To Doula, or not to Doula...

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To Doula, or not to Doula...

OK, so every time someone posts a thread like this I think "duh...doula!" but I can't decide what to do!
With DS, my labor was short, only 7 hours, and we didn't even go to the hospital until 2 hours before he was born. It went from 0-60 and I didn't even realize I was in labor until 3 hours in. My doula got to the hospital just in time to hold up my leg while I pushed. I was barely aware of her presence and frankly I don't think it made much difference to have her there, although she is GREAT. DH said it was helpful for him to have her there because she helped HIM know what to do and stay calm and just be helpful. This time, we are 40 min from the hospital and I am anticipating an even faster birth (although you NEVER KNOW...could be totally different this time). My mom, MIL or dad will be here to watch DS while we are at the hospital, so that means my mom will probably not be coming to the hospital with us (she was in the room for DS' birth too) so if we don't have a doula, it will just be DH, the nurses and my midwife.

I guess my concern is that this time we really don't have any extra funds to spend, and I am afraid of hiring a doula and not really making use of her and feeling like we wasted a bunch of $ we don't really have. I would ask a friend to be there, but we moved to this area recently and I don't have any friends nearby who are close enough that I'd feel comfortable.

If I knew I'd have a longer birth this time and could use the extra support, I'd totally do it. But I really don't feel like I need someone to show up just in time to hold up my leg again, KWIM?

Oh, and I am delivering at a NCB friendly hospital with a midwife, so I am not really worried about having my birth plan disrespected or having interventions pushed on me.

cactuswren's picture
Last seen: 2 years 7 months ago
Joined: 10/19/09
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To be quite honest with you, all things considered, I'd say it sounds like you really don't need one. I think doulas provide an amazing service, but just like everything else with birth it's really all about the individual birthing woman's situation and needs, and I would say it sounds like you're pretty well covered in both areas. But then I had only my DH, midwife, and nurses in the room by choice, so that sounds like a perfect birth to me personally. Biggrin

I guess just don't feel like you HAVE to have one. Trust your gut on this. If the cost is going to be more than the likely benefit, then it would be causing more stress than it's worth IMO.

And yes every birth is different, but I think you're right that statistically speaking births get sequentially faster, all else being equal, of course. My SIL's third was nearly a car baby--17 minutes in the hospital. If your first was so fast I think the odds are pretty good this one will be at least comparable!

Marite13's picture
Last seen: 3 years 4 months ago
Joined: 08/07/09
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Tough one. Because I am also a "duh...doula" kind of person- BUT, I totally get the lack of funds things. Sounds like the doula didn't do much for YOU last time- but your DH did appreciate her. Do you think your DH will feel differently this time, now that he's been through it once already, or would he still appreciate her?

Does your doula only go to hospitals? For my labor with DD, doula entered the scene about 7am, and DD was born just before 11, but I had already been on the phone with her, and she came to my house first, and then came with us (in our car, my mom drove her car) to the hospital. And I would also say that she was more valuable to my support people than she was to me, though, she had more time with me than yours had with you.

Is there a chance that you could make sure your MIL or dad could be your DS care-giver, so your mom can be your support person? Would she be good in that role?

ftmom's picture
Last seen: 2 years 5 months ago
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I have decided not to get a doula for the same reasons. Although I have never had one because they werent an option before, DH is refusing to let me spend the money on one this time because I go so fast and have never had issues before. I know I could overrule him if I felt strongly about it, but I kind of agree that we dont have the money to spend on one right now.

Having said that, although my second birth was faster than my first, it was a totally different experience. DS was posterior and I did not handle the back labor great after we got to the hospital. For some reason I am terrified that this baby will be breech (maybe cause it is the only way I havent done yet Smile ), so I say go with your gut. If the cost is going to stress you out then dont do it, but if it will make DH more comfortable, that might be a big consideration.

Last seen: 3 years 10 months ago
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"ftmom" wrote:

Having said that, although my second birth was faster than my first, it was a totally different experience. DS was posterior and I did not handle the back labor great after we got to the hospital.

I didn't even think about the possibility of back labor. My labor with DS was not only fast but also incredibly easy up until the last 2 hours (and then it got really hard, but I was so on another planet it didn't matter who was in the room or what they were doing). I feel like those last 2 hours were about my limit before I would have been freaking out a little and not able to keep it together, so if back labor was thrown in the mix, I think I'd need another person to help keep me focused.

I'm sure my mom would be thrilled to pieces if I asked her to be there again. She is great, but has her own ideas about birth and at DS' birth I think she annoyed the nurses a bit by making suggestions to them. She actually wasn't supposed to be in the room for DS, but the way it went down she just ended up being in there. I think at one point she asked if she could stay and I probably said that I didn't care if Mickey Mouse was in the room, just get this over with! Wink The problem is, she and my dad and my MIL are taking shifts at our house around the time the baby is due since they all work full time and live 4 and 10 hours away from us. So the idea is SOMEONE would be there to watch DS, but not everyone. If it worked out for my MIL or my dad to be there at the same time as my mom and I just happened to go into labor during that time, great. Otherwise I don't know. It just depends.

BuckeyeK's picture
Last seen: 3 years 4 months ago
Joined: 10/23/06
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I had a doula for DD2, and my birth was super fast, and I ended up delivering in the car. My doula came to the hospital, and was a HUUUUUUGE help while I had my tear repaired (since I had delivered without meds, I didn't want them for the repair). I had a tear that went up to my cervix, and the repair was way more painful than the delivery. My doula wasn't there for the birth, but was invaluable during the hardest part.

My point is every labor and delivery is different, and you won't know how it is going to do. I think if you can afford it, a doula is always a good person to have on your side!

TiggersMommy's picture
Last seen: 2 years 7 months ago
Joined: 02/14/10
Posts: 6043

I think given your situation and the amount of support you already have, I'd skip the doula. During my labor at the birth center, it was mostly me and DH until things really got going. Even then, the MW was just there checking in occasionally while a nurse (essentially a doula) kept watch. Once I started actually pushing the MW was there constantly. I more or less just wanted to be left alone throughout the entire process. So, having more people around to help would have just been annoying. If your nurses are naturally minded and your MW will be there, I don't see a need for a doula at all. That's my personal opinion but of course not every woman labors the way I did. I really didn't want to be touched or even really talked to (I was in my happy mental bubble and couldn't take people intruding on that). If you're the type who likes verbal support and physical support helped you out last time then maybe a doula would be good but only if you feel like your current support staff is lacking, which it doesn't sound like it is.

Last seen: 3 years 11 months ago
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Posts: 1681

I've never had a doula and honestly never felt the need.

It sounds like you handled things really well the first time and since you're at a natural birth friendly hospital the staff will likely be a good support to you as well.

I guess it depends on your DH feelings. My DH was so much more at ease the second time around. He wasn't nervous and knew how to be there for me. He prefers it to be just us in the room.

Winky_the_HouseElf's picture
Last seen: 4 years 2 months ago
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I had a doula with my third, fourth, and fifth babies. I'm not getting one this time because I don't feel a need, even though I'm birthing in a hospital instead of at home. I also had anxiety about calling people and am looking forward to just showing up in labor.