(Closed) Doulas ~ what do they do

posted 10 years ago in Babies
Post # 3
2828 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

From what I have heard they act as your advocate in the event that you cannot speak/make clear your wishes during labour. You consult with them prior about what birthing methods you want to use and make a birth plan etc.

I am not 100% sure how they differ from a midwife and it could very well be the medical aspect. I have a feeling I am going to be sitting on Google very soon.

Post # 4
43 posts

doula = “birth support”

they are there to help you, cheerlead you, remind you of positions, techniques you might have practiced but are forgetting in the moment. they can also advocate for you and help stick to your birth plan. since they are not emotionaly connected to you (like your significant other) they are more able to stay neutral and not get caught up in the moment. they can also help after birth with adjusting.

they have no medical training. they are for support only.

Post # 5
6009 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

Doulas are more of a “labor support” person whereas midwives are medical professionals.  Doulas go through a much shorter certification and midwives go through a much longer/harder medical training, similar to what an OB would do.  Midwives can often take the place of a doctor in providing women’s health care and pregnancy care and acting in the doctor’s role during labor/birth, but doulas are more focused on just the birth/immediate postpartum process.  Doulas aren’t replacements for doctors or midwives; they’re more of an additional resource.

I know that some women use doulas if they want a med-free birth because they’re knowledgable in providing support/alternatives to women who want to avoid pain medication, but many women use doulas and take meds.  I believe Mrs. DG had a doula, and she had an epidural, so maybe she’ll chime in with her experience.

Post # 6
3871 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

My nephew was born with the help of a doula. I read into it a little when I found out my brother hired a doula. I can’t remember the difference but I think there’s a website called doula.com where you can find a doula.  I heard it can be quite expensive. My nephew came out natural, un medicated birth and in a water bath.  I know my brother’s gf, was still at home when she was 8cm dialated.  My older sis was worried because when she was pregnant she went to the hospital as soon as she thought she was in labor. It seems like the doula made her stay home as long as possible, I guess to prevent the risk of doctors trying to admister medication to her. 

Post # 7
536 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2007

This site might be a good starting place: http://www.dona.org/mothers/index.php

While there are organizations that offer certifications, doulas are not regulated in any way, and there is a VAST range of training, opinions, services, etc. that different doulas bring to the table.

We’ve hired one to help with our upcoming (April) birth that will be in a hospital and hopefully low on interventions (my goal is to stave off the meds for as long as I can- if that’s the whole birth, great, if that’s through 6 cm, so be it).

Ours is a good resource for helping us understand the birth process, what happens in the hospital, what different options are for different parts of the process, etc. Our OB could do that too, but the doula has more time and explains in a lot more depth 🙂

There are a few things I want the doula to help us with. She’s already helped us put together a birth plan, and think about lots of things that we wouldn’t have thought of otherwise. I want her to help us get set up and make our hospital room as comfortable and conducive to relaxation as possible. I want her to suggest coping strategies for the pain- whether she’s coaching me through breathing, or suggesting new positions, etc. I’ve also joked that I want her to be “bad cop”- I’ve learned through sports and working out that I am way better able to push through the pain if I have someone yelling at me to just do it, or just do one more rep, etc. and I think I may need that to get through bad contractions or pushing. But I DON’T want that to be my husband- I want to always feel like he is on my side. I want the doula to be the one to say “I know you’re tired, but get up and walk around. Don’t think about it, just do it.”

Post # 8
238 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2008 - St. Catherine of Genoa, Jin Asian Cuisine Restaurant

The girls above me have already told you what a doula is, but I thought it might be helpful to explain a little bit on why we want one. A doula can be hired for any type of birth (even c-sections!), but I think they are most commonly hired for those who would like to try to have a natural birth. 

I’d really like to try to have a natural birth (though I have always said that I reserve the right to change my mind 😉 ). Not to take anything away from my fantastic husband, but I know him. Seeing me go into labor and be in pain will be extremely hard for him, and hospital/blood/medical stuff make him uncomfortable as is (he has already told me he does not and will not cut the umbilical cord). So, while I think he will be extremely supportive of me and will help me through labor, I think that he and I will both be more relaxed to have another (knowledgeable) person to provide birth support.

Post # 9
238 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2008 - St. Catherine of Genoa, Jin Asian Cuisine Restaurant

oh and to add, since I just saw Lozza’s comment… I want my doula to be able to be the “bad cop.” I don’t think my husband is a very good “bad cop” nor do I want him to be one. =) I also know from competitive sports training that I do much better with a “bad cop” also.

Post # 10
631 posts
Busy bee

I’m having a doula for the same reasons as Mrs. Toucan.  I’d like to have a natural birth, but I know that I will waver when I’m in labor and in pain, and I’d like to have someone there to keep me accountable and encourage me to stick with my plan.  I know my husband won’t be the best at that, and frankly, I don’t want him to be the “bad cop” — I’d rather have it be someone else!  She also provides a lot of education and assurance.  She can help you know when to go to the hospital, she knows what’s “normal” during labor, she can help you do relaxation techniques.  For me, it was important to have that female support during labor.  So far I’ve been really pleased with our choice.

Post # 11
2007 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

Would it be accurate to compare them to a wedding DOC?  (This is WB after all!  Wink

They’re not necessary to the experience but they’ve been there before, can help the couple through a life changing event, hopefully minimizing the stress, running interference and helping things run smoothly?

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