Doulas & midwives — The Bump
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Doulas & midwives

We're planning on a birth center birth for our second baby in May (midwives, not a center in a hospital). We planned that for my daughter as well, but ended up transferring after 12 hours there, lots and lots of back labor, and no sleep so I could get an epi and sleep enough to push. Not what I had wanted, but did not end in C-section, and for that I'm grateful! We ended up getting a doula when we transferred, which was nice just to have the support, but was not someone we had met or interviewed at all before.

We're now thinking about all the options for this time, and wondering if it makes sense to have an on-call doula (a bit cheaper than hiring a doula up front) if a transfer were required again (I'm hoping, trying to be optimistic, it will not!), or to just hire a doula and do the interviews/selection/meetings and have her there along with the midwife, or to just have the midwife and skip the doula.

Any thoughts? Have you had a midwife/birth center birth, with or without a doula as well?

The midwives are there for the whole time, though can change during the course of labor as their on-call status changes, but not necessarily right with you the whole time. They might have a second mom in labor at the same time.

Thanks for any thoughts!
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Re: Doulas & midwives

  • Hmm.  That is tough. It sounds like LO may not have been in the best position the first time around which made things really tough for you.  Did you find that the help of the doula at the hospital?  If you were able to choose a doula that you meshed with do you think that your experience would have been different?  Could you interview a few on call doulas just so you know who you might be working with? 
    I am a big supporter of doulas and think they do a wonderful job.  IMO I would be tempted to have one the second time.  Labor is unpredictable so I would feel comfortable having a doula with me.  I love the support and knowledge they provide even if you don't end up needing it, it is there.


  • I dont have input about the doula, but I just wanted to give you some hope- I had a 31hr 1st time labor (with no progression from 2.5cm after 20hrs). I ended up with an epi, but delivered vaginally. My second labor, I faithfully drank RRL tea, and took EPO. My labor was only 15hrs (9hrs of "needing to focus" kind of labor), and I was totally natural.  
    8.7.04 Married the Man
    7.16.11 Welcomed the Boy (#1)
    8.19.13 Welcomed the Boy (#2)

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  • Thanks Hannah!

    I'm wavering... I can see the reason for having one, but just don't want to spend the extra 500+ on it! Especially if it ended up being like a friend of mine who just had her second and her daughter was born w/in 3 hours of getting to the birth center. If only I could tell the future...
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  • I had a doula, and back labor. She helped me deal with it and we did exercises during labor to get him to move around, and he did. I was in labor for 12 hours at a 2, once we got him to flip he was out 5 hours later, she was totally worth it. But my doula also does before and after home visits, and placenta encapsulation, so she was extra worth it.
  • I had a hospital birth with a midwife for DS. For the doula decision, for me it comes down to how prepared/willing DH is for playing that role. If he is really knowledgable about signposts and labor coping mechanisms, then I don't feel it's really necessary, but if he's not able or doesn't desire to play that role, then I think having that type of support person is nice.

    Given your back labor last time, I would try doing all you can to get baby in a good position facing backwards once you're 30 wks or so - like avoid lounging back in comfortable chairs (sit only in straight-backed or on a ball), crossing legs, and doing lots and lots of pelvic tilts.
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    DS, May 2011
    DD, April 2014

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