Did anyone look into using a doula or use one? — The Bump
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Did anyone look into using a doula or use one?

Since I am blowing up the board this morning, I thought I would also ask if anyone used a doula for their birth. If so, was it a positive experience and would you recommend looking into this?
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Re: Did anyone look into using a doula or use one?

  • I didn't with DS, but I didn't opt for a natural birth with him either.

    I am trying for a natural birth this time, and we are going to hire a doula.  I have a list of 3 or 4 that I need to contact this week and get interviews set up.  I think since I'll be delivering in a hospital with an OB, a doula is a must b/c I'll have no other 'natural' support otherwise.  And DH really wants one too, so he won't feel so helpless this time.

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  • Have you checked with your practice or others around you to see if they have a certified midwife on their staff instead of a doula? My OB office had one midwife and I saw her the most throughout my pregnancy and luckily she was also on call the night I went into labor with Ryan. She was the perfect mix of natural and medicated birth - if that makes sense! I did have an epi an hour before he was born but up until I asked for it she encouraged me to walk and move around as much as I felt comfortable doing. This is something the OB that delivered my first DS did not do and I felt very uncomfortable and confined to the bed long before I asked for the epi - which i didn't get!. She was very calming - maybe it was her Irish accent! She didn't use stirrups during pushing, just had me put one foot up on her hip and she pushed back against my pushing. just as his head came out she asked DH if he wanted to finish pulling him out so he actually reached down and pulled him out and laid him on my bare chest. She covered him up with a blanket and let me just lay there and hold my baby skin to skin for about 20 minutes. Of course she checked him out discretely without disturbing our moment. She let DH cut the cord and I continued to hold him while she cleaned me up and did the stitches. In all it was the absolute best experience EVER. She was an amazingly receptive and nurturing doctor. Nothing about my experience felt sterile.

    Maybe I should have posted this in your other post!

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  • "If a doula were a drug, it would be unethical not to use it."  John H. Kennell, MD

     

    I just had my first child last month, naturally with the assistance of a doula.  Since my husband is in the military and had the possibility of not being here at the delivery (but it turned out he was), I wanted to make sure I had someone there with me.  After it was all said and done, there is no way on earth I would ever want to go through the experience of labor and delivery WITHOUT a doula.  

    Here is what I wrote in my reflection of my birth story:

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    Having Anne as our doula was one of the best decisions we made in regards to our birth.  From the time we hired her through the process of labor and delivery she offered support to all three of us.   She answered questions, offered opinions, information and resources for us to explore.  She helped us question what we wanted and in doing so, helped us to become educated and empowered to plan for and have the best birth possible for our child.  She cared not only for me but for Dave as well.  She allowed him to feel confident in leaving me when he needed to nap or get something to eat or go deal with my parents, because she stayed right there with me.  She reminded him to eat and drink, just as much as she helped me to stay hydrated.  She encouraged us through the entire labor, making suggestions to the both of us, and reassuring Dave when things got super intense and he worried as to whether I was okay or whether what was happening was normal.

    She helped during labor by: walking with me, rubbing my back, hands, and feet, applied accupressure, made a rice sock for me and applied to ease my back, poured water on my belly in the bath, did yoga with me, talked with me (to keep my mind off contractions during early labor), helped me with my breathing, suggested new positions, kept me hydrated, offered reassuring words of encouragement, and much more.

    Studies show that people who have doulas attend their births:

    • have shorter labors with fewer complications
    • have fewer interventions
    • are less likely to request pain meds
    • less likely to have a c-section
    • and many others

    I don't know where you live, but in Raleigh there is a Meet the Doula Night at SmartMomma coming up on Aug. 1st where you can learn more about doulas and what the benefits are of having one attend your birth.  You can locate doulas through the DONA website, or asking at local baby stores if they know of any.  Also, in the Triangle area UNC Hosp and WakeMedRaleigh have volunteer doula programs where they sometimes can provide a doula free of charge, but I believe it is geared towards people who can't afford one.  I paid mine $500 (the going price around here is $500-750) and thought it was well worth it.   They are likely to help you to avoid the "domino effect of interventions" (pitocin, pain meds, water breaking, c-section, etc.).  I would also recommend you watch the documentary The  Business of Being Born (available on Netflix which you can get a 1 mo. free trial, stream it on your computer and then cancel the membership), as well as The Essential Ingredient which you can find on youtube.

    I am by no means an expert on doulas.  I simply had a wonderful experience with them and highly recommend them.  If you have other questions or would like to discuss more, feel free to email me at unc (underscore) pirate AT yahoo dot com

    Good luck!

     

  • unc_pirate- Thanks so much! I am in the Raleigh area and might try to get to this next week. Do you personally recommend the person that you used? if so, I am compiling a list of names so we can possibly talk to them. Thanks!

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  • ABSOLUTELY!  Without a doubt I'd recommend her!  Anne Hayes - of Brilliant Birth Doula Services.  She should be at the Meet the Doula night at SmartMomma.  The others should include Marci Westphalen of Triangle Doula Services and Fatimah Faraj of i-Doula.  I recently met Karissa Binkley of The Diapering Doula and go to the new mom's group at her store, and have heard good things about Julie McBurney (who attended two of my friends' births).
  • Btw, Anne may charge more now because she has received her DONA certification.  She had completed her training but not gotten her certification when I hired her.  Obviously doulas with certification and/or more experience typically charge more.
  • I've not used a Doula b/c I've never been pregnant...so take it for what it's worth ;-)

    I met Marcie at a class she was teaching for expectant moms from Triangle Doula Services and she was so sweet & totally convinced me of using a doula when the time comes...and not just a doula but her as a doula :-) I really had confidence that she was qualified and would be helpful AND has a great personality to calm!

  • My husband and I both loved our experience with Joanne Dahill:

    http://www.douladurhamnc.com/

    I did Hypnobabies and one of the reasons I chose her is because she is an instructor.  However, she's been a doula for many years and has experience with lots of different methods.  She's also a massage therapist.  I had an unmedicated birth, and she was absolutely key in helping me achieve that.  When my midwife walked into L&D and saw she was with us, she said "Oh good, Joanne is here, I'll be back later."  Things got rough during delivery but she was right there, helping me and keeping my husband calm.  She's also very knowledgeable in all aspects of pregnancy and birth, so she was a great resource to us before and after the birth as well.

  • We basically just hired one this week. I am planning a midwife hospital birth and we are taking Bradley classes, so I was on the fence on if I really need one. In the end I figured it was better to have more/extra support than not enough. I also thought about the fact that what if for some reason DH could not be there. I did not really have a back up coach, so I am less worried about that now. I like the idea of having someone who can help both of us, who is not associated with the hospital.
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  • I used Fatimah and she was wonderful!  I was in labor for 30 hours and ended up with a vacuum assisted birth but it was totally med free.  I'm certain that if Fatimah hadn't been with us, we would have gone to the hospital way too early, asked for an epi, and prob end up with a c-section (K was sunny side up).  DH has said multiple times that she was worth more than double what we paid.  I definitely recommend hiring a doula (and Fatimah in particular)!  
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