Doulas

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Heatherbella's picture
Joined: 02/14/05
Posts: 4169
Doulas

Have any of you used Doulas?

Clarkton's picture
Joined: 01/07/08
Posts: 1972

Nope, I really wanted to last birth and even met with one but as always my procrastination got me. I didn't make a decision or get one set up before I went into labor. It's just really not in the budget this time. I think it's a great idea though. Smile

Joined: 10/12/04
Posts: 961

It's not for me. I like to be alone. I barely tolerate Jon being there, I can't fathom paying someone else to be there! But that's just the birthing "style" I've developed.

Joined: 03/07/05
Posts: 1595

Yep, I like to do my own thing to. I don't mind having my DH and the midwife there. In fact, before things get really intense (in the last half hour) I like to talk and joke around a bit. However, DON'T give advice or make suggestions to me. I like to just do my own thing. I remember toward the end of my last labor (about 15 minutes or so before Aidan was born), the midwife suggested that maybe I should sit up a bit to let gravity "help." At the time I was very reclined on the bed, and I did NOT want any help from gravity. Things were moving along JUST FINE!!!! I only get into the bed when I know things are close (so I knew I was almost there). Well, 15 minutes after she made that comment, Aidan flew out like a torpedo (he never really crowned, and he didn't have that phase with just the head out - his entire body FLEW out onto the bed). As he flew out onto the bed I was seriously thinking, "See, things were just fine!"

Joined: 08/25/10
Posts: 385

I had DH and my mom with me last time. Not sure what I will have this time since the midwife will be there the whole time too. It was good because they could take turns digging their elbows into my back during the back labor, and my mom could help me relax and focus and meditate a bit. My SIL had a doula the first time for her hospital birth which she really liked, but didn't use one for her homebirth the second time around.

This time around I don't know what I will have/want. Now that both DH and I have been through it, it's quite different. And then of course I need someone with DD (unless it's at night again and then she can sleep through the whole thing - that would be funny!)

elleon17's picture
Joined: 01/26/09
Posts: 1981

I was curious about it last time, but since I like the drugs so much last time, going that route again Wink

I really wanted a natural birth with DS, but it wasn't in the cards for us and all the pitocin they gave me made my head spin.

Heatherbella's picture
Joined: 02/14/05
Posts: 4169

"elleon17" wrote:

I was curious about it last time, but since I like the drugs so much last time, going that route again Wink

Did you consider doing something different this time? Every birth is different and perhaps you don't need all the drugs this time. I really want a different experience this time (scheduled c-sec last time). I hope it works....ugh.

----------------------------------------------

Thanks for all the opinions. For me, this is like my first birth as I didn't labour or anything with DD. I get that for your 2nd, 3rd, 4th baby you know the drill and what you like/don't like. I honestly have no idea! I'm reading books on birth and learning natural birthing techniques, but I don't know that I'll remember all that in the heat of the moment. Also, I'm not really sure of DH as a 'coach'. What does he know? I have no clue, I guess I should ask. He was there for DSD's birth 16 years ago but I'm pretty sure he wasn't the kind of support I'm wanting. (he was a different person back then).

My mom and I aren't close in the way that I'd want here there. We aren't touchy feely at all. I guess I sort of wonder what services a doula would provide that my midwife doesn't do. I know the doula is more about feelings and the experience...but I'm not a super spiritual person anyways. I guess I just think if a doula can make the whole thing easier, it might be worth it. I just don't know if it's worth the expense.

elleon17's picture
Joined: 01/26/09
Posts: 1981

"Heatherbella" wrote:

Did you consider doing something different this time? Every birth is different and perhaps you don't need all the drugs this time. I really want a different experience this time (scheduled c-sec last time). I hope it works....ugh.

To be honest, I will probably try for natural this time, but I don't want to get my hopes up. I felt like I failed last time in having to take the drugs, but they gave me two doses of pitocin and wouldn't let me walk around because I was premature and hooked up to internal monitoring machines. I had to beg them to let me take a shower for 5 minutes.

Prior, I had been practicing and studying Hypobirthing, relaxation techniques, etc.

I just don't want to get my heart set on something that might not happen. Also, now that the OB has me scared about having a C-section because of the possible size of the baby, I'm all freaked out.

I know I have a propensity for big babies ( I was 10lbs 10oz - natural birth, DS was 6lbs 8 oz at 5 weeks early and the doctors said he would have been closer to 11lbs at term) and that scares me too.

Well we'll see. I'm just going in with no expectations, but truly hoping for no c-section.

Momma Leah's picture
Joined: 05/13/12
Posts: 1047

I had natural with no doulas. Like others have said, I prefer to do my own thing. I don't feel like I need someone supporting me. I know some people have used them and really loved them, but its just not my style.

quonsetmom's picture
Joined: 10/10/12
Posts: 1559

When i was having a contraction i wanted everyone to leave me alone. I had dh turn on the tv and ignore me. lol. i will try to go as far as i can with no epi ( made it 9 hours of active labor last time ) and if i need it i need it.

sandraleigh's picture
Joined: 11/23/06
Posts: 2672

I know lots of women who really enjoyed having a doula - I guess it is really all down to the moment, and what you end up wanting in the heat of labour!

I've had an epi all 3 times. I sometimes wish I could do med-free because of how everyone raves about how awesome you feel after! Not having to wait for the epi to wear off.....etc. But I am a major wimp. With DD I laboured for 12 hours and was still only 2 cm. I could BARELY make it to 4 cm before I could get the epi. With my boys I have made it to about 4 cm before I get the epi, but I am just WASTED at that point. I have such low pain tolerance, there is no way I could do it without.

Clarkton's picture
Joined: 01/07/08
Posts: 1972

I also go very within myself in the later stages of labor and don't want to be touched or interact with anyone. The main reason I considered a doula with my second birth was b/c I wanted some help with attempting a different position during the pushing phase. Both times I've pushed in the traditional, on my back legs in the air position. I have had a second degree tear with each birth too and wanted to try to avoid the tearing by pushing in a different position. Both times I haven't pushed more than about 5 times and over no longer than 15 minutes and baby is out. So, IDK...it's still a concern with me this time but I'm just going to see what happens on my own.

I think in your position, I would at least meet with some doulas and see if you find someone you really click with. Also, they could tell you what they would bring to the table and then you can go from there with your decision.

quonsetmom's picture
Joined: 10/10/12
Posts: 1559

"Clarkton" wrote:

Both times I haven't pushed more than about 5 times and over no longer than 15 minutes and baby is out.

this makes me jealous, i pushed for 2 hours. tho i also didnt tear at all, and no episiotimy

Heatherbella's picture
Joined: 02/14/05
Posts: 4169

"elleon17" wrote:

To be honest, I will probably try for natural this time, but I don't want to get my hopes up. I felt like I failed last time in having to take the drugs, but they gave me two doses of pitocin and wouldn't let me walk around because I was premature and hooked up to internal monitoring machines. I had to beg them to let me take a shower for 5 minutes.

Based on my research it seems that one intervention, such as pitocin, is often the start of a rain storm of intervention after intervention. Also, from what I've heard any of those inductions meds pretty much make some sort of pain medicine necessary. I'm not sure I've heard of anyone being induced and having no pain meds...but then, I don't know everything. I'm sure it has happened.

I totally hear what you're saying. With my daughter my hopes was to go natural but I didn't want to put too many expectations on myself and then feel like a failure if I took meds or whatever. Then the breech thing happened and I had to go for the furthest thing from natural (a c-sect). Sigh. Sad

This time I've been reading more books on birth and I'm really starting to realize the mind/body connection with the whole thing. I'm also reading about a lot of technique for moving labour along naturally so you don't stall. Obviously you can't know without doing...

One of my major concerns with doulas is finding someone who isn't too spiritually flighty or whatever you want to call it. I think that a 'profession' like that would lend to people who are a bit over the top spiritual granola type people. Don't get me wrong, I'm a bit crunchy...but there's a point where I think some of that stuff is over the top ridiculous.

LaurenE's picture
Joined: 06/19/10
Posts: 854

"Heatherbella" wrote:

Thanks for all the opinions. For me, this is like my first birth as I didn't labour or anything with DD. I get that for your 2nd, 3rd, 4th baby you know the drill and what you like/don't like. I honestly have no idea! I'm reading books on birth and learning natural birthing techniques, but I don't know that I'll remember all that in the heat of the moment. Also, I'm not really sure of DH as a 'coach'. What does he know?

I was like this with #3. I was induced with my first two and had never gone into labor on my own. I never even considered going natural because I had so much intervention an epidural was a natural progression. Welllllll, #3 came so fast I didn't have time to think. We live 5 min from the hospital and she came about 15 min after we pulled up in front of the hospital. We had done absolutely nothing to prepare for natural child birth! Dh kind of sucked as a coach, and the nurses were awful, but my body knew what to do and I had a natural child birth with absolutely no prep. I wished I had studied more about what to expect and that dh had been more helpful than a deer standing in the headlights, lol. I asked for medicine one time and he said "it's too late for that." Later he told me her head was out then ... I wish ANYONE would have said, "her head is out, you're almost done!" Gah!!! At least my hubby knows for this time and I KNOW I can do it now.

"elleon17" wrote:

To be honest, I will probably try for natural this time, but I don't want to get my hopes up. I felt like I failed last time in having to take the drugs, but they gave me two doses of pitocin and wouldn't let me walk around because I was premature and hooked up to internal monitoring machines. I had to beg them to let me take a shower for 5 minutes.

Prior, I had been practicing and studying Hypobirthing, relaxation techniques, etc.

I just don't want to get my heart set on something that might not happen. Also, now that the OB has me scared about having a C-section because of the possible size of the baby, I'm all freaked out.

I know I have a propensity for big babies ( I was 10lbs 10oz - natural birth, DS was 6lbs 8 oz at 5 weeks early and the doctors said he would have been closer to 11lbs at term) and that scares me too.

Well we'll see. I'm just going in with no expectations, but truly hoping for no c-section.

I don't think you failed at all! Having been through pitocin induced labor and natural labor ... They are not even in the same ball game. If for some reason I have to be induced I don't know that I will even try going natural! Also, I personally wouldn't havea c section just because the baby was big. My Grandpa was 13 lbs and his mom was barely over 5' and very slight! It's amazing what our bodies can handle!! I hope you get the experience you want, but ultimately a happy, healthy baby is the goal and they are blessings no matter how they arrive!

LaurenE's picture
Joined: 06/19/10
Posts: 854

Oh, and for the original question Heather, I personally wouldn't want a doula, but I know some people love them!

Joined: 08/25/10
Posts: 385

"Heatherbella" wrote:

Based on my research it seems that one intervention, such as pitocin, is often the start of a rain storm of intervention after intervention. Also, from what I've heard any of those inductions meds pretty much make some sort of pain medicine necessary. I'm not sure I've heard of anyone being induced and having no pain meds...but then, I don't know everything. I'm sure it has happened.

My SIL had an induction with her first, and no epi. Her second was completely natural and happened much faster. It was definitely A LOT harder on her with the pitocin, everything was much slower and more painful. But she did manage without the epi - so good on her! Definitely natural vs. induced are two different ball games. And you are correct that intervention leads to more intervention.

As far as doulas - the other thing you should be looking for is someone who will advocate for exactly what you want. Even things that sound dumb like whether you want the lights on or off in the room. And what type of monitoring. You don't have to defer to everything the doctors/nurses say. And when you are in labor, it's harder to be your own advocate. And as much as we are doing most of the work, it's also a hard time for DH. He is tired and unsure of exactly what to do as well. My doc was very much in line with what I wanted, but it was important for me to have my mom to advocate anything for anything medical especially with the nurses. This time around I don't think I will need as much since I know much more about what to expect, and my midwife knows what things I am set on.

Heatherbella's picture
Joined: 02/14/05
Posts: 4169

"dinzy" wrote:

As far as doulas - the other thing you should be looking for is someone who will advocate for exactly what you want. Even things that sound dumb like whether you want the lights on or off in the room. And what type of monitoring. You don't have to defer to everything the doctors/nurses say.

I guess I need to first decide what I want...and I don't know! With DD my plan was to see what worked in the moment...because who can't REALLY know.

Good for your sister in law! Pitocen and now epi! Woooo hoo! Girl power!

Joined: 08/25/10
Posts: 385

earthmamaangelbaby.com has a really good birth plan maker - it asks tons of questions so you can see what types of things there are to think about.. obviously you have to have an open mind when things are happening - but it also helps to have already thought of some things.