, we gave her the most that we could afford.



    I'd never do another birth without a doula, and I've even thought of getting some labor assistant experience myself because the experience was so powerful and wonderful.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by heels on 9th October 2007
  • Wow - this really makes me want to consider getting a doula. My issue is that i'm pretty private and would not want to have many people in the room while delivering.... Maybe i should reconsider. Definitely food for thought!
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Victoria on 11th October 2007
  • hi, i'm new here. i didn't have a doula although i wish i did. i am also a private person and i didn't have anyone present at the birth other than my husband and midwives. looking back it would have been so helpful to have had someone to help after the birth, a postpartum doula. after the first birth i knew that was when i needed the most help.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Melissa on 11th October 2007
  • I am also a VERY private person- I sometimes have trouble with my husband looking at me, and he's been doing that for 11 years! But, during the delivery, that was the LAST thing I was worried about. Having that amazing female support was so important to my success. Try to tell yourself that you, pregnant, is not you after baby. Even though they see you in some pretty vulnerable moments, that's not the normal you, so it's like they're not seeing you at all. That helped me break past my initial reservation. After that, I was so relaxed that I did the entire delivery naked! Apparently I have no shame when I'm giving birth!! But I loved every minute of it.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by heels on 12th October 2007

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