Doula question

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Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852
Doula question

Hi ladies...I don't normally post here but I've been lurking since I'm about a month away from delivery and really want to try for a natural birth. A little backstory:

DD was born 9/17/06 and I was completely unprepared for birth it being my first time. I studied Hypnobabies but I just couldn't relax at the hospital. I held out until 6-7 cm when I didn't think I could take anymore pain and got an epi. That led to contrax slowing, so pitocin and then immediately off since DD didn't do well with it. It led to a very long transition that I felt pretty much all of it and over 2 hours of painful pushing. They tried 3x with the epi and it just never really took. Being exhausted, I had to have a vacuum. Basically everything I didn't want happened short of a c sec.

This time around since I know I didn't have good luck with the epi and basically I did it naturally the first time, I figured I would try again for a natural birth. I've read several good books about positions, etc and my hospital and doc are on board with whatever I want to do. They have a squat bar for the bed as well as I can push however I want and they encourage being "vertical" as much as possible. Something my first hospital never mentioned to me and I was stuck on my back for most of the birth. Our hospital is less then 2 miles from our house, so I'm hoping to labor at home as long as possible.

Now to my question. I've met with a doula that I really like but I just can't afford her. She offered a payment plan and that may be the only way I can use her. But I'm just wondering, how critical is a doula if one wants to have a natural birth? Is it possible to do it on your own? My DH isn't really involved with the birth process. He'll be there but not coaching, cutting cords, etc. Which I am fine with.

I just don't know if I can take all of the tips I've learned from the books, knowledge that I have from last time, and sheer will and turn it into a natural birth that I can do on my own or is it that important to have a doula? What is your opinion?

Thanks for reading....sorry so long.

CaBlondie918's picture
Joined: 01/27/07
Posts: 260

I thought the same thing and if I wasn't planning a home birth and was planning a hospital one, as much as it would be tough to afford a doula (it still would be for me right now, even though I *really* want one) I'd try my best to work out a payment plan with her. My DH isn't into the whole process either and I doubt he will, he thinks me trying to do Hypnobabies is, not crazy, but I know he didn't want to help with it so I know I'll be doing it on my own, unless I can come up with the funds for a doula.

I think if you have the support of your OB and the hospital it'll help with the interventions not coming up but for the labor support and help with possibly relaxation techniques a doula would be very helpful. Is there any way you could barter with her at all? One of my old teachers/friend is a doula and she suggested that to me when I started looking for doulas. Since I'm early on in my pregnancy still I'm not down to the wire with choosing.

Sorry for the long response, but if you think it would help out, if you don't have any close friends/family who would be available for you a payment plan sounds like the best bet. Smile

jooniper's picture
Joined: 08/27/07
Posts: 780

If your DH isn't really into it, I'd suggest the doula. If nothing else, maybe a good friend or family member who is into natural childbirth and can help you keep focused on the goal. Good luck!

kvo's picture
Joined: 12/18/06
Posts: 902

We can't really afford it either, but my DH is also not comfortable with being "hands on" as a coach, so we did hire a doula. I am really glad I will have her there, especially since our hospital still has an H1N1 ban on kids on the maternity floor, so if it happens when we can't get anyone to care for our DD, I will be totally alone at the hospital---yikes!

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

Thanks for the replies! I really do like the doula I met with and she's already cut her cost in 1/2 by cutting out some pre and post I hate to ask her to barter any more. She's been very nice so far. I'm thinking I should just go ahead and hire her. Since DH isn't really wanting to be involved (and he's already encouraging drugs since he hates to see me in pain), I think I may well need someone else there to help. I feel weird though having someone be there just for me and just so I can have the birth experience I want. It seems a bit selfish when my family has other needs. I guess I'm still on the fence.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

"kvo" wrote:

We can't really afford it either, but my DH is also not comfortable with being "hands on" as a coach, so we did hire a doula. I am really glad I will have her there, especially since our hospital still has an H1N1 ban on kids on the maternity floor, so if it happens when we can't get anyone to care for our DD, I will be totally alone at the hospital---yikes!

Our hospital just lifted that same ban. I was so worried about what we'd do with DD when I went into labor. Now at least I know she can be there. They said she has to go when I'm pushing but she can come right back in. I don't think I want her there much during the laboring because she's very sensitive to mommy and I don't want her to be afraid. Hopefully your hospital will also lift their ban. I read your other thread and our DH's sound a lot alike - except mine wouldn't go near cutting the cord last time. He's very squeamish about blood and all of that lovely stuff that comes out after birth. Oh well.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

My first birth was a lot like your first birth, except my epi worked and I couldn't feel to push and that is why they used the vacuum...

just had DS2 naturally with the help of a student doula. I now would never ever go back to not having one. she. was. awesome. She rubbed by back and legs, she reminded me to eat and drink, she came to our house and knew when it was time to leave for the birth center, she called the m/w's and spoke with them when I couldn't. She gave me encouragement to breathe and relax when I was about to panic.

But best of all, my DH could just be my DH and there was no pressure on him to coach. my DH means very well and even read the books with me and did some practice, he even was asking the week before the birth why I wanted to bother with a doula...but in reality he just kind of bumbles around when I am in labor. I don't know if he panics or just doesn't know how strong and firm I need someone to be, or what, but after DS1's birth i was so mad at him for not 'coaching' me better and after DS2's we could just be happy that the doula took care of it.

I would try to work out something with this doula, or perhaps find a student if you can.

krazykat's picture
Joined: 08/11/07
Posts: 1143

I am planning a home-birth and will also have a doula. DH won't physically be able to be with me, and I hope she will offer me encouragement and different ideas at different stages in the game. I want her to be the calm one looking from the outside because I know I will be wrapped up in the moment. I also don't feel confident that I will be able to remember all of the information I have gained in such an intense time. Plus, I think it will be great to have someone there who is all about ME ME ME lol!! I won't have to worry about offending her or impressing her, or saying the right things... I won't have to worry about her at all because she is there for me Biggrin

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

I would TOTALLY recommend trying to find an way to have a Doula attend your birth!

I used to be a doula (I attended 20+ homebirths, never a hospital birth) and still found it terribly difficult (read:impossible) to advocate for myself while in labor/in a hospital. Like, impossible, personally. My DH is an amazing labor support and totally on board and we still hired a doula for our upcoming home birth Smile

I know what you mean about feeling selfish. I would just encourage you to remember that you are making an investment in and for your family ~ the better of a birth you have the quicker your recovery will be, the happier and more at peace you will be, and I believe that it could really help you and your husband as well ~ It frees him of pressure to support you if you guys know in advance that it might not be one of his strengths, and that way he can pitch in with whatever he can offer without there being any resentment or whatnot there, you know?

Good luck!

faeriecurls's picture
Joined: 06/04/08
Posts: 790

You've gotten some great advice already, so I will just agree that you should find some way to hire her - especially since you will need the support that DH can't give you. Good luck!

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

Thank you so much everyone for the replies. I will be leaning towards a doula for sure. I got an email from a friend this morning that knows a student and I will probably call her as well. Now that I know how important having one is. Thanks again!

sarahsunshine's picture
Joined: 11/29/06
Posts: 1462

"ahanson74" wrote:

I feel weird though having someone be there just for me and just so I can have the birth experience I want. It seems a bit selfish when my family has other needs.

I'd say that she is not there just for you. Yes, she is there just to support yo, but that allows DH to support your LO. Removing stress from him AND you. The Doula is there to help with the birthing process - hence she is there for you AND baby. In this way she is helping the WHOLE FAMILY, and you are not being selfish. You don't have to be a one person show and take care of everything. She is there to do that, so you can concentrate on the birth without stress, without worrying about stress from other people.

I suspect that you will find that having a doula makes a HUGE difference in the whole birth experience - for the whole family.

Mom2ThreeKiddos's picture
Joined: 09/15/09
Posts: 1380

Well I will pop in here seeing that I AM a doula. LOL A doula's job is to support you in whatever you need during your birth. I have been at births where most of what I did was hold the puke bucket and fetch water and I have been at births were dad wasn't all that interested and I did all the work. Your doula will be there for you no matter what. Doula's are versed in all things birth and will be able to help and support you in you making the decisions that are best for you. They can provide comfort mearsures that will help with the pain. I am having a doula for this birth and I wish that I had had one with my 2nd. A doula will never speak for you, but they will be there to provide you will all the information you need and provide suggestions on things you can do/try to help with labor delievery. If you can work something out with her I would. Most doula's I know will even cut their fees if it will help the mom out.

MrsMangoBabe's picture
Joined: 04/09/07
Posts: 2276

I gave birth naturally to my son at a hospital without a doula, but I do think it would have gone smoother with one. I really couldn't find a doula in my area who was available (the only one I found had to take a class around the time I was due, so couldn't take any births at that time) Even though my OB was very NCB-friendly and she made sure I had a supportive nurse, there were still things that came up that decisions had to be made about. I was able to advocate for myself, but it wasn't easy--I almost didn't speak up a few times. My DH is also pretty good at labor support. He has watched both of our kids coming out and has cut both cords. I think he even held the vomit bucket for me (as I've thrown up both times). Although he didn't have a lot of time to practice hypnobabies stuff with me during the pregnancy, he was pretty hands-on during the birth. I stayed home as long as possible (waves were 2 min apart when we left the house and I was 8 cm when my OB checked me) and I listened to hypnobabies tracks almost constantly--out loud at home and with headphones at the hospital, and it was very helpful for me to help me relax. I am pretty much obsessed with birth, though, and have been on this board for a long time and have read a *lot* of books and articles and stuff about birth, so I think that is part of why I was able to stand up for myself without the help of a doula. I think doulas are awesome and I would love to become one I reach the point of life when I won't have little kids at home anymore.

Marite13's picture
Joined: 08/07/09
Posts: 3368

I just had an all natural birth at a hospital with a doula...and I can only SUPER recommend it! She was awesome- made my whole birth team feel better (my husband and my mom)- she supported me, helped them support me, and supported them. She also maintained a calm, detached (not highly emotional) demeanor, and was able to keep my needs/desires in the forefront when any of the medical staff did anything that she knew might be against my wishes. It was great. I would do anything you have to do to get a doula at your birth!

jooniper's picture
Joined: 08/27/07
Posts: 780 has a great article about this very thing!

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

"jooniper" wrote: has a great article about this very thing!

Thank you!