Given how you described your DH (what Leigh copied)- maybe you can find a NCB class locally to take together? I took a class when I was expecting my first called "the best of natural child birth"- it was a great class- we learned a whole lot of techniques to deal with every stage of labor, and then ALSO had hands on practice a number of sessions (it was an 8 week class). It was really good, and would be perfect for someone like your husband who wants to be hands on, wants to help, but doesn't know what to do. I am very much a "take a class" kind of person vs do a personal study/home study/read a book- just about how I learn. But I have definitely heard good things about that book, The Birth Partner.
Mara & Joel, 2009
I have heard some good things about Bradley but I can't personally compare because I only did the Hypnobirthing. I can definitely tell you that in my experience, the HB classes made both of us feel so informed and empowered that even though in the end I didn't use a lot of the pain relief techniques (because of my unique situation, which I won't bore you with here), I still credit it hugely with getting me through my NCB, both because it made DH such a wonderful help and advocate, and because I was so well educated about birth and the way our bodies are supposed to work that even when the going got rough, I was totally confident (despite a few things that may have come out of my mouth during transition ) Maybe some other ladies can give you more info on the Bradley side of things and how helpful that method is (or not) to building a good birth partner.
And if the word "Hypnobirthing" gives you any trouble, just call it the Mongan Method
I totally agree about “it depends on your DH”. Personally, I find DH to be great when I’m in labour, once I can get him to stop running around and tell him that he is to focus on ME. However, there are 3 other kids, the oldest of which (13yo), is the highest maintenance and always wanting to be centre of everything. We need to make sure that we have SOMEONE to deal with the other kids while I am in labour, and likely that means a couple people – 1 for DSS (who will be wanting DH to answer every one of his questions (Dad, can I go play PS3, Dad, can I go to the bathroom? (Why are you asking that?) Dad, why is the sky blue? (why ask that now?) Dad, why can DD (3yo) sit here but I can’t? (because she is sitting quietly and watching, and you are sitting there asking stupid questions).
Also, we have had 3 home births, and they have all been fast. DH needed to be my support person because there was no other option. Once the midwife got there then it was nice to know that there was someone to deal with anything medical in case it needed dealing with, and just keeping the peace (she has a very calm demeanor) while DH can deal with me. Fortunately, my labours have been very short (1.75-2.75h), and so I haven’t had to have DH switch with someone else. The only thing to worry about was the midwife getting there at all!
Personally, I would not go to the hospital without a Doula with the reasoning that DH is there for me, and the Doula is there to run interference on any NCB unfriendly staff, support any NCB when and if I'm feeling like giving up, and spell off DH when and if he needs it.
Skyler Dylan 22 April 1999
Reed Aslan 17 June 2007 ~ 8 September 2008
Ivy Rayne 3 May 2009
Leo Spencer 2 Sept 2010
Forrest Reed 15 Aug 2012
I just booked a doula! I found someone who lives about 2 minutes away and gives discounts to those who live in town! Instead of $1500 like everyone else, she charges $1000! She is also the local La Leche League leader and will be a big help after the baby is born with nursing. Thanks for all of your help! I'm really glad I decided to go with a doula, it's worth the money!
Glad you did what you felt was right for YOU! I would totally recommend the hypnobirthing/hypnobabies over the bradley. I tried bradley at first with my second DS and switched over to hypnobirthing and it was a much better experience. With my third I just used the hypnobirthing from the beginning and I was so much more relaxed and in control even through back labor and birthing a posterior baby. Not once did I loose it and even through transition I was talking to my midwives, even through my contractions.
I did all three of my births completely natural in a hospital and a midwife, with only my husband as extra support. I never have had a doula. I would also recommend going to a class to prepare you for different laboring positions and techniques and also another great benefit of a class is DH learning about good places to massage and help with contractions. We took a Lamaze type class that only cost about $35 for 4-8 weeks (Can't remember the exact length) and although I didn't feel like I used the breathing techniques we learned, I feel like the most valuable thing we took from that class was how DH learned to massage the different areas of my body. He still uses the same massage techniques that he learned then even when I am not pregnant and I am in heaven. He has gotten so good at it, so a class is definitely worth it if it will help your DH learn some things to be helpful...even if you do have a doula, maybe DH can still do some massages while in labor so he feels like he is helping. Just because you are getting a doula doesn't mean DH can't still do some things to help and make himself feel useful. Glad you found a doula more affordable!