To Doula or Not To Doula

posted 2 years ago in Babies
Post # 2
Member
329 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

Pappy8:  We’re getting a doula. My main thing is that I am due at christmas and I am likely going to have to give up all control over the fact that my OB will most likely not be there. I have found its already worth having her as a source of info. we went over my birth preferences a few weeks ago and I learned so much from that alone. I obviously cannot speak for how it will be during birth but from what I can tell it will make my hsband more involved and engaged as she will be able to instruct him on different pain relief techniques and help out more. If you are really concerned about cost maybe discuss cutting out some of the visits and seeing if she can negotiate on price at all. Also, from reading some of your previous threads I believe we are both in the same area! Such a small world!

Post # 5
Member
863 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I didn’t have a doula and I don’t regret it, but we found out at 33 weeks that baby was breech, so I endfed up with a c-section and not a long labour. If you’re just looking for labour support, I don’t think you necessarily need one, since nurses are awesome for that. My bff who had a doula and a very short labour really appreciated having her there to take pictures, and for the breastfeeding support afterwards even though the nurses were good. $850 is a really good price for all of that – I am in Calgary and was quoted $800 just for labour support. 

Post # 6
Member
3385 posts
Sugar bee

I did not choose a doula and I was the person that thought she was going to die in childbirth. I cried over a CGI video of a woman giving birth, I freaked out and told my husband I couldn’t give birth, I’ll just be pregnant forever. I was so nervous about giving birth my entire pregnancy that I really didn’t enjoy pregnancy. But when it came down to it? The best support I had was my husband. (my mother was there for the laboring, not delivery). He listened to me ramble and nervously talk, but when it came to pushing? It was easy. She came out in less than 10 pushes, that’s all I can really remember about birth. I had a great doctor and nurse staff. What really matters is the people there. If you have a friendly staff it will really help. We also couldn’t afford a doula.

Post # 7
Member
1542 posts
Bumble bee

I personally wouldn’t hire a doula, but it’s entirely your decision.

And just a side note…I’m a nurse and used to work in labor and delivery. The moment any of us heard the term “birth plan,” it was an immediate cause to roll our eyes. Most decent hospitals will allow you to progress through labor however you see fit, as long as it’s safe, so often times a birth plan comes across as pretentious. A simple conversation with your nurses and doctor about your wishes would suffice.

Post # 8
Member
1164 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: February 2011

Pappy8:  how is your relationship with your provider? have you discussed your concerns and anxieties with him / her? I definitely think a doula can be a helpful addition to your birthing team but having a great OB / midwife who will work with your “quirks” is more important.

Post # 9
Member
408 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

Pappy8:  I plan on having a doula and the last thing I’m worried about is it being “wasted money”. Call me controling or pretentious or whatever you want but I have an idea of how I want my birth to go and I will fight to make sure it goes that way. Does that mean that if there were an unforeseen circumstance I wouldn’t be flexible to change? No. It just means that I know what I want and what I don’t want. My doula will, besides supporting me, help me to understand what’s going on around me and she will be my voice in the moments when I don’t/can’t have one. My husband is amazing and he will be the best support in the world but he will be nervous and more clueless than me. It will be reassuring for both of us to have a very knowledgeable person “in our corner”, so to speak. Good luck with your decision!

Post # 10
Member
1881 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2015 - Ruby Princess

Another labor nurse point of view… ditto pp about birthplans and doulas. We totally roll our eyes and laugh. Sounds bad, but it is the truth. As nurses, our job is to support and advocate for our patient. Ive had had some decent experiences with doula-assisted births, but most are fairly unnecessary. My recommendation is if you go into labor naturally, a doula might be useful to help you stay relaxed in the early stages. I think theyre in the way a lot of the time. Esp if you get an epidural, you will prob just want to rest/ nap until its time to push. 

Heres my conclusion about couples who come with birthplans and doulas. They are afraid. Afraid of pain, medical stuff and being out of control. All understandable. I really implore you to build trust in your birthing team. Your nurse and ob or midwife are there to deliver your baby in the safest way possible. They do it every day and genuinely love their jobs.  So my opinion is, you dont need a doula. You are already well equipped.

Post # 11
Member
5987 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2010

Pappy8:  piece of mind is pricelss. Our doula costs $1500 and I already feel wayyy more at ease with her support. it seems the money is the only thing you are stressing about. you said you do have the money though. I have never heard anyway say a doula was a waste of time/money. 

doula’s are not for everyone but you want a doula for most of the same reasons I do, and I know its a lot of money but I think you need one to. 

Good luck 😀

  • This reply was modified 1 year, 10 months ago by  .
Post # 12
Member
408 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

amandajane4949:  I love nurses, trust in them completely and I understand your point of view however, I have a few problems with counting on your nurses to be your support and advocates throughout birth. 1) At a hospital, you don’t get to meet your nurses and create relationships with them before the birth. You arrive and you meet them. They won’t know your style, specific needs, anxieties etc. 2) Nurses are shift workers so if you get in the flow with one nurse and are there longer than 8-12 hours, you will have an interruption in your care and have to start over with new nurses 3) Nurses don’t just handle one patient. They have multiple things going on all the time so a nurse won’t always be able to be there to just hold your hand, rub your back, explain what’s going on, encourage you etc.

Anyway, obviously doulas aren’t everyone’s cup of tea and that’s totally fine but I think for some women they provide invaluable consistent support (for both mom and dad) throughout the duration of labor. 

Post # 14
Member
1613 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Pappy8:  I woulnd’t look at it from the money aspect, since $850 is a chunk of change for sure but it doesn’t sound like it’s a dealbreaker amount for you.  Rather, do you think the services of a doula are beneficial to you?  In my experience with the women I’ve worked with, I don’t know one that regretted having a doula.  But again, it’s a highly individual choice.

amandajane4949:  I totally see your point, but really, birth plans and doulas are not eye-roll worthy in all cases.  We’ve all met/worked with couples that are a bit over the top, sure.  But in general, birth plans are a way of just exploring options and knowing preferences….they aren’t often rigid demands or unrealistic.  And as for doulas vs. nurses vs. midwives…in the hospital that I work at is very hit or miss on how involved a nurse will be.  It depends on the nurse, the shift, how busy the unit is, etc. and some nurses provide amazing one-to-one care and others don’t or can’t.  Labour support, if a woman is going unmedicated, is serious business sometimes and takes a large amount of energy and focus.  Doulas, like other support people, don’t “get in the way” unless they are inserting themselves (and that’s an individual thing, not a doula thing….just like pushy grandmas-to-be etc).  And absolutely, women should have trust in their care providers, 100%.  But the benefits of a doula don’t negate that at all.  They aren’t for everyone, but doulas can provide parents with really valuable support.  Do women *need* a doula? No.  Just like women don’t *need* an epidural.

 

Post # 15
Member
1542 posts
Bumble bee

At my particular hospital, a nurse only has one labor patient at a time. I understand your point about shift change, but if you were to the point of pushing, the nurse would likely stay until the baby arrived. It was certainly in my role to hold hands, give massages, fetch cool washcloths, etc. I agree with PP about people hiring doulas because they’re afraid, and that’s ok. Women have been giving birth since the beginning of human kind, and in the grand scheme of things, the birthing process will go by in a flash anyway. You’ll be much more focused on raising your sweet new baby.

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