Post # 1
So I’m planning a hospital birth, because that is what I’m comfortable with. I’m working with an amazing OB but I’m also interested in using a doula. So I started researching Doula’s available in my area and I found this website. Well it looked great to start, but then I read their section on ‘hospital birth’
this totally turned me off. The checklist at the bottom really ticked me off… “must not have a rebellious or questioning nature” and “must be confident with caregivers that are overtired and overworked”? Really… now I feel like even though they might be excellent doula’s, I don’t want to use them because I’m choosing a hospital.
Has anyone had any expierences with a doula, or been looked down upon for choosing hospital birth?
Post # 3
I don’t think the list is a “looked down upon” kinda list… but the common need to know list for a hospital birth.
I had the experience they listed before mentioning “getting a doula…” and dealt with overtired and not nice doctors AND they got really pushy when I asked questions about interventions they wanted to do.
I know it seems really straight forward, but it is good info to have.
Having a doula WILL help to keep your wants established though b/c they won’t be able to “scare tactic” you as much since someone who knows what’s going on will be there with you.
Post # 4
Wow, that would piss me off. I had a doula and a hospital birth, and while there were aspects of it that I didn’t love, I had nowhere near the kind of experience that their checklist seems to imply is normal. For example, I came in with a written birth plan that noted that I wanted to try to go as long as possible without pain meds… when I decided after 8 hours of active labor that I wanted an epidural, the anesthesiologist came in with a copy of my birth plan and said “So, I know that you requested an epidural, but it says in your plan that you want to go without- let’s talk for a minute and make sure you want to do this.” We also had a note in the birth plan that we didn’t want DS to be given a pacifier, and our OB brought this up when we were talking about circumcision; they typically give the babies a pacifier after the procedure to help soothe them, and she wanted us to know that since we’d mentioned pacifiers in the birth plan. So just because you’re in a hospital, it doesn’t mean that everyone is going to totally disregard your wishes. There were some rules in the hospital that we had to live with, but I found that the staff in labor and delivery really tried to help us have the kind of experience we wanted.
Also, re: their “must like flourescent lights,” we had the lights off the whole time until I had to push. (We brought little battery-operated tea light things that everyone commented on and thought were fun) So there. 🙂
Post # 5
@Lozza: LUCKY! I had EXACTLY that list almost down to a T ='(
I think being familiar with your hospital section rates makes a big difference too! Not all hospitals are big on intervention… unfortunately where I am they push for scheduled scetions like it’s nothing. sigh
Post # 6
Also, the last thing you want is major conflict between your OB and your doula. We chose an OB that we liked and whose judgment we trusted, and we chose a doula whose priority was to support our wishes, not her own agenda, and it worked out great (our OB actually thanked our doula for being so helpful, and noted that they’d had problems with adversarial doulas in the past).
Post # 7
I see you are from Windsor, ONT so I am not sure how different hospitals are in Canada than they are here in the States.
I just delivered my baby in Detroit (right across the bridge!) and can tell you the hospital experience the doula described was exactly mine. I hate their negative attitude and condescending list on the website, but unfortunately a lot of it was true in my case.
What has made me feel better is that I have a wonderful, healthy baby boy (6 weeks old right now) despite the miserable hospital birth experience.
Post # 8
I didn’t have a doula. However, i did give birth in a hospital. In BC, Canada. And it was a really good experience. They definitely did exactly as I wanted, and weren’t pushy by any stretch of the imagination. They honestly were amazing. I think it just depends on what kind of nurse you get, and where your doctors beliefs lie when it comes to the labouring process. It isn’t hospital vs non hospital at all.
Post # 9
Wow. That whole webpage really turns me off. They seem really really negative about hospital births, and while there are certainly issues to be aware of with hospital births, they seem to be trying to convince you against one. For the record, I’m also planning a hospital birth with a doula. The hospital that I’m going to deliver at seems really great and ranks very high for patient satisfaction w/ birthing, so I’m not sure how that compares to the hospital where you will give birth. If I were you I would speak openly about your birth plan with your doctor(s) and your doula. Make sure you have a doula who is 100% on board with your plan for a hospital birth. Also, try to learn about the hospital where you will give birth and what kind of birthing experience is normal there. You probably have some options with doctors (and definitely with choosing a doula), so make sure that your birthing team is ultimately made up of ppl who you can trust and who will follow your wishes.
Post # 10
Also, another plug for being familiar with your hospital… it turns out that my hospital would like mothers in labor to be constantly monitored. BUT, they have *wireless* monitors, so you can walk around as much as you want during labor and the monitors work as long as you stay within the maternity ward. I think these things vary a ton from hospital to hospital though.
Post # 11
I think that if the site was looking to inform, it could have been done in a less negative fashion – “must” is a little too much. Our friends had a hospital birth and came with their birth plan and the staff was able to accomodate their wishes. As others have said, I think it really comes down to individual hospitals, it’s not an across-the-board thing like the website seems to indicate.
Plus, I know a lot of women ask for c-sections these days so they can plan the birth (not getting into that wasps nest of a topic though), which probably pushes up that number. It’s not entirely the hospital’s doing.
But I also think that it’s nice to have a doula, or someone besides your partner, in the room with your birth plan so you don’t have to argue with the doctor/nurse if you feel you aren’t being herd.
Post # 12
This list is stupid. I LOVED my hospital birth. Everyone was awesome-even the students. The nurses are the reason I am breastfeeding. I was going to formula feed and they encouraged me to try to breastfeed at least while in the hospital and I did.
My midwife was awesome when my epidural stopped working, and started positioning me in more natural birth positions so I would be more comfortable. As for eating and drinking, when I asked for cranberry juice they gave it to me, and I promptly threw up sooo there is probably a reason they don’t want you to eat and drink.
I was admitted at 1.5CM, I screamed my face off while giving birth and no one blinked,they asked me for my birth plan,the shifts changed every 8 hours so I don’t think anyone was tired(although my student nurses from the night before came back to see the baby, but they weren’t “working”)
And I don’t even get the part about the hospital gown-um…you can wear your own nightgown if you want I just didn’t want to get amniotic fluic or blood or placenta juice all over something I owned. =/
Post # 13
I know doula’s claim hospitals have agendas, but they have their own agenda too. Which is to make hospital births look bad. Which is funny because all of those birthing centers where you find doulas will not accept women who are high risk…they want them to go to the hospital. *shrugs
Post # 14
That list reads very negatively and I feel like they are trying to make hospital births out to be a bad choice…
“Must look good in a flimsy blue gown that is open up the back” – SERIOUSLY?!
I would be second guessing them as well.
Post # 15
I had a hospital birth with a doula. I also took Bradley classes and the hospital classes. I think the hospital and nurses you get have a lot to do with what happens. I also think that you and your husband have a lot to say when it comes to your own birth experience. I know I did a lot of research and very strongly believed in what I wanted.
Our doula was fantastic and worth her weight in gold. She was supportive and helpful. But really it was the end that was best. I lost a lot of blood during birth and ended up passing out (on and off for like 5 hours). She was able to stay with me and support me when I woke up while my husband was able to stay with the baby. She was also able to help us make decisions such as when to get pitocen and when to break the water.
We had a good birth plan that was approved by our OB and in our records. My experience was everything I wanted it to be. My friend who birthed 2 years before me had a terrible experience. Since that time the hospital has moved more towards baby friendly.
As far as a doula I would definately suggest it (find one that fits your life). It was good to have someone helping us. We didn’t have my mother or anything with us so that may be one of the reasons we wanted a doula.
Post # 16
I definately think this is provider/practice based more so then hospital. I have had 2 children in the hospital and each time had as little medical intervention as possible. No IV’s (except when medicall necessary, I did get pitocin with my first daughter), up walking around, in the birthing tub. My doctor canceled his clinic for the day and waited at the nurses station and in the room until I delivered. It really is important to find a doctor/midwife/doula that you are on the same page as and you feel will be an advocate for you.
I felt like that link was really condescending and would turn me off too.