July 2012 Moms

Re: Silly Doulas

I tried really, REALLY hard not to let the FFFC thread get to me, but I just can't seem to let it go.   I do know that the comments were not directed at me personally, and I am not mad at anyone for their opinions, but come on.  Surely you can understand that it's hard to hear someone call your passion - the thing you've gone back to school, back to work, started all over for - "silly", "baloney", "a waste".  I don't think I'm out of line to be a little offended by that.

So here.  Maybe if I can say my piece I can at least feel like I tried.

Doulas aren't a waste.  They aren't for everyone, and that's perfectly ok.  But the profession is not worthless.  Research has shown that doula support (overall, not for every single woman, obviously) results in shorter labor with fewer complications, reduces the need for/use of pitocin, vacuum and forceps, c/s, reduces mothers' requests for pain meds including epidurals, and (this is the one I'm most passionate about) reduces mothers' negative feelings about their childbirth experiences.

Doulas charge money because they work hard and dedicate a LOT of time to their clients.  Each doula does it differently, but there are usually 1-2 prenatal meetings with the mom and her partner to discuss their wishes for their birth, answer any questions and build a relationship.  Doulas offer 24 hour on-call support to their clients.  All those little things that we posted here on TB that we were worried about, but not quite enough to call the doc for fear that we'd sound silly?  Those are things doulas answer.  Any time, even at 3am.  They rush to your side when you're in labor, and don't leave it for a minute unless they have to pee.  They don't just rub your back, they suggest different positions to help labor progress and ease pain.  They breathe with you, groan with you, tell you things are normal when you begin to fear that it's all going wrong.  Husbands, as loving and supportive as they may be, often don't have any clue exactly HOW to support a laboring mama.  They are too emotionally invested- they love you too much, and seeing you in pain makes them forget everything they learned about how this was "supposed" to go.  They just want to help make it better, but aren't always sure how.  Doulas have BTDT.  No matter what happens in your labor, she's already experienced it with another mama, or at the very least, learned about it in one of her classes.  And since she's simply at work and not experiencing one of the biggest, most stressful days of her life, she will remember what to do.  Doulas make already awesome husbands into rock star coaches.  We support dads too.

 This is a pretty good summary of how doulas are valuable, even to dads, written by a dad:  http://pregnancy.about.com/od/doula1/a/dads-and-doulas.htm

 

That got rambly and I know it.  Sorry for the terrible writing... Emily is starting to stir on the monitor and I really wanted to get this posted so I started going really fast- LOL!  If you have questions about what doulas do, please ask.  I would so much rather answer a million questions then have you thinking my work is worthless baloney.  I guess if I can't change your minds, well, I can't.  I just couldn't let it go without at least trying.  Thanks for listening... Carry on.  Wink  

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Re: Re: Silly Doulas

  • I feel like they are like doctors some are different than others. I feel like I would like you as a doula but some are a little to earthly, is that the word I want? I would have liked one pre and post partum more. I love my family but am one that likes strangers advice and help better when I am tired and stressed.
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  • I agree they are not for everyone, although hearing you and reading different things about doulas is making me seriously consider a doula for kid 2. I was so close to a natural birth that I feel like a doula would've given me that extra push to not get the stupid narcotic that I did not react well and Colin didn't either.

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  • I meant to post on FFFC. I seriously considered a doula because I wanted extra support but fortunately was able to convince my mom to travel the 300+ miles at 3 in the morning to be there. My husband is a "don't rock the boat, go with the flow" guy. Despite classes and such to ease his mind and to empower him to be my voice, I knew deep in my heart how he would be during labor. He stepped up more than I imagined, but I still felt like I needed the additional support of a woman during that time.

    I don't think what you do is silly. For everyone- probably not. I also think that it really depends how you feel about medicated births. I wanted an epidural and had no issues with it, but I wish I had more help/suggestions for labor and pushing beyond the nurse. In that capcity I think a doula may have been well worth the money. If I were to get pregnant again and my mom wasn't available  - I would still consider it.

    Hang in there. I know it is difficult to be flamed, especially about things near and dear to your heart and passion. I don't believe it was directed at you at all.

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  • I have not had doula with any of my babies, but reading the fffc I got a little offended for you too, so I understand that you feel like you needed to write something back. I have full respect for doulas - and don't think they are silly or waste of time or money. In that case every personal trainer, physical therapist, any alternative medicine practitioner etc etc etc just waste.  I am sure you will be a great support for your clients, don't let negative opinions get you down.

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  • image jerseygirl6411:
    I agree they are not for everyone, although hearing you and reading different things about doulas is making me seriously consider a doula for kid 2. I was so close to a natural birth that I feel like a doula would've given me that extra push to not get the stupid narcotic that I did not react well and Colin didn't either.

    Ditto the bolded. DH was great and my mom was awesome, but I would have loved to have someone else there to really guide me and give me suggestions on how to deal with the pain. I feel like once the contractions got intense, all plans went out the window. I would love to try to go med-free next time and would seriously consider hiring one.

    Hang in there Sally. Don't let differing opinions on your career prevent you from doing what you love.

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  • PaddyBPaddyB
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    image summergirl1211:

    image jerseygirl6411:
    I agree they are not for everyone, although hearing you and reading different things about doulas is making me seriously consider a doula for kid 2. I was so close to a natural birth that I feel like a doula would've given me that extra push to not get the stupid narcotic that I did not react well and Colin didn't either.

    Ditto the bolded. DH was great and my mom was awesome, but I would have loved to have someone else there to really guide me and give me suggestions on how to deal with the pain. I feel like once the contractions got intense, all plans went out the window. I would love to try to go med-free next time and would seriously consider hiring one.

    Hang in there Sally. Don't let differing opinions on your career prevent you from doing what you love.

    As I posted (multiple times) in FFC- I used a Doula and I think it was worth every penny.  My Husband and my mom were both there supporting me, but just as in the link you provided although they had great intentions, in the heat of the moment they were a little lost.  The Doula helped support both me and my support system.  

    I was able to deliver pain-med free even though I had been jacked up on a rediculous amount of pitocin.  I don't think I could have done that without the Doula. 

    (And just because something isn't for you, it doesn't mean it silly.) 

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  • Sally, I'm really glad you posted this. I'm sure no one here was trying to make you feel bad, but I understand why you're upset.

    I did not get involved Friday bc I try to steer clear of drama, but we did consider a doula at one point. Dh is an incredibly supportive man and he was an amazing coach with Amelia's delivery, but I will be the first to admit that with Asher's birth he was VERY overwhelmed. We both were. my doctor was wonderful too, but there were three other women she was tending to at the same time. If I had had a doula perhaps I wouldn't have ended up with pitocin and an epidural. With Amelia's birth I went med fee, but dh and I both knew better what to expect.

    Good for you for following your passion.

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  • I was a little bothered by the Doula thing on Friday as well.  I feel, like you, that even though it wasn't directed at you, it would be hurtful to see the career path that you've chosen reduced to a waste of money and something to be side-eyed.  I think your response is lovely and heartfelt.

    FWIW, I am a very "fly by the seat of my pants, go with the flow" kind of gal, so I didn't have a doula, won't have one for my next, but that's just my style.  BUT: my sister-in-law was talked into an unnecessary scheduled c-section for her 1st baby (she's 4'11'' and her Dr. convinced her that she would not be able to deliver naturally).  She hired a doula and found a new Dr. that would attempt VBAC and with the help of her amazing Doula (and her amzing husband, my bro!) who was with her non-stop through 2 days of active labor she had her 2nd baby med-free.  Her doula was a hero and champion of my SIL's desire for a natural birth and she and my bro credit their doula for the successful delivery.

    What you're doing is NOT worthless honey!

     

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  • I'm sorry you felt attacked. YOU could never be considered "silly" , "baloney", or "a waste of money".

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  • These supportive responses mean so much to me! I was afraid I was going to be told not to get so "butthurt" or something. Stick out tongue

    Thank you all!
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  • I am sorry you were offended.  I understand why you would have been offended and am sorry if I hurt your feelings that wasn't my intention, but I can clearly see how it would have.   

    I am a teacher and my husband is a police officer. I receive countless digs about what I do and what he does for a living:

    Teacher- You get paid too much.  I would like to have a job where you only get to work 9-3.  I wish I had the summers off, what a good gig.  How hard is it to read stories to kids all day? blah, blah..

    About my husband or to my husband- He is a pig.  You are a pig.  Cops are corrupt.  I pay your salary.  You make too much.  You're a diiick.  I will kill you and your family in your sleep. You have too much time off.  blah, blah, blah...

    I do get offended at times, but then I remember that what people say doesn't affect me.  We are both doing what we enjoy, we get to help people, get pretty decent pay checks, great insurance, pensions etc.  

    So, unfortunately my mind is not changed whatsoever(Just like my post won't make Jessie like cops or jodie(hahah jk jk) like teachers) , but I feel terrible you were upset about this.  You will be a great doula.  You will be doing what you love, helping people and getting a pretty decent paycheck as well.  Good for you! 

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    • As one of the people that said I don't get the Doula thing, I'll apologize if I upset you, but please know that was not my intention.
     
    Much of what you describe is precisely what my midwives, nurses and husband did for me during labor.  Maybe I just have a great medical team, I'm not sure. I can appreciate people wanting to use this service, but again I can't see spending the money on it when I have my husband there as an excellent support system as well as a very family-friendly and birth plan friendly hospital.
     
    E 7.26.12 | A 2.11.14

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  • First of all I just wanted to say that you've handled this in a really classy way!  I thought it was unnecessary for people to call out your profession when you are clearly passionate about it .  I'm mostly a lurker so I didn't contribute on Friday but I felt really bad for you.  I completely understand why this got under your skin!

    Secondly, my H and I paid $800 for a doula and IT WAS WORTH EVERY PENNY.  My H tells every expectant couple we know to get a doula. He is a super calm, stoic guy but my 3 day labour was ROUGH on him -- I honestly don't think he could have supported me 100% on zero sleep for that long.  Also, my Dr. acknowledged that I would have needed a vacuum extraction (if not a C section) if it wasn't for my doula's last minute suggestions for position changes.  At the hospital where I delivered, the nurses checked in every hour or so...my doula was there the whole time, with her yoga ball, heating pads, massage, encouragement, suggestions for positions and breathing and other pain techniques...she breathed and moaned with me when I had to be still so they could put in the epidural (after 36 hours and minimal progress).  My H didn't have the skillset, despite his willingness to help, to do all of these specific things, and the nurses were too busy.

    Finally, she was available by phone and email (and visits) in the weeks leading up to and following the birth,  She helped me deal with anxiety about complications.  We had terrible troubles BFing and she was integral to our success in the weeks after. 

    So.  In conclusion, my doula was an INTEGRAL part of my birth experience and I credit her with avoiding drugs for 36 hours, avoiding a vacuum extraction, and helping me succeed in BFing.

    Keep on keeping on girl!!!

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  • image megs52881:

    So, unfortunately my mind is not changed whatsoever(Just like my post won't make Jessie like cops or jodie(hahah jk jk) like teachers) , but I feel terrible you were upset about this.  You will be a great doula.  You will be doing what you love, helping people and getting a pretty decent paycheck as well.  Good for you! 

    Ditto all of this.

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  • I support you! Glad you posted this!
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  • image lilahbean13:
    I support you! Glad you posted this!

    I don't think anyone on this board doesn't support Sally and her decision to do something she loves.

    Just to be clear my FFC was NOT: I hate sally, I think sally is dumb, Sally is the worst.  It was about a profession.  Sally happens to want to be a doula.   I can name a ton of jobs/professions that I think aren't useful to ME or are silly to ME.  Doesn't mean I hate the people that hold those positions or that I don't support people going to get a certificate, working and making money for their family.   

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  • I just want to say that I had a doula, and it was a bit of an unpopular decision amongst my family, which was difficult. My sister was pregnant at the same time and thought I was being stupid and weird. I am so grateful for my doula, not only did she help my husband and I leading up to the birth exponentially more than our classes at the hospital, but I am certain that without her and the positions and suggestions and support she offered during my difficult labor and in trying to get my sunny side up baby turned I would have definitely ended up with a c section. God placed her in my life and it was such a blessing. That said, I understand firsthand how it feels to be judged and misunderstood on the topic. My family still doesn't get it and I'm sure it will be an issue next time around. I know I don't post much but I've lurked a long time and I couldn't be silent about this. God bless you for your decision to serve mothers, it is a selfless calling and I know you'll touch many lives.
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  • image megs52881:

    image lilahbean13:
    I support you! Glad you posted this!

    I don't think anyone on this board doesn't support Sally and her decision to do something she loves.

    Just to be clear my FFC was NOT: I hate sally, I think sally is dumb, Sally is the worst.  It was about a profession.  Sally happens to want to be a doula.   I can name a ton of jobs/professions that I think aren't useful to ME or are silly to ME.  Doesn't mean I hate the people that hold those positions or that I don't support people going to get a certificate, working and making money for their family.   

    Yes 

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  • LOL megs, I know you didn't say that.

    There is a difference between "a doula isn't for me" and "doulas are silly" or "baloney", and that's what I took offense to. Just because it has no appeal to you [which I have no problem with, FTR] doesn't mean it doesn't make an actual difference to others. Your OP on the FFFC thread was that you were judging another mom for using a doula, and that you thought it was silly. To me that says that you think the whole idea of a doula is silly, NOT just for you. I took offense to that professionally, not personally. I recognize that it wasn't directly about me, as I said in my OP today.

    Anyway. I appreciate your apology and your opinion. No hard feelings!
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  • image SallySunrise:
    LOL megs, I know you didn't say that. There is a difference between "a doula isn't for me" and "doulas are silly" or "baloney", and that's what I took offense to. Just because it has no appeal to you [which I have no problem with, FTR] doesn't mean it doesn't make an actual difference to others. Your OP on the FFFC thread was that you were judging another mom for using a doula, and that you thought it was silly. To me that says that you think the whole idea of a doula is silly, NOT just for you. I took offense to that professionally, not personally. I recognize that it wasn't directly about me, as I said in my OP today. Anyway. I appreciate your apology and your opinion. No hard feelings!

    Very well said!

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  • PaddyBPaddyB
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    image SallySunrise:
    LOL megs, I know you didn't say that. There is a difference between "a doula isn't for me" and "doulas are silly" or "baloney", and that's what I took offense to. Just because it has no appeal to you [which I have no problem with, FTR] doesn't mean it doesn't make an actual difference to others. Your OP on the FFFC thread was that you were judging another mom for using a doula, and that you thought it was silly. To me that says that you think the whole idea of a doula is silly, NOT just for you. I took offense to that professionally, not personally. I recognize that it wasn't directly about me, as I said in my OP today. Anyway. I appreciate your apology and your opinion. No hard feelings!

     yes. this is why I had a problem with the  orignal post - I think there is a huge difference between "a doual isn't for me" or a "doula would be silly for me" and "doulas are silly"  and thinking it was silly for your friend to use one.

     

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  • Its never easy to hear negative words about the profession you chose. It's really hard for those not in a specific field to fully understand what others jobs entail. For example, during our baptism class the people teaching it made a statement that if everyone would just go to confession then there would be no need for the mental health field to exist. insert eye roll

    For a doula, I never had a real birth plan in mind so i never was informed or looked into services they provide. Thinking back on my labor, I never had anyone offer me anything but medication and checking my vitals, a doula would have been nice. Insert internet smiley

    Everyone has different expectations for their birthing experiences. Some people probably would not benefit from a doula, where others it would make a world if difference. To each their own. I agree you handled this with a lot of class, SallySunrise.
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  • For the love of God, Paddy, we get it. You are upset. You think I am terrible. I'm happy you got a doula for the 39482304832 time. I am happy you enjoyed your birth experience for the 39048230498 time. My FFC was that doulas are silly, I judged my friend for getting a doula. The amount of times that you get your panties in a wad will not change that. The amount of research you show me will not change that. The only thing that I will apologize for is hurting sally's feelings. Why do I have to like a service that you used? Why can't you be confident and happy enough in your own decision to not care what the f I think? I am sorry that you think people can't have opinions. My opinion shouldn't matter to you. I am glad you love your husband and doctors. Congratulations. New FFC: I think people that can't get over someone else's opinion that they shared 3 days ago on the internet, not to hurt anyone, in a thread titled, "Flam Free CONFESSIONS" need to chill.
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  • image UltraMonkey:
    Everyone has different expectations for their birthing experiences. Some people probably would not benefit from a doula, where others it would make a world if difference. To each their own. I agree you handled this with a lot of class, SallySunrise.

    Completely agree, UltraMonkey!

    It's hard to hear others speak negatively about something that you are passionate about and believe in, but I think it makes for a great teaching opportunity. Sure, like PPs mentioned, having a doula is not for everyone and I think it really depends on what the mother wants from her birth experience. Because the professional doula is a somewhat new idea in our culture, I think there are a lot of misconceptions about her role and how she can be an integral part of a mom's birth experience and support system. I know my husband was skeptical when I first mentioned having one for our son's birth, but now he tells other expectant couples have valuable having a doula can be.

    Keep using these opportunities to explain what being a doula is all about and even if you don't change people's minds, at least you've given them a more complete picture.


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  • PaddyBPaddyB
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    image megs52881:
    For the love of God, Paddy, we get it. You are upset. You think I am terrible. I'm happy you got a doula for the 39482304832 time. I am happy you enjoyed your birth experience for the 39048230498 time. My FFC was that doulas are silly, I judged my friend for getting a doula. The amount of times that you get your panties in a wad will not change that. The amount of research you show me will not change that. The only thing that I will apologize for is hurting sally's feelings. Why do I have to like a service that you used? Why can't you be confident and happy enough in your own decision to not care what the f I think? I am sorry that you think people can't have opinions. My opinion shouldn't matter to you. I am glad you love your husband and doctors. Congratulations.
    New FFC: I think people that can't get over someone else's opinion that they shared 3 days ago on the internet, not to hurt anyone, in a thread titled, "Flam Free CONFESSIONS" need to chill.

    I did not bring it back up. I am over it. I was simply trying to show support to Sally.
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  • Well said Sally!  Doulas are amazing.  I had a wonderful doula and I attribute my positive, natural birth to her.  She was positive and encouraging during my L&D which was what I needed as a FTM..  When I freaked out during pushing, she got me back on track.  My H was great but he had no idea what I was experiencing.  When I was screaming from pain, he just blanked out because he was scared for me and he was worried because I was in pain.  My doula knew what I was feeling and what I needed to hear. As a mother and a women she knew how to connect with me at that moment.    I know that doulas are not for everyone.  I understand that some people want privacy or feel that doulas overstep their boundaries. However, I think every woman has the right to decide if she would like a doula or not.  If a woman wants a doula that does not mean that her H is not supportive or that she does not trust the medical staff.

    I truly wish I lived closer to you as I would love for you to be my doula when I have #2!

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  • I do not think doulas are silly, but I can agree that they are not for everyone.  While I was never in active labor because of pre-E, my DH was a great coach and helpful with interacting with all of the doctors and nurses.  I know that some people would prefer having that extra padding with a doula, and that's awesome that you can be an available resource to them, Sally.  Keep on rocking your doulahood! Smile
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  • So I think this all boils down to:

    to each his own.

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  • image MissMusic:

    So I think this all boils down to:

    to each his own.

     

    Well said MM, but we prefer to seek out the dead horse here and beat it! ha



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  • image lkamenko:

    I have not had doula with any of my babies, but reading the fffc I got a little offended for you too, so I understand that you feel like you needed to write something back. I have full respect for doulas - and don't think they are silly or waste of time or money. In that case every personal trainer, physical therapist, any alternative medicine practitioner etc etc etc just waste.  I am sure you will be a great support for your clients, don't let negative opinions get you down.

    Completely agree. Sally, I think you are amazing for what you have chosen to do. One of my biggest regrets about my labor was that I did not hire a doula. I still to this day wonder if having a doula with me would have been the difference between a vaginal birth and the awful c-section experience that I had. After 3 days of labor, my DH (who was an incredible coach) and I were exhausted and felt bullied into agreeing to things that we feel led to the c-section because we were scared, and having a doula there as our advocate would have been very helpful. Even if I had ended up with a c-section then, I think I would have been ok with it knowing that I wasn't pushed into it, if that makes sense. I will absolutely be hiring a doula next time. I know they aren't for everyone, and that's fine, but I just wanted to say that I believe in your profession 100% :)


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