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The Doula/Aspiring Doula Thread!


Forum: Natural Childbirth

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  #1  
June 22nd, 2009, 02:57 PM
DoulaMama's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I miss having the stalking thread to just post randomness centered around a common topic, so I thought this might be a good idea. Any interest?

I know we have a lot of Doulas/Aspiring Doulas on here! Post here and I'll add you to the roll call!

Roll call:
Cheryl (doulamama) Birth Doula, Birth Assistant, Aspiring Midwife, Postpartum Doula, Childbirth Educator
Desirea (Lindensmommy) Birth Doula to be (taking DONA workshop in November)
Cheryl (Cheryl33) Birth Doula to be (working on the paperwork!)
Shauna (ShaunaB) Trained Birth Doula- joining a volunteer doula program soon, Aspirinig PPDoula, Lactation Counselor, Childbirth Educator
BirthDoulaToBe Trained Doula- working towards getting certification births




So- how is everything going on the birth front? How are all our doulas to be doing? Anyone attend any births recently they want to share about?

I've been slowing down my doula-ing and mainly assisting since getting pregnant, but I have a client who is scheduled to be induced this Thursday. She is very sweet but very different from me. She is getting induced at 39w5, b/c her baby is big and b/c her family and husband will only be here for a limited amount of time- one week after the birth. They're from another country. It is her birth and her choice, and she knows the risks. I hope it goes well and isn't too stressful!
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Cheryl, mama to Noah Paul born 12/26/09, wife to wonderful hubby Rob
I am proudly a homebirthing, excluively breastfeeding from the tap, constantly babywearing, bed sharing, attached mama to a high needs baby. He is a part time diaper-free baby!


Last edited by DoulaMama; June 25th, 2009 at 07:50 AM.
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  #2  
June 22nd, 2009, 04:32 PM
mgm78's Avatar Zoe's mom Meredith
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Good luck at that birth. My doula is going to be renting office space from me to meet with clients, teach birthing classes, breastfeeding classes and whatever other stuff she does-- infant massage classes, lactation consultant, etc.

I think it will be a great addition to our practice Most of my patients are trying to get pregnant or are pregnant and one of the MTs does mostly prenatal massage! Perfect
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  #3  
June 22nd, 2009, 05:17 PM
LindensMommy's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I'm planning on taking some courses in November. I need to buy my packet from DONA soon to =)
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  #4  
June 22nd, 2009, 05:43 PM
moon~maiden's Avatar Cheryl~ birth truster
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I have gotten my first big paper rough draft done and submitted it. I need to edit it and submit the final. I wrote much more than they really asked for, so I have to figure out how to make it shorter.

I think it's going to take me 50 years to do this, I am frustrated for sure.
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  #5  
June 22nd, 2009, 06:22 PM
ShaunaB's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I talked with a friend from my doula class who is already volunteering at the local general hospital. They have a great program and she loves it. I felt a definite pang of jealousy reading about it. So next week when I go to the OB to get the full results of my tests, I'm going to ask her recommendations regarding vaccinations while TTC. If I have to prevent a month, no problem. If it's more, then I can plan. I've lost my momentum and I want to get going.

Last edited by ShaunaB; June 23rd, 2009 at 09:29 AM.
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  #6  
June 22nd, 2009, 06:26 PM
GranolaMamaOf3's Avatar ~Heather~
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Still trying to figure out how I'm going to get my name out, in order to get the other two births I need! I have some ideas, I just need to take the time to do them!!! The concept of a Doula is SOO foreign to most people in my area!...But Sooo needed!
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  #7  
June 22nd, 2009, 09:50 PM
LindensMommy's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Is there any family place or something similar where young mothers go to?? That might be a way of getting the births you need and also helping someone else. As a young mom, I really wanted to have a doula but I just couldn't afford it!
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  #8  
June 23rd, 2009, 05:35 AM
DoulaMama's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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update on my client! :
ok- no induction! She went into labor yesterday late afternoon! She was 4-5 when we got to the hospital at 8, and by midnight she was complete. She got the epidural, as planned. She pushed for 2 hours, 45 minutes- and there was no decent... only lots of swollen caput. She was having effective pushing too, the baby was just in a funny possition. So- she had a cesarean. They wanted to do vacumme- but the baby was 0 station at this point.... so just toooooo high. I haven't seen them- I left at 3 am, and am going back when visiting hours are at 11am. She was so distrought, and I just hope BFing goes well at this point!

Meredith- awesome! That sounds like a super fit, and will bring doulas to a whole new group of expectant mamas.

Deseria- I didn't order my packet till right before my class- so I'd have as much of the full 2 years as possible. If you feel you need it then you can do that.

Shauna- I'm so excited for you to start working with this program! woohoo!!!! Hopefully your DR only reccomends a month off of the vaccines, but I understand needing to keep the momentum.

Birthdoulatobe- I forgot your name! Chiropractor offices are also a good place to network Find ones that see a lot of expectant mamas.

Cheryl33- I know how you feel about it taking so long!!! I am still slacking on getting my stuffs into dona- even though I have had it all together since last september and attend lots of births! I really want to get my name up on DONA's website, but I just need to suck it up and finish and send it in.
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Cheryl, mama to Noah Paul born 12/26/09, wife to wonderful hubby Rob
I am proudly a homebirthing, excluively breastfeeding from the tap, constantly babywearing, bed sharing, attached mama to a high needs baby. He is a part time diaper-free baby!

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  #9  
June 23rd, 2009, 07:08 AM
mommabirdof4
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Can you guys share how much work is involoved in doing this?? I think it would be wonderful....but I am scared that it will be to much to take on with two young children.
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  #10  
June 23rd, 2009, 09:34 AM
ShaunaB's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Forgot to mention that one way I plan to get some inspiration is to attend at least one day of the MANA (Midwives Alliance of North America) in October, the weekend after we get back from Bali. There's no way I can let go of a chance to hear Ina May Gaskin speak. And to be surrounded by other birth lovers will be amazing. I just can't decide if I should go Saturday or Sunday of I can only make it one day. Saturday would provide the full day of lectures to be a part of but Sunday is Ina May's keynote address.
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  #11  
June 23rd, 2009, 11:10 AM
DoulaMama's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nktigger99 View Post
Can you guys share how much work is involoved in doing this?? I think it would be wonderful....but I am scared that it will be to much to take on with two young children.
honestly, lots. I'm terrified of doula-ing after the baby is born, even more so then returning to assisting. Often I'll be at a birth for 18 hours- with no sleep or rest. I am scared b/c BFing is important to me. I made a really good post in the hide away about it, I'll repost it here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShaunaB View Post
Forgot to mention that one way I plan to get some inspiration is to attend at least one day of the MANA (Midwives Alliance of North America) in October, the weekend after we get back from Bali. There's no way I can let go of a chance to hear Ina May Gaskin speak. And to be surrounded by other birth lovers will be amazing. I just can't decide if I should go Saturday or Sunday of I can only make it one day. Saturday would provide the full day of lectures to be a part of but Sunday is Ina May's keynote address.
Awesome! what a great oportunity. I'd probably go to the full day, just b/c I've read so much of ina may that I feel I'd get more out of seeing lots of people- but both would be great!

I'm hoping to get to a few confrences before the baby is here- we have one only 1 hour from my house, and the lamaze conf. is 2-3 hours away.
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Cheryl, mama to Noah Paul born 12/26/09, wife to wonderful hubby Rob
I am proudly a homebirthing, excluively breastfeeding from the tap, constantly babywearing, bed sharing, attached mama to a high needs baby. He is a part time diaper-free baby!

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  #12  
June 23rd, 2009, 11:11 AM
Foyerhawk's Avatar Veteran
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I've actually thought about doing this after my incredibly positive birth experience. I didn't have a doula, but I am just so in awe of birth now, and having been through it, I think this would be a really neat thing to do.
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  #13  
June 23rd, 2009, 11:35 AM
DoulaMama's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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my thoughts on what it takes to be a doula- this might be disjointed and not make perfect sense... it was a long night.

I think sometimes it is hard to be a doula when you're so NCB for yourself. You have to be able to present an unbiased and non-judgemental face. And you really do have to be unbiased in your heart too. Epidurals have their time and place, and they help women. Stadol is also a really great tool sometimes. If you feel like a failure you're bound to project those feelings, and she'll end up feeling like one in some little way too.

I would also feel pretty terrible for leaving, and I think that is pretty realistic. Even if it is a relative, or you're providing labor support for free, you can't leave for long periods of time without sending someone else in. That just isn't right, in my opinion. Maybe doula-ing isn't fitting in your life right now- if you can't find a good backup. You also need to be available to provide that BF support, tired or not.

**********************

As a doula you have to put yourself behind someone elses needs- someone who you may not agree with about their choices or someone who you are nothing like. But you still have to take care of yourself- especially if you are a mommy- and even more so if you are pregnant or BFing.... this is hard for me, b/c I need frequent food breaks and potty breaks, and not doing so will make me sick. But leaving feels awful sometimes too.

As a doula you have to be available all the time for your client. I've been called in the middle of sex, when I just slipped into that perfect bathtub, or just as I'm leaving another overnight birth. I've also had calls come at the perfect time- nice and early in the day so I'm well rested, and when I had no plans! You have to be careful you're always ready enough to go- so you need to drive seperately sometimes, always have your bag, and not be around smokers much. You can't drink unless you are off call that night- so birthdays/celebrations can be less fun.

You will be gone from your house 12-18+ hours for each birth, on average. Especially if you don't have backup you will be gone much longer sometimes... my longest birth was 52 hours of continuous support for one mama. I got maybe 3-4 disjointed and poor quality hours of sleep in that time. It isn't unusual to have a 24 hour birth, so expect to always be gone a full day, although hopefully that is not the case.

Expect to do things you never thought you'd do, including helping a mama to the bathroom, catching someone who falls onto you 2x your size, doing thigs you disagree with fundamentally, and things you never imagined were possible. I made a baby his first bottle when he was just hours old. His mom didn't even try to BF. It broke my heart, but it was the right thing.

For me- being a doula is the most joyous and wonderful thing. I have expanded my horizons and seen the world through different eyes. I have cut cords and been the first to hold the baby. I have reassured family when a baby needed severe resesitation, although I was terrified myself. I have stood in the background and been an integral part. I have cleaned up vomit, stool and blood and been happy to help. I have grown to respect every mom and her path. I have left births biting back tears after seeing the mistreatment I am helpless to prevent. I have cried tears of sorrow in my husband's arms, and to friends at the pain I cannot take away from a mom who didn't deserve that. I have cried tears of joy when a mom has an amazing birth and deserved every second of it. I have made Bfing housecalls at all hours of the day and night, and read all I can to be able to help better. I have seen so many miracles, and so many good care providers. I've also seen uncompassionate care providers. I have helped women deal with birth trauma, and helped a woman who's marriage was falling apart. Hardest of all- I have given so much of myself emotionally I felt like a hallow shell when leaving.

And I've only been attending births at a bigger volume (4+ a month) for just over a year! I can't imagine what I will see, experience and learn in years to come, but I look forward to it.

Being a doula- for me- is about so much more the attending and educating about birth, although that is the obvious part of it. It is about truely being with women.

I have so many fears about attending births already while I'm pregnant, and after the baby gets here I just don't know exactly what I will do.... I am taking off 2 months from assisting, and more time- maybe 6 months- from attending births as a doula. I just don't see how I will be able to be there for the mamas I support 100% and be the mom I want to be. assisting is shorter, and the baby can come for cleanup at least- so it will work. But for births I may take up to a year off.
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Cheryl, mama to Noah Paul born 12/26/09, wife to wonderful hubby Rob
I am proudly a homebirthing, excluively breastfeeding from the tap, constantly babywearing, bed sharing, attached mama to a high needs baby. He is a part time diaper-free baby!

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  #14  
June 23rd, 2009, 12:01 PM
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Thank you! This made me think. I definitely couldn't put that kind of time in until my son is a lot older, and even then I'll always have dogs (and probably quite a few of them, and probably some where I am the only or primary caregiver). I forget not everyone has a fast birth (I let my dog out, went and gave birth, and was home 8 hours later!). I also might struggle with the FFing and epidurals. Excellent post!
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  #15  
June 23rd, 2009, 12:26 PM
ShaunaB's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Cheryl, thank you so much for posting all of that. You are a wise and loving woman!
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  #16  
June 24th, 2009, 07:20 AM
DoulaMama's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foyerhawk View Post
Thank you! This made me think. I definitely couldn't put that kind of time in until my son is a lot older, and even then I'll always have dogs (and probably quite a few of them, and probably some where I am the only or primary caregiver). I forget not everyone has a fast birth (I let my dog out, went and gave birth, and was home 8 hours later!). I also might struggle with the FFing and epidurals. Excellent post!
You may want to consider doing postpartum doula work or teaching childbirth education. both of those are done with a schedule, which simplifies things a lot for a busy mama.

well my client who had the cesarean wants me to do some PP doula work for her. I've done it a little before- but I think this will be the most. She is mainly 100% on her own after next tuesday, so I'm glad to help her. Besides, PP doula work is really good money for the hours! And who doesn't love a branf new baby?

I haven't done any PP training, but one of the birthing centers locally is doing a training in October, and I think I'll go for it. This job will more then pay for it, and PP work will be easy after the baby is born. off to look up dona's other PP doula requirements!
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Cheryl, mama to Noah Paul born 12/26/09, wife to wonderful hubby Rob
I am proudly a homebirthing, excluively breastfeeding from the tap, constantly babywearing, bed sharing, attached mama to a high needs baby. He is a part time diaper-free baby!

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  #17  
June 24th, 2009, 07:30 AM
DoulaMama's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Originally Posted by ShaunaB View Post
Cheryl, thank you so much for posting all of that. You are a wise and loving woman!
aww shucks. I am happy to share! I wish I had more knowledge like that before I started.
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Cheryl, mama to Noah Paul born 12/26/09, wife to wonderful hubby Rob
I am proudly a homebirthing, excluively breastfeeding from the tap, constantly babywearing, bed sharing, attached mama to a high needs baby. He is a part time diaper-free baby!

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  #18  
June 24th, 2009, 10:59 AM
ShaunaB's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I intend to also become a postpartum doula, lactation counselor and childbirth educator as well as birth doula. That way I can taylor my services to what is happening in my life at the time and how much time and committment I'm able to give.
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  #19  
June 25th, 2009, 07:43 AM
DoulaMama's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I have an interview with a mama looking for a doula this afternoon. it is really interesting how I don't get any calls for a month or more- then a handful in a matter of days! It always seems to happen like that, but I'm not complaining! I needed the break
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Cheryl, mama to Noah Paul born 12/26/09, wife to wonderful hubby Rob
I am proudly a homebirthing, excluively breastfeeding from the tap, constantly babywearing, bed sharing, attached mama to a high needs baby. He is a part time diaper-free baby!

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  #20  
June 25th, 2009, 09:03 AM
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Good ideas!!! Thanks. PP doula is a fun idea... and it might satisfy the beast so far as allowing me to see and be around new babies
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