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(23 Posts)
amandasegal Wed 10-Apr-13 21:29:04

anyone considering taking a doula? do you recommend it? whats the cost? i have to admit, i know so little about it, but i heard she can be very helpful at birth.

ButteryJam Wed 10-Apr-13 21:37:57

I've heard really good things about doulas. If it were not for the fact that DH is not keen on getting one, and the cost, I would definitely have gone for it! All the best in finding a suitable one smile

BabyHMummy Wed 10-Apr-13 22:26:12

My friend is a doula and have heard rave reviews of her and others. The cost puts me off but i do think its a great idea...let dh/dp focus on you and baby rather than making sure mw is there when u need it, checking birth plans are followed etc and is extra support for him with supporting u cos lets face it they either say wrong thing or pass out lol

Frenelder Wed 10-Apr-13 22:36:51

Me & DH have talked about it after feeling a bit scared about some of the horror stories we've heard with staff shortages at NHS hospital...we've looked into it & seems to be around £1k, in our area. I've heard that it a great support to have one. I giggled Doula in my area & found a web-page for a local lady also there is a national doula web page that was really helpful.

Debs75 Wed 10-Apr-13 22:41:23

I have had a doula for baby no4. It was a bit different to what I think you are on about as mine was from a volunteer project. They help people mainly in need or who have no other support, refuges, those in domestic violence situations, new to the idea etc. Anyway she was great and very helpful and it was nice to have someone there after 2 labour alone. In fact it inspired me to become a doula and I qualified this year.
If you are worried about the cost of a private doula then see if your area has a volunteer scheme. It has been replicated in quite a few cities now.

fanjobiscuits Wed 10-Apr-13 22:43:05

About £1K. Seriously considering it. Seems to be good evidence it improves outcomes, and I think nhs is good at the technical support for birth but doesn't really 'do' the emotional part so it makes sense to oursource that.

CarlyJo Thu 11-Apr-13 10:03:58


I am a doula & thought that I should just let you know about other options.

Doula UK offer an access fund to those mothers that can't afford a doula and are in receipt of benefits.

Some hospitals offer a doula service so it is worth asking around at hospitals local to you.

Mentored doulas are those that have been trained, normally have experience but are new to Doula UK & are under the "care" of a more experienced doula. They are normally very affordable.

Doulas work for on average about 10 hours before your birth (meetings, calls, texts, emails), then throughout your whole birth no matter how long it is, then visit you in those early weeks to check you are still happy with everything :-)

My profile is if you want to take a look at what we do, have a snoop!

My website is .

ohmentalnessisme Thu 11-Apr-13 10:27:28

I had a doula and would definitely recommend it! She was absolutely wonderful, making cups of tea and making sure the mws read and stuck to my birth plan. Having her there meant dh could just focus on supporting me while she ran around doing all the other jobs that needed doing! She didn't intrude at all but she was ready to step in when dh needed a break and he was very glad to have her there. Prices vary a lot, mine cost a lot less than £1000 and was very experienced.

weeblueberry Thu 11-Apr-13 10:34:16

Can I ask what happens with a doula if you end up having to go in for an EMCS or something similar? Do they become somewhat 'redundant' if this happens?

ValentineWiggins Thu 11-Apr-13 10:40:41

I had a doula and she was absolutely amazing. She was there through the pushing and the examinations and the ventouse and the EMCS. She was the one who made sure that I got the epidural. She made me feel safe that all the things being said were being listened to by someone not in pain or emotionally involved (hubby was there but had as much clue as I did about how things work).

As for being redundant for the EMCS - nope. You still need moral and emotional support for this as much as a natural birth.

She showed me how to dress and wash and change my dd (I didn't have a clue). She supported me through trying (and failing) to BF and even though she is extremely pro-BF was incredibly supportive and helpful around the bottle feeding.

All these are things that you should get from your midwife - if you could be sure of seeing the same one more than once in the whole 9 months (which I didn't).

If I ever had another dc I wouldn't do it without her - and I would be having an ELCS!

worldgonecrazy Thu 11-Apr-13 10:50:50

I had a doula and she was fabulous. She made the labour experience so much easier and meant I didn't have to worry about anything except me. I'd specified no men near me (following research I'd done about men being present during labour) so she also acted as a go-between for me and my husband and supported him too.

We had discussed what would happen if I needed medical intervention (which I did). At that point my husband took over as my main support and the doula supported my parents whilst I was in theatre.

Bunnylion Thu 11-Apr-13 11:10:04

Are these not all things that your DP can do if you have one?
- Making sure MW reads BP
- researching and writing
- making cups of tea
- emotional support etc

Or are doulas for women who don't have or think their DPs can be enough support for them?

I am not convinced on doulas for women who do have a strong emotional relationship wit their DPs. And as for making sure the MW reads the BP - surely they do this anyway and having someone extra in the room telling these medical professionals what to do could be a bit irritating IMO.

How do DPs feel about it? If they are the type who want to be involved I'd imagine they feel a bit pushed out of the birth of their baby.

Bunnylion Thu 11-Apr-13 11:11:09

Sorry that was
"- researching and writing BP "

worldgonecrazy Thu 11-Apr-13 11:40:52

bunnylion I have an excellent relationship with my husband, and he is strong emotionally and physically. But there is quite a lot of evidence that men can hinder the labour process. There is no reason why a man cannot be there for the actual birth, but first labours are often 12 hours in length and having someone there just for the mum-to-be can make the whole process easier and less stressful.

A doula will never tell a medical professional what to do or interfere with medical procedure. Her only job is to support the mother.

weeblueberry Thu 11-Apr-13 11:45:00

Can you link me to a little of this research worldgonecrazy? Thanks. smile

WorkWankWail Thu 11-Apr-13 11:47:01

There is no DP in my case bunnylion so I am considering a doula for this reason.

I am not sure though - I thought I would be the only one giving birth without a birth partner but having just done a search on here it seems this isn't the case. That's all right, then! grin

Bunnylion Thu 11-Apr-13 12:37:28

worldonecrazy I was just quoting thing that previous posted had said their doula helped with - telling MW to read birthplan etc, which is telling a medical professional what to do and interfering. I would also like a link to the evidence of men hindering labour.

I'm sure that for some women the emotional support of having a person with actual birthing experienced (who isn't a midwife, if for some reason they have a mistrust if midwifes) in the room will be a great comfort. For me personally I would prefer just medical professional, my husband and me.

workwankwail in your situation I would probably consider a doula, if I didn't have a mum or other close woman in my life. But I'm sure the birthing centres are more than prepared to look after anyone physically, educationally and emotionally, whatever their situation.

worldgonecrazy Thu 11-Apr-13 12:39:41

weeblueberry it was research carried out by the French obsetrician Dr. Michel Odent, based on a belief that the stress hormone emitted unintentionally by men present during the birthing/labour process, the woman would pick up on the hormone and this would inhibit the labour process. (I know during my own birthing process that this "sixth sense" was definitely in action.)

Dr. Odent reported on his findings at a Royal College of Midwives' Conference. He also discusses the role of oxytocin and adrenaline in the natural birthing process in an article in Mothering Magazine.

Carolra Thu 11-Apr-13 12:47:38

I had a doula and a strong emotional relationship with my DP smile And I'd want them both there if we ever decide to do a second... DP is brilliant and supportive but knows nothing about labour and birth (well, he knows more now than he did) but my doula was amazing, suggested new positions, massage etc and when we had to make decisions regarding intervention and other choices, it was brilliant to have a trusted expert on hand to talk things through with. She was £800, on call for 2 weeks either side of due date, and on the phone whenever. She was amazing post birth as well. Her website is - lots of birth stories and info there as well.

amandasegal Thu 11-Apr-13 13:13:45

thank you so much for all your answers. i've learned so much

ohmentalnessisme Thu 11-Apr-13 13:41:31

Bunnylion, I had a terrible experience with dc1 so my opinion is probably quite skewed but it was really important to me that someone was there as my advocate to make sure that they treated me with respect. Dh is very supportive but he's not good at challenging hcps and so was happy to delegate this to the doula. The mw should read the birth plan but they don't always and I was really upset when my wishes were ignored with dc1. The doula wasn't rude or confrontational at all with the mw but she just quietly explained that I had had a bad experience with dc1 and pointed out my birth plan to her, it really did make all the difference smile

Debs75 Thu 11-Apr-13 20:42:45

Bunnylion Doulas are not for everyone regardless of husband status. MY DP was at home with dc1 when I had dc2 then dc1+2 when I had dc3. When DC4 was born and a doula was offered I jumped at the chance. He is a very loving and supportive partner but at DC1's birth he was a bit useless so after that it was easier to leave him to do things he was good at, looking after dc's.

We do not tell MW to read birth plans but we do empower mums to tell the MW that the birth plan is there. If mum wants us to we do act as a gobetween for mum and MW. A MW can't possibly know about all the mums emotional or physical fears regarding birth and labour. Most Doulas build a relationship with the mum prior and can tell when mum is getting worried about something but won't say as she may feel that MW are in charge.

MillionPramMiles Fri 12-Apr-13 15:37:19

I used a fantastic doula mostly for post natal support and would highly recommend her. Unlike most doulas she also has formal medical training as she is a qualified midwife too. I was having a planned c section so I didn't need her at the birth (though she came to hospital and helped me with bf). Because of her experience as a midwife she was great in advising me what to expect with a c section, hospital procedures and tips on recovery etc. It's worth a look at her website and a chat with her.
Feel free to pm me if you want any more info.

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