View Full Version : Anyone thinking of having a Doula?
Are any of you mums out there thinking of having a Doula at your birth?
If so, why? what draws you to this idea? how do you think they can best help you? how did you find your doula?
yes!!! i wanted one first time around but was (a) too stingy to pay for one ;) and (b) unaware of how much support I would appreciate during labour (read, unaware how long, exhausting and painful it was going to be!). I really didn't know if I would want to be alone or have people around. some people just want to be left alone, not touched etc. as it turned out, i was the opposite. i wouldn't let my support ppl stop massaging me and wanted them to stay close by!
this time i have a trainee doula lined up who i met on bubhub!!!
i think it is great to have an extra pairs of hands to support and encourage you. even last time, though i had my mum and DH, they got incredibly exhausted after 6.5 hours of active labour and i didn't let them have a single moment's break from helping me (hehe!). this time, i am hoping that have a doula might also take the pressure of them a bit.
Hi, I'm thinking of trying for a doula next time I'm pregnant. I hear other people stories of how supportive and caring doulas are so I'm drawn to the idea. Although I'm not sure if I can have one because I had c-section with bub number 1 so I'm a little bit anxious about how the next birth is going to be. If I have labour complication again, could the doula help? Or I would end up at the operation room again?
Well, I am a Doula, so obviously I think they're fantastic. ;) But I also had my own Doula support my partner and myself during the birth of my son, so I can speak from a consumer viewpoint as well. :)
Why did I have a Doula at my son's birth? Because, after researching all my birthing choices, the evidence available, and statistical outcomes, I would never have contemplated not having a Doula. In today's displaced, distant society, the support networks and wisdom of yesteryear have largely fallen by the wayside. I felt I needed to be held in a loving, wise circle of support during my pregnancy and birthing journey. I felt I wanted a woman with me to support me in every way, a woman who had "been there" before, a woman with professional training that complimented her own birthing passion and knowledge. The statistics on the positive effects of having the support of a Doula spoke for themselves, as far as I was concerned:-
A systematic review of evidence by the Cochrane library, which reviewed fourteen trials, involving more than 5000 women provides the most supportive argument for the use of doula care in labour (Hodnett, 2003). This review found that:
The continuous presence of a support person reduced the likelihood of medication for pain relief, operative vaginal delivery, caesarean delivery, and a 5-minute Apgar score less than 7. Continuous support was also associated with a slight reduction in the length of labour. Six trials evaluated the effects of support on mothers' views of their childbirth experiences; while the trials used different measures….in each trial the results favoured the group who had received continuous support.
Earlier research show similar findings. Following their review of this evidence Klaus, Kennell and Klaus (1993) itemised the positive effects of doula care as:
· 50% reduction on cesarean rates,
· 25% shorter labor,
· 60% reduction in epidural requests,
· 40% reduction in syntocinon use,
· 30% reduction in analgesia use,
· 40% reduction in forceps delivery.
I found my Doula online, through a parenting forum. :)
rebeccamum, if you do opt for the support of a Doula for your next birth, they can support you irrespective of what path your birth takes. As you'll see from the above statistics, they may also increase your chances of avoiding further surgery (if that is what you want). :)
i had a doula for my baby Abigail, and can definately say it was worth it. She saw me 4 times prior to the birth - 2 for general chats, 1 for a massage and once about 3 days before my baby was born ( I was stressing out because I had been told I was to be induced - she gave me soo much advice it was great) . And twice after the birth, and we still chat 4 months later.
JUSt to give you an idea how she helped, (my first bub too)
My labour was 8 hours start to finish,
stayed at home until 4 hours before she was born,
no analgesia required at all including gas
no tears/epi needed
16 minute 2nd stage labour
as soon as abi was delivered I felt like I could go thru it again.
you can read all about the doula service ( this one is based in sydney but they have links to all over aus. at yourbirth.org
i doubt there would even be a doula near my town. but my mum was a midwife and gave birth to seven kids herself. she missed my first labour by 1 minute, but was there all the way through my second. i basically ignored everyone else in the room. both my labours were fast though. and my second i only pushed through 2 contractions and she was born real quick about 2 mins. just hope this next one is even faster. so long as i make it to the hospital first. that said i think doulas are a great idea, guess im lucky to have my mum though.
I'd love to find a duola but haven't had much luck (I live in Kalgoorlie, WA - about 6 hours from Perth). Does anyone have ideas for an alternative. My books have mentioned enlisting a trainee midwife but the midwives at the hospital fobbed me off when I asked about this. Any advice would be appreciated.
Sometimes they have doulas in the most surprising of places - I found one for Murgon who would travel from Toowoomba
Have you checked out the WA listings on the web?
Don't be put off by staff (esp medical type) fobbing off any ideas that you have - it just means that they are not particularly aware of that option.
i was hoping to have one because i wasn't going to have anyone else in the room with me, but they cost a fortune! maybe if i have another baby i can save up for it! but, luckily when i mentioned it to my husband, he changed his mind & said he'd come in with me. although it'll be nice to have him there, i can't imagine him sticking around too long, it'll be too much for him (he's very reluctant to begin with!) ;)
i just wish i'd known about doulas earlier, so i could have set money aside! unless anyone knows any trainee ones that wanna come to my birth (due early June) at Redland Hospital in Brissie... ;)
sorry to barge in on your thread, but I was reading it with interest as I am toying with the idea of having an HBAC in September and those statistics look wonderful!
Could someone give me a rough idea, how much would a doula cost?
Am I the only one who doesn't know what a doula is?? :confused:
I'm guessing from this thread that it's some kinda support person???
Charlie, essentially you are correct:
A Doula is an experienced birthing companion who understands the emotional and physical needs of a woman and her family throughout her pregnancy, labour and birth, and provides continuous support (non-medical) and care for a woman for the duration of her whole birth experience.
Giving birth to a baby is so much more than a physical phenomenon; it engages parents-to-be in a transformational experience, a key life event full of emotion and meaning. A Doula who accompanies a woman in labor "mothers the mother", taking care of her emotional needs throughout childbirth. A doula also provides support and suggestions for partners that can enhance their experiences of birth. A postpartum doula continues that valuable emotional support and guidance, helping a family make a smooth transition into new family dynamics.
The word, "doula," comes from the Greek word for the most important female slave or servant in an ancient Greek household, the woman who probably helped the lady of the house through her childbearing. The word has come to refer to "a woman experienced in childbirth who provides continuous physical, emotional, and informational support to the mother before, during and just after childbirth."
(Klaus, Kennell and Klaus, Mothering the Mother)
Costs for Doulas vary, depending on the area you live in and what kinds of services you will be receiving. Some Doulas work on sliding scales (be sure to ask). Generally you can expect to pay somewhere between AU$200 - AU$800 for a package which includes 2 antenatal visits, the birth itself, and 2 postnatal visits although prices and services offered vary greatly. Some Doulas will even waive the fee in special circumstances (for example, I offer free Doula services for teens and wives of military men who are away from home or a reduced fee for single mothers and low income families).
Sorry to hear you are having trouble finding a Doula... I've only heard of other Doulas in the metropolitan area but can give you links to their websites/email addresses if you'd like as they may be able to refer you to someone else in their network.
Having a Doula is such an invaluable choice when it comes to birth. Women helping other women truly is a wonderful thing!
I'm having a trainee doula who I haven't met yet but will meet in a few weeks time.
I wanted one because all the medical staff I have dealt with so far have treated me like an unimportant number and I want one person who knows what they're doing AND cares about me and knows me, to be there.
Another reason is that I don't want DP to feel pressured in a completely alien environment to him. I want him to do what he wants to do without being yelled at by me or ordered around by the doctors to do things he doesn't feel confident doing.
We're getting the trainee because its only $40.
Costs for Doulas vary, depending on the area you live in and what kinds of services you will be receiving. Some Doulas work on sliding scales (be sure to ask). Generally you can expect to pay somewhere between AU$200 - AU$500 for a package which includes 2 antenatal visits, the birth itself, and 2 postnatal visits although prices and services offered vary greatly. Some Doulas will even waive the fee in special circumstances (for example, I offer free Doula services for teens and wives of military men who are away from home or a reduced fee for single mothers and low income families).
wow, ok for some reason i was expecting over $1000 or something!
Hi Katrina D,
Where abouts are you?
I'm in Coffs Harbour. I haven't started looking but i'm wondering what are the odds of finding one? are they fairly common or hard to come by?
If we decide to go for # 3 I want ot have a waterbirth at home - I don't ask for much do I??? I have had 2 really great labours and 2 awesome VB's with no tears or stitches. I was very adamant about staying home in a familiar relaxed atmosphere for as long as possible and demanded that I have no intervention at the hospital (when I finally got there) unless I asked for it. i am so pleased that i was actually heard by the midwives and tehy basically left me alone :thumbsup:
I really want to have a homebirth next time and I would love to have a waterbirth, it just seems so peaceful. Midwives seem so clinical these days and I would prefer to havea doula (they seem more 'intune' with birthing). So my questions are....
Can I have a HWB with just a doula or do I legally need to have a midwife there too?
What do I need to have at home for a waterbirth? I am guessing my bathtub wouldn't be big enough!!
What sort of costs would I be looking at to do this?
I'm not expert and someone else will probably answer with more info than me, but the doula probably isn't enough for the home birth, you will probably need a midwife.
I want a homebirth too but its just not realistic for us. I have been quoted around $4000 for the midwife, whereas a doula is around $400. The main reason for the doula is so I can be strong and stay at home as long as possible and have someone speak up for me at the hospital.
Shed is right. Doula's don't usually have any medical training at all. They know a lot of information though.:thumbsup: As you are having a homebirth you would be able to interview some different midwives, I'm sure, to find one that suits you perfectly.
Here is a list of some independant midwives that you could check out.
Can I have a HWB with just a doula or do I legally need to have a midwife there too?
Legally, you do not need a midwife, but I wanted to make sure you were clear that a Doula does not offer medical advice, nor does she perform any medical tasks (I so dislike using the word medical, but you know what I mean).
As long as you know that, there is really absolutely NO reason to have a midwife in attendance at home if you are planning an unassisted birth (meaning, no obstetrician or midwife to "deliver" you baby, you do everything - including cord cutting if you choose to - on your own). This is perfectly legal and actually preferred by some. Many women have unassisted pregnancies and births, and wouldn't have it any other way.
I believe some of the frequent posters in this section of BubHub have had personal experiences with unassisted childbirthing, and can probably offer you some excellent advice and information.
Even with an unassisted birth, a Doula may be incredibly comforting and supportive to help you achieve your birthing goals.
In the meantime, check out the "Unassisted Pregnancy & Childbirth Australia" website at:
http://www.purebirth-australia.com/ (I believe some of the regular posters here are involved with that particular website and can probably comment).
Unassisted Pregnancy & Childbirth Australia is an online resource for unassisted pregnancy, unassisted childbirth and other related issues such as Australian laws, Centrelink, birth registrations/certificates, variations of normal birth, belief structures, handling problems, health, DIY prenatal care, UC in the Australian media and so on. There are also community forums to provide a place for Australians to get together with other like-minded people and meet others within the country doing the same thing.
Good luck with your birthing decisions, and wishing you a beautiful birthing experience! :)
Have only just found out about them but would LOVE to have one at the birth. My DH is rather prone to fainting and cant look at blood etc so I have a huge fear of him fainting in the middle of the birth and being no help to anyone on the floor! Plus I would love someone to be there and on my side :)
Vespera, where are you, I may be able to help you find someone.
I can confirm, Doulas do not catch babies unless there is no other choice. If say you plan a hospital birth but it all happens too quickly, the doula should encourage you to catch your own baby or your husband. If both of you refuse then of course she will do it but as a bystander as such, not as a midwife or a substitue midwife. Another instance would be if you planned a homebirth but the midwife didn't make it then of course she would assist here too. She should give you a contract at your first meeting which clearly states she has no clincial responsibility.
Costs for doulas are generally between $400-$1000 depending on where you are and what you require from them. You can generally opt just to have birth attendance which greatly reduces the $$ for you but you dont get any of the prenatal and post natal care and really, a doulas main job is in the education and support of the prenatal care - if she does her job well then then you should only need her for physical support and to see to your partners needs in labour. But everyone has different requirements and you might not need the prenatal education and care and only be looking at hiring a doula to give you massages and see to your partner in which case that would work well though you wouldn't know her so well iykwim.
Hope that helps some.
I think for the safety of both you and your baby it would be better to have a midwife as well.
It's your body and your baby, legally you can choose whatever option you wish. :)
You should definitely head to the Unassisted Pregnancy and Birth website for further information if you're considering freebirthing (and remember, freebirth is still freebirth even if you choose to have your partner, friends, Doula etc with you - it just means you are birthing outside the medical care provider model, ie: without an Ob or Midwife).
Happy researching. :)
I am having a doula in training attend my birth - she was one of the first people I contacted after I found out I was pregnant. DH was very stressed by both of my births (for good reasons) and when discussing a third child asked if he could be excused from attending. I understand his reasons - with a doula in attendance he can chose to be there for some of the time and if he does stay she can support him too. He, she and I are all very comfortable with the idea.
I was interested in having a doula assist with my birth, but I ended up having a female friend who had 3 children of her own and who was an advocate of active childbirth as my second support person alongside my husband.
I chose to have a second support person because I had read so many birth stories where health professionals had ignored the birth parents' requests and these women ended up being traumatised by their births because of the lack of respect and control.
I also lost faith with my Dr and the hospital pretty quickly - bad information (eg I was told it was safe for me to lift 100kg at work when not even non-pregnant people lift weights that heavy), lost test results, terrible problems with contacting the hospital and lost/incorrect appointments ... the list goes on. I felt little more than a number in a very long queue. Once my friend said she'd be a support person I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders - she had been through this several times, and she is a very no nonsense sort of person - just the type of person you need at such an emotional and intense time. This allowed me to relax and focus on the business of birthing because I had someone else to help us deal with the hospital.
After my experience with the hospital system before, during and directly after the birth I'd have to say a doula or similar person is a must especially for a first time Mum - and it's a great thing to help Dad's especially if it is a long labour - Dad can rest and the doula can support the Mum. From my experience the hospital maternity system places the birth parents pretty much at the bottom of the hierachy - the focus is all about what's best for the hospital and their staff.
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