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to doula or not to doula?

(8 Posts)
twoplustwoplusone Tue 27-Jan-15 09:10:31

Hi, Im pretty new to this site and just trying to muddle my way round, if ive missed a glaringly obvious post please point me in the right direction! im interested in the prospect of a doula, im sat on the fence a little bit about their purpose (are they trying to be a midwife? is it all a bit hippie-ish) but yet im having my third child and wondered if they would offer much support if i chose to remain at home and have a home birth (i know the midwives will only stay at home with me when im established in labour), anyone had any experiences ... good and bad please!

PenguinsandtheTantrumofDoom Tue 27-Jan-15 10:53:07

No they aren't trying to be a mw. They are specifically not medically trained supporters.

Some are hippy-ish. The best ones will go with what you want. Neither of mine were particularly hippy.

I had doulas for my second and third births. They are really just useful as an additional resource and source of support. With DS, I ended up getting my antenatal mw as she happened to be on call for home births that night, so didn't need the doula as much. But with a midwife I didn't know, an extra person you know who is all calm and knowledgeable is lovely. She was also willing to stay with our older children until babysitters arrived if I needed to transfer in a hurry- which was a big plus point for us.

Jackieharris Tue 27-Jan-15 11:07:37

I'm intending to get a doula for this my third pregnancy.

I've been told to meet a few before choosing one. I'm meeting one next week.

I had a bad experience with the midwives last time so don't feel safe around them now without having someone else there.

I think lots of women get doulas so there's someone at the birth who is focussed on the mums well being. With my first, hospital, birth the midwife was MIA during most of my labour. It's rubbish that women are having to pay for doulas when one to one care should be universal for all mums during labour.

I know I'll feel a lot more comfortable having someone there who can advocate for me. From previous experience midwives don't give a f* about your birth plan and just do what they want with no regard to your vulnerable state or the concept of informed consent. Not to mention that the ones last time were negligent so I won't feel safe unless there's someone else there to keep an eye on them and make sure they are dong their job (but I realise this isn't typical).

juneau Tue 27-Jan-15 11:13:06

I had a doula at both my births. Neither was hippy-ish or pushed any particular birth agenda - they were just supportive and took the pressure off my squeamish DH! They are not trying to be MWs at all, but they were both really helpful and kind, both mothers themselves, recognised the different stages of labour and knew what kind of support I might need, made sure I was fed and hydrated. The second one actually had to drive me to hospital because my labour was so fast that my mother (who was looking after DS1), hadn't arrived when I needed to leave. I found them both great, but do interview a few or at least do some online research so you find one that's a good 'match' for you and your birth choices.

DragonsDoHiccup Tue 27-Jan-15 11:28:54

I had a doula for my second birth as dp was a chocolate teapot in terms of support during the first, and I spent too much energy worrying about him _ - having a doula meant he could look free dd1 and I had someone for me. Was brilliant smile

worldgonecrazy Tue 27-Jan-15 11:43:54

I had a doula and she was brilliant, and certainly didn't try and push out the midwife or give any medical advice. She remained remarkably calm, even when the midwife was very rude to her, glaring at her and asking who had told me not to push! The truth was I couldn't push and had no pushing instincts because the birth process was not proceeding normally, nothing to do with my doula telling me not to push. Perhaps the midwife had come across interfering doulas before?

The doula was with me all day, and even though I was in one of the best maternity units in the country, I still had 4 different midwives, but at least I has one continuous support person with me, who was able to liaise with DH and grandparents. We had already agreed that if birth intervention was required she would go and support the grandparents and DH would become my supporter, we had discussed just about every birthing possibility beforehand.

From the outside it may have looked like all she did was hold my smoothie, but knowing she was there, and her helping me breathe through contractions, turned my horrible birth experience into a positive one. Having an experienced woman who has gone through it, and who is there to just support you and be your advocate, can make a huge difference to how a mum feels about the birth afterwards. A friend of mine who had almost exactly the same birthing experience as me was left with severe PND as she felt unsupported during the experience (despite having a fab but clueless husband), and I believe that having a doula there made everything so much better.

Can you tell I'm a fan?

PetraDelphiki Tue 27-Jan-15 12:11:56

I had the most amazing doula... She completely supported all my wishes despite being a home birth person... She was there through the whole thing including my emcs and she made me feel completely safe! Can not recommend highly enough!!!!

twoplustwoplusone Tue 27-Jan-15 23:15:17

Wow! Thank you so much for your replies... I think really that's what I want, I want an advocate for me without having to put my other half through my interpretation of what a birth partner should be!. Maybe having another woman who isn't too personally connected to me, who can be objective and stern at the times when I need it ... Having said that every midwife ive had has been excellent and I really feel ive bonded with them, I just think if baby 3 arrives quickly will I get the opportunity to make that bond with my care giver! (Or is that wishful thinking!!)

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