Has anyone used a Doula?

(22 Posts)
babybear9 Thu 30-Jul-15 14:51:13

I had a really traumatic first birth and am now due my second in a few weeks and still terrified. Wondering if having a doula would help us and curious to know experiences (particularly if you did it for second child)

AbbeyRoadCrossing Thu 30-Jul-15 18:41:20

I'm place marking - I too had a bad first birth.
The ones I've looked at on the Internet though seem to just be around from week 39 but my DS was prem so bit worried about that

Topsy34 Thu 30-Jul-15 20:03:30

I have a doula booked this time round.

I had a lovely home birth with ds 6 years ago,mno doula, but i feel vulnerable this time, so have booked one. She is on call 2 weeks either side of my due date, but when i asked her if something went wrong and i ended up needing early delivery, she said she would be there, no question.

LibrariesGaveUsPower Thu 30-Jul-15 20:57:58

Yes. I did and it helped masses. Mostly the prep before and the things she knew I would find tough.

lagirafe Thu 30-Jul-15 21:08:09

Yes I did - she was amazing. Went above and beyond.
Like PP said they're usually on call 2 weeks either side but I'm sure most doulas would be there if anything happened earlier unless they had another birth to attend.

QueenOfThorns Thu 30-Jul-15 21:15:15

I had a doula for my first (and only so far) birth. In the end, I had a really quick and easy labour, but I don't regret hiring her at all. My DH is extremely useless with blood, needles etc, to the point where I was convinced that he'd be out cold in the floor and I'd be on my own. I just wanted to know that someone else would be there on the day, and didn't expect all the support we'd get before and after. She was the most amazing person, and I would probably try to get her again if I was having another.

AbbeyRoadCrossing Thu 30-Jul-15 21:17:49

Apologies for highjacking the thread but what do they cost roughly?

coveredinsnot Mon 03-Aug-15 22:42:40

I've hired one for my upcoming birth. Her services have cost about £800.

Topsy34 Mon 03-Aug-15 23:23:58

I paid a deposit of £250, and the remaining £500 when the on call period starts, so £750 total

southlondonbaby Mon 10-Aug-15 21:57:49

We are using a doula (1st birth though).... She specialises in hypnotherapy. We really like her and we have had about one session a week since 28 weeks and she'll be at birth. It's cost 800- pm if you wanted details. We're south London based

coveredinsnot Mon 10-Aug-15 22:16:04

Wow one session a week?! That's LOADS! I'm 35 weeks and have met with my doula twice. Are there some kind of guidelines...?

TeddyRuxpinsSmile Mon 10-Aug-15 22:23:32

Yep, we had one for our first and I'm sure the fact she was there contributed to our planned home birth going beautifully. As a pp said, the birth was pretty smooth and quick (she was only actually there for about 4/5 hours) but knowing she was there made m the difference. She cost us £950 and even though we aren't massively well off we are saving to have her again for our second. As a safety net and for assurance all is well before the midwives get there. And if we do end up at hospital, I wanted her to battle my corner when it came to what I wanted vs what the doctors wanted to do.

coveredinsnot Mon 10-Aug-15 22:39:40

How many antenatal sessions did you have with your doula Teddy? And what kinds of things did you cover?

TeddyRuxpinsSmile Wed 12-Aug-15 18:31:48

Included in the package were 4 I think- 3 before and 1 after, then she also did a visit for free to see how we were a few weeks later. To be honest, I had done a hypnotist thing course and loads of research so we didn't have that much to discuss- it was more getting to know each other and laughing. Hearing her talk about her experiences, and the choices that come up, which she could help with.
I think if I'd had more to ask/discuss the hours we had would have been full of that stuff- induction and its implications, the different painkillers, risks etc. Still went through those, but in less detail.
I think the sessions are about whatever you want them to be, and about getting closer.

saivartelija Wed 12-Aug-15 21:03:31

We had a doula for our first birth (a planned homebirth), and it cost something like £600 for 2 long sessions before the birth, the birth itself, and follow up afterwards. She was 'on call' for us for 4 weeks, centered around the due date. Our experience was very similar to Teddy's comments above. I would definitely recommend it to anyone, and a good doula will have lots of experience helping women who had problems with their first birth.

If you are seriously considering it, I think you should start looking for someone asap. The important thing with a doula is that you feel comfortable with them, and you trust them to support you whatever happens - so you might need to speak to a few people before you find the right doula for you.

TeddyRuxpinsSmile Thu 13-Aug-15 07:57:53

Absolutely agree with Saivar there- I spoke to about 10 doulas and met with 3. The conversations were also really useful to work out what I wanted from the birth- they're all happy to talk very in depth about their experiences and thoughts on it all. You get a feel for their personality and how well you get on- and sooner you start talking the better as the experienced ones do tend to get booked up a little early ( lots of repeat customers smile)

southlondonbaby Fri 14-Aug-15 20:35:38

Hey cover, I think it's all the cake we plied her with, she did extra sessions for us!

messystressy Fri 14-Aug-15 20:48:13

I would just suggest you take the time to find the right doula. I organised one after a traumatic first birth, no family in the UK, due over Christmas and knowing my DH would have to look after 20 month old. The doula made all the right noises but as the sessions continued, she was very forceful on her way of giving birth (wsn't sure about bf - to her there was no choice). This was despite having told me that she would not be judgemental or urge to do anything a certain way. In the end, I paid her not to be there! I read lots of hypo-birth types of books and felt ready and gave birth with just me and midwife in attendance - and loved every minute of it! In hindsight, of course... smile

clarryjo Mon 17-Aug-15 12:03:18

Yes, I had a Doula called Lorna Philips for my Birmingham birth. For me, Doulas were a last minute discovery on the internet but when I read up on them, I knew that I would benefit from having a Doula. Lorna was wonderful and comes highly recommended and with great reviews on her web site. The midwives concentrate on the delivery but the Doula concentrates on the mother and for this my second birth (I was a VBAC) I truly feel that having Lorna made all the difference and enabled me to have the dream natural birth I wanted. Her help before, during and after the birth was first class and her support was empowering and motivating. I definitely made the right choice in having a Doula and I was so lucky to get Lorna Philips.

ohthegoats Mon 17-Aug-15 21:50:49

I had a doula for my first (and only) birth. I had her because I was worried that my partner wouldn't be all that good in the case of needles and blood. Also, during pregnancy he didn't really get engaged at all, I didn't want him to be the one speaking on my behalf about things he might not have read too much about.

Anyway, she was great. I ended up with some things going wrong and had an epidural, but I went in to the birth as a high risk pregnancy who had refused induction, so was over 42 weeks pregnant. She fought in delivery to get me the pool room, which I know for sure we'd not have had without her. The things that went wrong were the fault of a midwife, so sort of unavoidable at the time. My doula kept me calm, helped my partner calm down when he lost it a bit, and I just 'feel' that without her it would have been an instrumental delivery. I was scared and in labour for a fricking long time (Friday afternoon until Monday morning), without her I'd have panicked. She had me in the right positions for helping birth (no major tearing etc), she had me doing things to speed things up when it looked as if they were going to haul me out of the pool for synto etc.

She cost me £800 and I'd have her again.

Focusfocus Tue 18-Aug-15 12:43:58

Just to say - in addition to doing a hypnobirthing course (£150 for 2.5 hour session x 4 times per couple) - we have hired a Doula (also trained in Daisy Birthing and Hypnobirths) for £450.

This includes 2 antenatal visits, the full birth (on call for a monht) and two post natal visits.

We spoke to a few, liked her, then met her for a relaxed coffee in a nice little cafe on a weekend and made the decision. Its a first birth and leaves my husband free to pop out to go get me food, or just focus on me and my emotions etc while I have a cheerleader looking after my perineum and what not. Its a birth centre birth.

We are in the midlands in case the prices seem cheaper than London.

strangerjo Wed 13-Jan-16 12:30:45

Can anyone recommend doulas in London please?

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