Topic: Doula?
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April 26th, 2011, 08:43 AM
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Effervescence Effervescence is offline
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How many of you have used a doula for your homebirths?
I did not use a doula or have anyone besides DH for the birth of my first baby, which was in a hospital. Our second baby, our home birth, the midwife's assistant really helped me in the way a doula would, I think more than she even realizes.

Did you find it helpful?

I was so relieved when she came into the room. I felt more confident once she was there. I just remember I was in the middle of a contraction when she arrived but I still smiled just knowing someone was here for me and DH. I remember the first thing she said to me was that I was doing good and I handled that contraction really well. That made my confidence soar. I was in transition at that point, so I needed that encouragement, I was getting into the "I can't do this" phase, but between her support and that of the midwife, I went into the pushing stage with confidence. DH was wonderful, but he was scared and nervous too, and it's hard for him to have empathy with me in this moment because he can't give birth, his instincts are to protect and make the pain stop, a woman's instincts are to nurture and encourage. So the assistant, midwife, and DH all complimented each other in their support. They were all so important. I will never give birth without a doula or someone to act as a doula, again. I feel so passionately about the good that doulas can do for laboring couples, that I am working on becoming certified as a doula.

What exactly did she do?

A doula's job is to stay with the mother, help the father be involved to his comfort level, and support the couple through labor. Depending on what the laboring mother wants and needs, a doula can be effective support by just being present with encouraging thoughts and information about the birthing process. Some mothers want/need more contact. Some fathers need to be told that it's okay to touch or to not touch or told how to make their partner more comfortable.

My husband and I are in the process of deciding if a doula is necessary. The birth class we take is taught by a doula that we really like, so we've already decided on who the doula would be. We just can't decide if we need her!

Personally, I recommend it. I thought DH would be enough support with our son, but really he was going through this his first time too. He was nervous and scared, and just as clueless about me. I feel badly now that I suddenly expected so much from him, and I think he was just overwhelmed. If you've already established a raport with her, I would definitely do it. I would also recommend asking your DH what HE wants, if HE would want the support of a doula. But it is ultimately up to you and what you feel you will want/need.

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