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-   -   Can you teach a spouse/friend to be your Doula? (https://www.justmommies.com/forums/f257-natural-childbirth/2630396-can-you-teach-spouse-friend-to-your-doula.html)

alittlelost February 28th, 2013 02:44 PM

Can you teach a spouse/friend to be your Doula?
I was just thinking how I can't afford a doula, but I would really like one. I know having a friend or spouse play the roll wouldn't be the same. They aren't experts in knowledge of that area. But is there a way you could prepare them to kinda play the roll so at least it's better than nothing? I know a lot about this stuff, but I can't think about it while I'm in labor!

I was just thinking that maybe if I made them a "quick guide" of what to do, like a section headed "pain relief techniques" so they know what to suggest to me that I'm in too much pain to think of, or another called "aroma therapy" so they can know what kind of scents (which I will have on hand) to get going in the room to help me depending on what stage of labor I'm in or what I seem to need. Would this work, or is it a disaster waiting to happen?

My midwives do stay with me the whole time, but they don't do much doula type stuff. Or maybe I just give off a "leave me alone" vibe, I don't know. but I do know that after I give birth, I'm always thinking, "Why didn't I do this?" or "Why did I do that?" For example, I pushed my son out while on my back--not the best position. So why the heck did I do that? I wonder if it would have hurt less in another position. Who the heck knows. I never got to try because no one made any suggestions to me and I couldn't think straight.

GranolaMamaOf3 March 2nd, 2013 09:46 AM

Re: Can you teach a spouse/friend to be your Doula?
Partners and friends can be a huge emotional and physical help, especially if they are very in-tune with you and able to read your ques/needs easily.

The hardest part of them fulfilling the "doula" role, is that they are emotionally involved, so if they are not well educated on normal labor and birth, they may get caught off guard by some aspects and become uncomfortable or nervous. Likewise if something starts to go wrong it can be challenging for them to remain the calming presence you need to not panic and stay focused.

I would highly recommend you have them attend a natural childbirth class such as the Bradley method with you, which is a rather in-depth class and focuses heavily on the "coach", educating and preparing them to be your support person.

Also, prior to the birth have them read the book, The Birth Partner: A Complete Guide to Childbirth for Dads, Doulas, and All Other Labor Companions by Penny Simkin This book it also really nice to have on hand during the labor/birth for easy reference if they need to look up a question/position, etc..

therevslady March 2nd, 2013 12:05 PM

Re: Can you teach a spouse/friend to be your Doula?
Yes! And I completely agree that Bradley is the way to go if you have a friend supporting you. Husband coached childbirth and the Birth Partner are great books for your support person to read.

I also wanted to add, that if you want a doula... you might get lucky by putting the word out there that you are looking for a student doula to work for cheap/free. Many student doulas work for just enough to cover the cost of their gas. You can find some on the DONA website and doulamatch.net.

alittlelost March 6th, 2013 08:42 PM

Re: Can you teach a spouse/friend to be your Doula?
both of these replies were SO helpful. Thank you!

MyFantasticFour March 7th, 2013 08:32 AM

Re: Can you teach a spouse/friend to be your Doula?
My husband was seriously the best doula I could have ever asked for. He put on my music, massaged me, and walked me through my visualizations in a soft voice. And then, because we have that personal relationship, he hid the call bell and kept going when I hit the end and said I needed an epidural. I'm so glad he did and I know he'll do an awesome job again this time!

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