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I met our NCT breast feeding person, who is also a birth companion. We clicked and I feel she could support me in our upcoming birth. I am doing hypnotherapy, hoping for a MLU water birth, pretty happy with the hospital. I started out my pregnancy journey absolutely terrified of the birth, so I feel I have come a long way. But would a doula type person in addition to my amazingly supportive husband be a good idea? Or maybe I don't need the doula? I would love to get your experiences and advice. Thanks
Hi, no direct experience with a doula but I did have my DM present as well as DH for the birth of DD1. I found her immensely supportive; she knew how to touch, comfort and calm me in a different way to DH. Also, she was there to support DH: it was a long labour, very tiring for everyone me most!!
Definitely something to consider, that female supportive element. I would have had DM there for DD2's birth but couldn't as she was born by ELCS.
I had a doula for my recent birth. Reasons for hiring her were to have continuity of care and someone constantly in the room with us, someone who understood birth and could make practical suggestions and observations, someone who understood the medical process and could talk to midwives/doctors in their language and explain it to us, someone to look after practicalities (getting water etc.) so DH didn't have to bother, and someone who knew us a bit, our personalities and preferences… In short, a whole bundle of things that even the most supportive DP/family member/friend/even midwife would struggle to do all of.
She did all this and much much more. Was by my side for full 24 hours, was a really lovely calming presence, made sure I ate, drank and peed (very important!), was someone for DH to look to for suggestions and advice (it's hard for them to know what to do, especially at their first birth), gave me a talking to when I was losing it a bit - and has offered really amazing post-natal support and advice, especially on feeding which has been so invaluable.
She in no way tried to take over or push DH to the side; she saw her job as much about making his experience relaxed and special as mine.
DH is lovely and the midwives were great but if you've met someone you like I cannot see a single reason not to have a doula too.