Anyone had /booked / considering a doula (birth, postnatal or both?)

(5 Posts)
KatharineClover Sat 19-Apr-14 09:29:20

Hi everyone,
I'm seriously considering booking a doula for the birth of DC2 in September. If you have had a doula, or have booked one, could you let me know about your experiences? Especially if you are consultant-led / birthing in hospital. I really like the idea of having someone there to support me and DH, and after DS's birth I was very weak from blood loss (even with transfusions) and I like the thought of having dedicated BF support (as I had appalling advice from my community mw before). I'm a bit anxious about things like what if the doula can't get to the hospital in time, and how other people reacted to your choice to have a doula (my Dsis would love to be a birth partner - she is very generous and kind but she likes to control me /take charge and I wouldn't find this restful or supportive in labour at all).

Many thanks smile

FlipFantasia Sat 19-Apr-14 10:13:52

I had a doula for DC2's birth and she was amazing. She didn't 'do' anything but she was totally supportive of me and dh and I felt the midwives treated us with more respect. It was the invisible things - appearing with water or toast when one of us needed it or making sure the midwives read our birth plan.

I had the vbac I wanted and she was a big part of that (she got me through the panic when the baby passed meconium and I thought it would be an emcs again - I can see now it was transition and dd was born within the hour).

She came to our flat, and came with us to the hospital.

When interviewing doulas, some had had amazingly easy births and were full of the joys of natural childbirth. I found that off putting, as I had wanted a home birth first time around but up induced and having a crash section. Another section was a big possibility even if I was aiming for a vbac. The doula we went with had had emcs/vbac/planned section and I valued her experience. She was also local, so had attended loads of births at the hospital and knew the lay of the land, knew some staff names etc. This also really reassured me.

I'm pregnant with dc3 (due October) and you've reminded me I should get another doula. We've moved from London so I can't use the same one again!

Ps I am also close to my sisters but would hate to have them as birth partners as there'd be too much baggage for me to feel totally free.

FlipFantasia Sat 19-Apr-14 10:19:12

Pps and we didn't really tell family I'm a big way, figuring it's none of their business. Dh was my birth partner and the doula was just an extra person that I doubt the babysitter even noticed when she arrived. It was only after the birth, when I'd found her so good, that I started recommending her/doulas to all and sundry!

She also took awesome photos of the labour/birth/skin to skin that I really treasure (and I usually hate photos of myself!).

missmargot Sat 19-Apr-14 10:21:31

I had a doula and she was amazing. She was actually a qualified midwife too which helped as the midwives treated her with a lot of respect rather than someone who might get in the way. Our hospital midwife admitted she was nervous when she found out I had a doula as her experiences haven't always been positive but she agreed that our doula was a real asset.

I saw my doula daily in huge three days before I had DS. As she is a midwife and has her own practise I was able to attend for an exam and a sweep when the NHS midwife couldn't see me.

My doula helped me stay at home a lot longer than I would have done without her and I appreciated having someone to talk me through the decisions that needed to be made during my labour. The hospital has a reputation for unnecessary intervention but intervention was necessary for me and my doula explaining that made me feel much more comfortable.

She also did two post natal visits including reflections on the birth which I found very useful.

KatharineClover Sun 20-Apr-14 08:54:28

Thanks so much for sharing your experiences smile
I already know a doula I would like to choose, (I've met her several times already but for other reasons), but she still just will be on call for an August birth when I am due. I've done some research on the other 3 local doulas and I really like this lady - I'm currently thinking I may choose some ante- and postnatal support from her and either birth with just DH or see if she has become free at the last minute - is this a bit crazy? My birth may be fast this time, as I had 3.5 hrs active labour last time, but I feel if I can go into it not so anxious this time and be better prepared emotionally for it then I will cope better during and after (I had bad SPD, ended up stuck on my back, DS had passed heavy meconium and heart rate dropped and everything got very frantic to get him out safely). Or do you should I keep looking and meet with the other doulas who don't offer as much ante or post natal support but are free then - e.g. This lady is trained in baby wearing and I would like to learn how to wrap a newborn and breastfeed in a sling, she has free TENS machines to borrow, books, free antenatal classes etc.
Many thanks x

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