Natural Birth

Newbie here and question.....

Hello ladies! I've been lurking on here for awhile and have decided to "come out" Smile

This is my first baby and I am set on going the natural med free route...I've interviewed a doula who I liked alot and she has really great reviews.  I asked her if she could lower her price and she said if she did , then the agreement would be that she would just meet me at the hospital (vs her regular services which state she will also labor with you at home before going to the hospital).

So my question is: which do you think is more important?  laboring at home (with the doula) for as long as you can or having the doula at the hospital? I'm just afraid without her at my home, I'll head out to the hospital too early.....thoughts? She did say I can call her while I'm at home and tell her what I'm feeling, etc.  Maybe i'm just overthinking it but wondered what others mama's who've done this think...

Visit The Nest! Visit The Nest!

Re: Newbie here and question.....

  • I didn't have a doula (didn't even interview one) so I'm speaking only from what I heard/read from other mommas and from what I know through a friend who is a Doula...

    I see them as a 2 part helper...one to help you with positions/breathing/managing the pain of contractions (which, I assume you want to do mostly at home). The other is to be an advocate at the hospital.

    I used the Bradley Method and my DH and I decided that in order to reduce the instance of intervention and augmentation that we would labor at home as long as possible. In my case, I feel that that decision DID reduce intervention (back story: I labored at home for 23 hours. When I got to the hospital I was only 5 cm dilated. Within the next 5 hours I dilated the remaining 5 cm. Had I been at the hospital sooner and had been checked (again, something they can't do if you're not there!) I would have been "failure to progress" by their standards and may have been facing induction.) So, based on my experience, I would choose to labor at home as much as possible with the Doula (or other well-prepared coach!).

    Still, you should be well-educated about all your options for when you do get to the hospital (doula or not). Also, talk with your partner about all the "what if's" that may occur, that way you aren't having that conversation, for the first time, in the middle of labor! 

     HTH!

     

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  • I had a doula for both my pregnancies, and they both met me at the hospital (though we didn't plan it that way). If you can talk to her on the phone so she can help you gauge whether it's time to go in or not, I would probably do just do that.

    I think doulas are more helpful in the hospital, as they're more familiar with hospital protocols, and can run interference with providers, if necessary.  

    DS1 - Feb 2008

    DS2 - Oct 2010 (my VBAC baby!)

  • Personally I think you would be best having her meet you at the hospital- While I was laboring at home I felt like I was in a good rhythm with DH coaching and helping me, it wasn't until I was at the hospital (and in transition) that I felt I REALLY needed the added support.

    I also think that if you can call her she'll be able to help guide you as to when to go to the hospital. Doula's (and Midwives) tend to be pretty good about judging how far along you are by how you are talking and acting.

    So if it were me I'd just have her help be your advocate at the hospital, helping guide you to try different positions, try getting in or out of the water, etc.... just in general helping you to avoid hospital interventions!

    Good luck

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  • Thanks everybody! That makes me feel better then if I chose to decide to meet her at the hospital....I just may go with that.  Thanks again!
    Visit The Nest! Visit The Nest!
  • I found our doula more helpful at the hospital. At home I was doing well with just DH. I agree that being able to call her should be enough to help her guide you on when it is time to go in.
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  • My doula was most important to have at home.  My partner was alseep in my bed while I labored and at 2am I needed some extra support, but knew it wasn't time to go to the hospital.  I called my doula who came over and stayed with me for a few more hours.  She didn't do much but it was just great to have someone to get me out of my head space or suggest things like going for a walk around the block, etc. 

    I labored at home for 7 hours and went to the hospital at 6 cm dilated; baby was born about 4-5 hours after getting admitted.  I had a great L&D nurse who was incredibly helpful (and super-supportive of natural childbirth) so the doula honestly didn't do a whole lot once we got there.

    One thing I might recommend to you is to ask potential doulas if they can refer someone who is newly-trained or going through certification.  My doula had attended 6 births and had 3 kids of her own, but since she was recently certified her rates were much lower than other more seasoned doulas.  Many doulas will lower their rates for single parents/low-income/military families but I've never heard of one reducing her span of services along with that honestly.  That seems a bit weird.

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