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Do you think its worth it to have a doula for a homebirth? Isn't that kind of the midwife's job?
I am thinking about having all my bases covered but I also wonder if it's a waste of money/would be a slap in the face to the midwife if we had a doula.
Married to the love of my life 8/14/09 Our sweet little Easton was born at home 3/15/12 Suprise BFP! 09/20/12 natural m/c 10/09/12 Baby Heidi was born at home (picture perfect homebirth!) 7/28/13
I don't think it would be a slap in the face. You could always ask if she has any doulas she's enjoyed working with in the past.
The midwife's job is to ensure a safe and healthy delivery for you and the baby. Doula approaches vary (especially in different settings), but generally their focus is to help the mother stay focused, on track and comfortable (more of a mental/emotional focus), and often to help the father support the mother (offer suggestions such as how to massage, or things to say, etc.).
Everyone I know who has had a homebirth has used a doula as well as a midwife. They have different jobs. The doula can show up earlier and help you decide when to call the midwife, etc. Most doulas also offer prenatal and post-partum visits and just a different kind of support.
I'm having a doula along w midwife at my hospital birth and my relationship with my doula is much more relaxed and casual, in a good way. She's more like a friend while my midwife feels more matronly.
Mama to Sebastian, born 9/2010
I think it depends on your midwife. Some come early and provide labor support all through out. Mine would if I asked, but her main interest is to come around the time that I would otherwise go to the hospital (established active labor). We rehired our doula from our first home birth (and the same midwives) and it's kinda fun to have the same team of 3 ladies coming. This is my third, and the main reason we hired her again was the chance that I'd have a long or confusing labor pattern since they say your third tends to be a wild card. In addition, we got a little extra financial support this time to pay for one.
Looking back though, we had switched to a home birth with my daughter, from a hospital birth. We had already hired our doula, and she was helpful to us as we assessed options. If we had started out with a home birth from the get-go, I'm not sure we would have hired one, because I hired her for the hospital to have more support in achieving a VBAC. Then I decided to just stay home and had a two hour labor that everyone barely made.
So, I think it can go either way. If it's your first baby, a doula could be helpful because I wouldn't expect a midwife to come during early labor, which can last several hours and support can be very helpful then for both mom and dad. I think a doula can be an especially good support emotionally and mentally for the dad, to not be the only one helping his wife through labor and perhaps sometimes wondering if things are going the way they "should" (in the way that men can worry for their women). It was also great to have our doula focused on getting me food and drink and making sure DH drinks and eats, since my midwife was focused on assessing progress and tending to me and the baby right after birth.
I have photographed many home births, and there is almost always a doula there (and I will have my doula at my home birth). A lot of times, the midwife doesn't show up until around transition (in my experience) so a doula is really helpful.
Ask your midwife what they think! :)