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how much can a doula say?


Forum: Natural Childbirth

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  #1  
January 3rd, 2010, 10:21 AM
KBeans's Avatar Believe in your body
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When I was pregnant with Kai and going for my VBA2C, I got myself a doula. I ended up with another cesarean. Many people already know the story..

Looking back over the past couple years, through coming to terms with the experience and desiring to be a doula myself, I find myself wondering how much more she could have said or done.

I had never been in labor before. When I had my bloody show and lost my plug, I thought "this is it!" and wanted to hurry to the hospital. I called my doula. Not once did she try to explain that this doesn't always mean "it's time." As a doula, I see myself saying something like "Losing your plug and having bloody show are normal early stages of labor onset. However, it doesn't always mean you are in full-blown labor yet. Some women do go right into labor and for others it can be up to another 24 hours or so until active labor takes course. It's completely up to you. It's your body, your baby and your decision if we head into the hospital now or later." Like, just inform me. I'm nervous, I haven't ever done this before. I'm excited. I want my birth so bad and have been anticitpating this for so long.... that when the signs started, I jumped it.

So, how far can a doula go? How much can she really say? Is what I would have said too swaying one way or the other? I'm all about informing and knowing your options. I feel as a doula, that would be my job. Support, coach and help inform.

Then, after the birth she wrote me an email asking me why it seemed like I gave up at 7cm. !!?? I was at 7cm for 7 hours naturally. I was doing positions even after the pitocin and an epidural. I even asked to have the epi and pitocin turned off. She told me it wasn't a good idea. Is this something that Doulas normally ask their patients? Why they seem to have given up?
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Last edited by KBeans; January 3rd, 2010 at 10:31 AM.
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  #2  
January 3rd, 2010, 10:46 AM
moon~maiden's Avatar Cheryl~ birth truster
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that is a weird question...I agree. probably not the best wording.

In my opinion, a doula is there to answer questions and offer info if asked...and perhaps offer alternatives BUT really, they are not there to run the show. They are not actually supposed to advocate for the patient either, but offer them info to let them choose for themselves. I think this is a real tough one and is a constant struggle for many doulas.
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  #3  
January 3rd, 2010, 12:35 PM
mgm78's Avatar Zoe's mom Meredith
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My doula was really good about coming to my home and making sure I did not go to the birth center until the contractions were longer and closer together. It was 6 hours before we went to the birth center after my water broke.

I think all doulas are individual in their approach, also, a lot has to do with what you discuss prior to the delivery. We discussed different scenarios before hand as well and how I would like her to handle them and help me.
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  #4  
January 3rd, 2010, 01:48 PM
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I think she should have told you the stuff about the mucous plug before - and then reminded you once you were in labor. It would make sense to have a plan before you were in the moment!
She also should have had suggestions to help you when you were stuck at 7 cm.
I think for you looking at becoming a doula and if you are going to have more kids - it would be really good to figure out what happened at 7 cm. Asking 'why you gave up?" to me is a horrible question - and is giving you the wrong idea for future labors! You didn't give up! something was up - and it will help you to figure out what happened - if you can. I think it was this board - where someone recommended I read Ina May Gaskin's Guide to Childbirth. - She has a lot of suggestion for why women get stuck sometimes. In any case - it sure doesn't sound like you 'gave up' and I don't think much of your doula for saying that. No woman needs to hear that! I'm sorry!
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  #5  
January 3rd, 2010, 04:47 PM
DoulaMama's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I do a lot more to get my mamas the births they want but ultimately it is out of my hands. In your situation I would tell you your best option for a NCB would be to stay home untill really active in labor, and I'd have NEVER sent an email like that. I'd also prob joined you at home. I find mamas have an easier time staying home if I'm there, even if I'm there "too early". Sometimes I'll go for a "check in" and come back later.
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  #6  
January 3rd, 2010, 04:50 PM
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I think it helped with our doula that she had taught our childbirth class and we had a few meetings prior to when we went into labor to talk about goals etc. I lost my plug about 5 days before going into labor and we either emailed or talked on the phone daily just quick to touch base during that time.

I called her about an hour and a half after I woke up from labor when my contractions were about 4 minutes apart. We talked for a while and she told me she thought I probably had time this being my first and she could either come to our house to labor for a while or meet us at the hospital. After talking we decided to meet at the hospital in about an hour and a half so DH and I could take showers, get a good breakfast in for energy before the labor and return our movies. (I would have had her come to the house except it was the middle of the night and my elderly parents were here.)

I found our doula was really good at explaining options. Esp since our baby was having HR issues during the labor and when they broke my water to try and un-stall me at 5cm there was lots of meconium. As the doctor got more worried about the baby- our doula did an amazing job of explaining our options and the positives and negatives of each one. I think this was the most valuable service she provided. She was amazing. She held me up to try and push in a squat after and epi and held the puke bucket in the ER when I ended up with an emergency section due to the HR issues getting worse and not being able to get the baby out.

So, even though I didn't end up with a natural birth, I feel my doula completely helped me to make the best decisions given what was going on. She even gently steered me towards a few decisions that I think really helped my chances. I don't think it's out of bounds at all for a doula to inform you- I think this is their greatest value.

Oh and my doula was awesome at telling me I did the best I could based on the circumstances. She never would have told me I gave up! I think that's really bad form.

I think you need a new doula and to find a better doula as a mentor for yourself.

Even DH said we would never have another baby without a doula!
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  #7  
January 3rd, 2010, 08:19 PM
KBeans's Avatar Believe in your body
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Thanks ladies for all the repsonses

Let me calrify though, she did help me a lot. I don't think I could have made it that far without her. The reason I stopped dialiting at 7cm was because baby was transverse and no longer was dropping into the birth canal. This was due to a foley catheter too early (which I would never do again and advised against even on this board some time ago). This is where I try to understand why did I go so early? I got a doula because I wanted the support at home, I wanted guidance as to what was early and what would be rushing in. Not for her to make the decision for me, but to help remind and advise. She never came to the house that day to support me.

I'm glad to hear your experiences with being a doula and having used a doula.

Can a DIT 'shadow' another doula at births if mother allows?
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.·:**:·.
.·:*´¨¨*:·.Valarie.·:*´¨¨*:·.
.·:* *:·.
˛ married to matt ˛
mommy to rick 8, christian 6, kairi 3
˛

want P90X, Hip Hop Abs, Turbo Jam, Slim in 6 and tons more? Check out my site!

3.5 years - still BFing

I ♥ triathlon, running & hot yoga!
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  #8  
January 3rd, 2010, 08:57 PM
GranolaMamaOf3's Avatar ~Heather~
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Yes a DIT can attend a birth, along with another more experienced Doula, so long as the mother is willing!

A Doula's job is to inform, encourage/reassure, support(emotionally, mentally, & physically), and help the mother to achieve her goals, weather natural or medicated.

IMO, explaining the natural process, and making the suggesting that you wait until your labor pick up a bit before going to the hospital would be considered "informing" you, and "helping you reach your goals"! It would have simply made the idea available to you, so you could then make an educated decision! (instead of one made out of hormones, jitters, and excitement). Though, I do agree that it would be best to have that discussed before hand!

I too think her question was a little off color, and never would have asked it...or if it was just a matter of wording, than at least not in that way!!
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  #9  
January 4th, 2010, 07:16 AM
DoulaMama's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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yep. I shadowed at quite a few births early on in my doula career.
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