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Thread: Thinking about a doula

  1. #1
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    May 2007
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    Question Thinking about a doula

    Hello! I am hitting week 16 of my pregnancy, and I am thinking that I would like to find a doula. I love my SO immensely, but he and I agreed that he would not make the ideal birth coach. I would prefer for him to be standing by my side with no responsibilities for our baby's delivery (he may have to leave at some point - he is squeamish, and I don't want to be angry or hurt if we needs to step away). I want a professional who I know I can count on for coaching and support, and I really want a female to help me. I don't have any nearby family, so that is not an option for us.

    I am not sure how to go about finding a doula, nor do I know what questions to ask. I know we have a few ladies out here who are doulas, and others who have used one or are planning to use one. Any advice on finding a doula and the questions I should be asking would be greatly appreciated! Also, I am not sure if I should start my search now or wait until I am further along.

    Thanks,
    Lily
    Lily

  2. #2

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    You can look on www.doulamatch.net It's a database of doulas by locations. Includes profiles, availability, and testimonials. Alternatively, you can check the websites of doula certifying organizations. www.childbirthinternational.com or www.dona.org The most important thing when finding a doula is finding someone you feel comfortable with so interview a few and see how you feel about each one. Ask what their philosophy is regarding birth, how they can enhance the role of your partner, why they decided to become a doula. Ask them if they have experience with your birth place or your healthcare provider. Often as a doula, we have clients who have a very specific idea of the type of birth they want, yet they have chosen a provider who doesn't support that type of birth. We can give you a lot of information about providers and birth places to help you make an educated decision about your provider to improve your chances of getting the birth experience you want.
    Mary Jane, doula and mom of Vada, Brynna, Tea, Moira, Kyan, Ambria, Aslan, and Anakin.
    “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.” ~ Dr. Seuss

  3. #3
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    Thank you!!
    Lily

  4. #4
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    Indiana
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    OMG MaryJane... what an awesome resource! Thank you so much for posting it. I favorited it and can't wait to show my DH. My hospital offers doulas for free... and it's very tempting to use them as opposed to paying for one. However, my fear is that since they work for the hospital, they won't be as supportive if I want something that is different than what the doctors or nurses are suggesting. What do you ladies think? An independent doula, or the one the hospital offers?
    Me (28) DH (32) DSD (9) DD (born 12/22/13)

  5. #5

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    I honestly had never thought about having a doula. I didn't last time and I enjoyed my birth experience for the most part. There were only a few things I would change this time around.

    I didn't think I would *need* a doula since I do want an epidural once I get to a certain point. Now I am not even sure if I want to try and go natural or not! Gah. You would think this wouldn't be so confusing since I've already done it once before...
    Karen (28), DF (28), DD (3), DS (2 months)


    Beanpop's Fluffy Butt Diapers *GRAND RE-OPENING 3/13*

  6. #6
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    Oh good, MaryJane answered already.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by KayDub View Post
    OMG MaryJane... what an awesome resource! Thank you so much for posting it. I favorited it and can't wait to show my DH. My hospital offers doulas for free... and it's very tempting to use them as opposed to paying for one. However, my fear is that since they work for the hospital, they won't be as supportive if I want something that is different than what the doctors or nurses are suggesting. What do you ladies think? An independent doula, or the one the hospital offers?
    It depends. Usually, hospital doula programs provide a doula only for the birth. So the doula doesn't really know you and know your personality and what you want or need. She can still be hugely beneficial, but she's going to be there more for physical and emotional support. Hiring a doula allows you to get to know her so you don't feel like you have a stranger coming to your birth, and she provides a lot of informational support and preparation. A doula hired prenatally helps you gain confidence and be well informed about your options. A doula who you meet in the hospital once you are in labor is mainly just for labor support. I'm not sure how much they do postpartum either. A doula you hire will usually help with breastfeeding in the hospital and be there for a couple weeks postpartum to answer questions and help you talk about your birth if you need to process anything. Jenn worked as a volunteer hospital doula. She might be able to tell you more about how that works.
    Mary Jane, doula and mom of Vada, Brynna, Tea, Moira, Kyan, Ambria, Aslan, and Anakin.
    “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.” ~ Dr. Seuss

  8. #8

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    I am having number two soon and have a doula this second time around. I haven't even delivered and would recommend it! . It is nice to have a reference other than my OB and DH is veeeeery grateful to havesomeone know what "normal" is like. He was very uncomfortable with my pain the first time and we don't communicate well under stress so having another support person is of great comfort to us. My first birth ended in c-section and we have had some family birth tragedies since DD and the emotional support as I prepare for birth has also been great for me. I don't think I knew what a doula was the first time around but I wouldn't have considered it. I thought that the midwife and nurses would be there helping us through but they were just baby catchers.

    One thing that might be good to talk about if you are interviewing is the role you as a couple know you mit need. A few doulas we talked to kept stressing about how this was our birth and they were there to be in the background and provide support when needed. DH and I both knew we needed someone who would be pretty involved so we felt it was important to let them know that and see if they were comfortable/it would be a good fit. I feel like i'm not describing this well.... Let me see. Maybe like we would need someone to be a birth co-partner with DH instead of him bieng the lead guy. Maybe... They would have the same title on a flow chart, hah!

    Congratulations!
    Married 7/10/04.


  9. #9
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    Thank you! That is my fear MaryJane. They said that you would meet them about 36 weeks. I always thought meeting them earlier would be better. I'll talk to DH and look into it! There was one on that website that gives discounts to moms delivering where I am! Yay!
    Me (28) DH (32) DSD (9) DD (born 12/22/13)

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by beanpop View Post
    I honestly had never thought about having a doula. I didn't last time and I enjoyed my birth experience for the most part. There were only a few things I would change this time around.

    I didn't think I would *need* a doula since I do want an epidural once I get to a certain point. Now I am not even sure if I want to try and go natural or not! Gah. You would think this wouldn't be so confusing since I've already done it once before...
    Go for a doula Karen, especially if you plan on laboring at home for a little while this time.

    I am hoping we can work one into the budget this time. Hubs was pretty useless last time and with it being an HBAC I might need some help, but than again I don't ike being messed with during labor, so who knows... I am mainly concerned with a hospital transfer, but my midwife will assume a doula role if that becomes neccesary.

    Things are a little crazy, but I'm loving every minute of it My Blog


  11. #11

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    NOT HAVING A DOULA was the biggest regret from my first pregnancy/birth. I strongly encourage a doula especially for your first. But there is benefit for having a doula with every pregnancy.

    Brenda

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