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Would you have a Doula?

(206 Posts)
InMemoryOfSleep Wed 21-Mar-18 16:34:48

I’m considering training as a Doula, and I’m interested to know people’s reasons for choosing to have one (or not!). Is cost a factor? Also, do people find it a bit ‘woo’?! One of the issues I had when searching for a Doula locally is that the few available offer things like shamanic healing, placenta encapsulation, etc, which is just not for me confused. I wondered if there is a place for a sensible, supportive birth Doula, without the new age approach, or is that missing a vital part of what the role is about?

LipstickHandbagCoffee Wed 21-Mar-18 19:57:42

No, doula is unregulated job and it has anti-medical ideological bias
Not DBS checked,no regulated or quality checked training,anyone can be a doula
I’d discourage any woman from using an unskilled but well meaning helper

anxiouswaiting Wed 21-Mar-18 20:00:43

I was a doula for 6 years. I am a nurse now. I would love to be a doula again but cant afford to be. I am not at all 'woo', some doulas are. I'd suggest meeting a few if possible and see who best suits your way of thinking x

user1487797255 Wed 21-Mar-18 20:04:00

I chose to use a doula as it wasn't certain my partner could be with me for the duration of the birth. It was the best decision we made. I didn't want the new age approach and we didn't need it, just her presence and calmness and wisdom. Our doula was wonderful - she stayed with me and fought my corner at a time when I could have felt very vulnerable, with midwives and doctors coming and going. Having seen many births, she advised at every juncture. She helped my partner stayed calm too, and she continued to help us after the birth with small queries. She charged £500 and it was money well spent. Yes, cost was a factor, but birth is an important time and if things go wrong it's good to have someone on your side who's experienced. So if it's something you have a passion for, I'd encourage you to train!

PreparingToBeAMummy Wed 21-Mar-18 20:07:45

I will hire a doula when I get pregnant.

I don't want any woo type support. I just want a woman who is willing to wholly support me throughout pregnancy and birth - someone who's job it is to get to know me fully in advance of birth and who is willing to use that knowledge to support me through labour.

I was sexually abused and severely neglected as a child and will need that emotional support. The midwives will be great (as will my husband) I'm sure but I need someone totally focussed on me.

Even if I end up having an elective section (which seems likely) I am very happy to pay for someone to be there before and after even if they can't come into theatre.

Happy to talk more by PM x

LipstickHandbagCoffee Wed 21-Mar-18 20:08:06

But that the point doulas don’t train,it’s not a rigorous entry & screening process
One doesn’t go through a rigorous training or selection to be a doula
Op could set herself up as a doula now,print a certificate,get a website
And it’d be legal

anxiouswaiting Wed 21-Mar-18 20:09:31

Just to point out I did have a dbs, did many trainining course, often led by or alongside midwives. I supported women in their choices without a personal agenda. A doula shouldnt give advice just support in your own choices. I am certainly not antimedical considering I am now a nurse! I am pro-informed choice regardless of what that choice is. A doula is someone you know and vuild a trusting relationship with when often there are many unknown people at your birth, they can support your partner too. I will be booking a doula myself for my baby due later in the year.

AfterSchoolWorry Wed 21-Mar-18 20:09:58

No.

They don't have medical qualifications. I can't bear all that woo stuff.

LipstickHandbagCoffee Wed 21-Mar-18 20:13:17

Yes anxious,you chose to get DBS etc it’s not mandatory,and it’s unregulated
You then chose a highly regulated profession,with protected title and mandatory CPD

user1487797255 Wed 21-Mar-18 20:19:54

The profession may not be regulated but you can still get experience and training. Some doulas are trained midwives but decide to go a more independent route. Just because the profession is not regulated, it doesn't mean doulas have nothing to offer, though it does mean you need to pick carefully and go with your instinct. As a PP said, the point is to get to know someone who you can trust to be on your side. There may be doulas who aren't so good (but some of the midwives weren't too great in my experience either). When I said 'advised at every juncture' I meant more 'supported my choices' - but she had seen hundreds of births and this was my first so I actually appreciated the advice element when I needed to make choices at a stressful time.

53rdWay Wed 21-Mar-18 20:19:55

I would. Not that interested in woo stuff, but would like someone whose job is just to support me in a non-medical way. Last birth, DH was terrified and the midwives were (understandably!) busy dealing with monitors/blood draws/machines going BING etc.

LipstickHandbagCoffee Wed 21-Mar-18 20:25:54

As an unregulated Job the doula training & experience requirements are optional and in no way mandatory.
Profession is a career that regulates entry,sets professional standard and can apply a sanction if professional standards aren’t met eg deregistration
Doulas have no mandatory minimum technical or personal skill set. That’s so important to note. So although some individual doulas may have adequate standards it’s not mandatory and cannot be imposed

InMemoryOfSleep Wed 21-Mar-18 21:47:07

@LipstickHandbagCoffee you seem very invested in this?! In fact I would be regulated, I’d actually be doing a degree in antenatal education, part of which is the Doula training. I would then have observe a certain number of births, be insured, and have mandatory CPD, registration with the organisation, etc. You’re right that anyone can call themselves a Doula, and that you don’t have to have any specific qualifications. However most doulas choose to register on Doula UK, for which you have to have completed one of their approved courses.

InMemoryOfSleep Wed 21-Mar-18 21:48:33

@AfterSchoolWorry as I’ve said, I’m not one for all the woo stuff either grin but a Doula isn’t there to replace someone with medical qualifications - you’d still have your midwife etc, but then you’d also have a Doula to support you (and your partner).

AtSea1979 Wed 21-Mar-18 21:53:20

After my ex walked out when I was pregnant I really wanted a doula but couldn’t afford one. No new age stuff, just someone there to hold my hand and tell me everything is going to be ok and to have stopped the midwives treating me like crap when I was at my most vulnerable.

InMemoryOfSleep Wed 21-Mar-18 22:01:25

@AtSea1979 I’m so sorry it came down to cost, that’s truly shit. I know several Doulas who will offer their services at low cost or free for women in financial difficulties, but I know it can be a barrier for lots of people.

Alienspaceship Wed 21-Mar-18 22:08:37

Complicated but without planning I ended up with a doula. It would never have occurred to me to have one. She was amazing!! Nothing woo at all. She was with me the whole time, taught me to breathe, had ideas and suggestions for each stage and understood exactly how I was feeling. I would recommend it to anyone. The midwife was still in and out of the room, but it’s a completely different interaction with the midwife and they don’t have time to be with you in the same way.

cockupparent Wed 21-Mar-18 22:11:58

Definitely if I can afford it.

InMemoryOfSleep Wed 21-Mar-18 22:15:23

@cockupparent have a look on Doula UK - they have an access fund for women who might not be able to afford a Doula.

LipstickHandbagCoffee Wed 21-Mar-18 22:39:31

What does invested in this mean?that I have a contrary view and concerns about unregulated job?
I’m not saying anything controversial or not out there already.its factual statements
A perfunctory google will confirm everything I’m saying.
I could conversely ask why you seem vexed at what I’m saying?

LipstickHandbagCoffee Wed 21-Mar-18 22:50:12

Do you actually understand professional regulation memory? A doula is unregulated and unregistered

Professional regulation is the means by which professions set standards and have sanctions for those whose practice is deemed unsatisfactory.

Protected title means it’s illegal to use a professional job title one doesn’t possess eg Nurse, Doctor, Occupational Therapist

In uk the main health professional bodies are GMC, HCPC, and NMC. All require professional registration

And as I said doula is unregulated job.the title is unprotected eg anyone can call self doula

One cannot be a regulated doula as there is no statutory regulatory body. There’s no requirement on training hours or mandatory CPD

I strongly suggest you undertake further reading about regulation in health professions. Doula is not health profession

mellongoose Thu 22-Mar-18 06:44:23

@LipstickHandbagCoffee it is a self regulated body. As with sports massage, Accupuncture etc. Thanks to the last Labour government all complimentary therapies were made to self regulate because there is "no medical evidence " that they work hmm

LipstickHandbagCoffee Thu 22-Mar-18 06:55:24

Complimentary therapies have v limited clinical efficacy.placebo effect at best
“Medical evidence” is of course a good benchmark and is provides information & transparency to aid choices

InMemoryOfSleep Thu 22-Mar-18 07:10:37

@LipstickHandbagCoffee there is actually significant medical evidence to show that consistent 1:1 care in labour improves outcomes. So whilst ideally this would come from at least one midwife, under the NHS this doesn’t happen - shift changes, understaffing etc mean your midwife is likely to pop in and out of your room, and possibly change at some point. So the evidence shows a Doula can make a big difference. I just wondered if there is a reason you are so strongly against this, have you had a bad experience yourself?

LipstickHandbagCoffee Thu 22-Mar-18 07:25:50

That evidence of 1:1 care being beneficial doesn’t relate to doulas
you’re conflating two unrelated points.there is no evidence of doula make big difference
There isn’t a body of qualitative or quantitative evidence about efficacy of doulas

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