(Closed) Looking for opinions, experiences with Doulas, midwives etc…

posted 3 years ago in Pregnancy
Post # 2
Member
1040 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

babym :  I had a doula but wanted one right from the get go. I’m also in Canada. Although I’m also a very independent woman, I was so inexperienced with birth/hospitals/children and my Darling Husband is shy so I really wanted someone who could advocate for me with the medical staff to make sure I was being treated fairly and that the decisions that were made were for the benefit of my baby and me not the timeline of the staff. My doula had quite a few births under her belt.

My daughter’s birth went haywire right from the get go so in the end I barely used my doula. We were immediately put in high risk due to her heart rate dropping with every contraction. It was very early that I was likely going to have to have a c-section. Also due to allergies to pain medication, they recommended I get an epidural to make it easier to administer the spinal in case of emergency. Once I got the epidural there was no need for my doula as she is basically there to help you through the pain through massage and moral support. No pain once I got the epidural!

I also could only have 2 people in the room so I chose my mom and Darling Husband. My doula was there for half an hour maybe. In the end, I didn’t need the doula and it was a bit of a waste of money but you truly never know how labour will go. Had it gone easier, I would have really benefited from her. Her massage techniques were amazing!!

She did visit me in the hospital the next day, helped with breastfeeding and visited me at home too with food! She was much cheaper than $800! That sounds crazy to me.

Post # 4
Member
81 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

 I met with a few different doulas and basically let each of them tell me their philosophies and what they would bring to the birthing experience and let that guide my decision to hire one.  For me what it really came down to is the benefit of having someone else in the room (other than my husband) who I know will advocate for me and help keep me calm and focused.  I know my husband will do his best, but I am not 100% confident he won’t panic if things start to go crazy (and who could blame him!)

I’m in the US so I think our rules are a bit different, but at the hospital where I will be, you can either have a midwife (who has authorization to make medical decisions) OR a doula in addition to your doctor (the doula cannot make medical decisions).  So one thing that was really important to me when I selected my doula was knowing that she understood her boundaries in the delivery room (and also that I understand what she can and can’t do) so that there are no missed expectations on any side.  My doula has delivered at my hospital many times and knows the nurses and other staff, so I have no concerns that she will act totally professional and also provide me the best service.

The doula I chose is very direct, calm, and straightforward – some of them were a little hippy/earthy and that wasn’t what I was looking for.  So I think a lot of it is just personal connection.

As the PP mentioned, the aftercare is a huge bonus, too – my fees include at least two home visits to help with breastfeeding, sleeping tips, etc. We will also meet with her twice before my due date.

It’s a personal decision but I fully expect it to be worth the money, now that I’ve carefully chosen the right person.

Post # 6
Member
2542 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

babym :  Ok – you sound EXACTLY like me. And I’m in Canada too. I can tell you that I was all for the hopsital birth and had no interest in a doula. What we did have was a breastfeeding consultant that came to our house 2x times and showed me how to breastfeed. I HATED it. I hated having somebody in my space all up in my grill when I was at my most vulnerable. I was so glad when she was done and left. And to be perfectly honest I did not gain anything from her services that I couldn’t have figured out on my own. All she did was stress me out and make me feel like my instincts were wrong. She pinched my newborn baby’s feet and put a cold cloth on  him because he fell asleep while feeding. He cried, I cried. It was awful. I was so tense. She layed down in bed with me to show me how to nurse lying down. I did not like that much of a hands on approach. I still get uncomfortable even now thinking back on it! It was a humongous waste of money for us. We had also paid for her on call services during the birth and I found out later that she had completely stressed my husband out because he called her several times from the hospital and she basically got mad at him for me having an epidural. Never again. I like listening to doctors who get in and get out and leave us alone.

Post # 7
Member
1192 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2012

In hindsight I would have liked a doula to have helped my while my husband was parking the car, getting organized, sleeping during labor (I could have killed him), and afterwards when he was sleeping again because he was “tired.”  My husband is very supportive but he doesn’t function on no sleep and can be a bit ADD (inattentive) at times so the focused help would have been nice.

 

Post # 8
Member
2401 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

babym :  Not pregnant yet but I love the book “Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth” It has helped me be a lot less freaked out. I love her birth stories and her advice on labor techniques. I will be going with a midwife through my doctor’s office. And I will probably hire a doula as well. So there is a buffer between me and FI/DH. Just because he often tries to help but is clueless and sometimes it gets on my nerves. I’ve noticed this when I am sick of have a migraine. It’s just him trying to help but when I am not feeling well I like to be given space. 

Post # 9
Member
204 posts
Helper bee

I am glad you brought this topic up! I am also in Canada and I think things are a bit different up here. I know SO many people who have used midwives but my best best friend and 2 other close friends are all nurses and have scared me off of using them with their stories. But I am still interested in having a doula as someone else for moral support and pain management. 

 

My eventual birth “plan” sounds a lot like yours. As in, I won’t have a set plan – I trust medical professionals and want them to do what needs to be done to get us both through the process safely. 

Post # 11
Member
194 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: Backyard

Also in Canada – I don’t have any experience with doulas, but regarding midwives, it depends on which province you are in. Some provinces regulate it, others don’t. I’m in Ontario, so they are regulated here and fully covered by the Ministry of Health, but you have to choose between having a doctor monitor you throughout pregnancy OR a midwife – can’t have both.

I opted to go with a midwife instead of a GP or OB because I found that my GP spent very little time with me in my initial appointment, whereas the midwives seem to be willing to go into far more detail in appointments and don’t make me feel rushed. Also, with an OB, I wouldn’t be guaranteed to get my actual doctor on delivery day – the midwives work in pairs, so I will definitely be getting one or the other during the actual delivery. They also provide aftercare for 6 weeks, including home visits during the first week. I’m still going to be doing a hospital delivery, though, so I still have the option of getting pain meds or an epidural even though I’m with a midwife.

Post # 12
Member
3113 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2016 - Surfer\'s Beach, Grand Cayman

I’m in Ontario, we won’t be using a doula but we do have a team of midwives, instead of an OB. I love it honestly, because they allow you so much more control over the process, they listen to you, go into a lot of detail about how everything works, really explain your test results, you can page them in any kind of emergency or call the office with regular questions, something I’ve never been able to do with a doctor. I’m the kind of person that really needs to know everything, and feel in control so it has been great for me. I feel more in charge of the whole process which I think will translate into birth as well. At the time of birth we will have 2 midwives and are given the option of a student midwife as well who can in some ways do things a doula might, she would be there to learn and help and grab things, keep me relaxed etc but nothing medical. 

Post # 13
Member
79 posts
Worker bee

In the US here, using midwives for care (instead of an OB), and delivering in a hospital (with OB’s on call for back up/emergencies). I’ve been very happy with the care from the midwives. I feel like they really listen to me, want to educate me, and support me through the process. A doula is a support person for both you and your spouse/partner – and are usually on call for you through the pregnancy process and into the early weeks post-partum. Doulas can provide great support (not just pain management), but to be your advocate, to give your partner a break during labor, and to inform you of what’s going on (especially if complications arise). They cannot make a medical decision, but can let you know what’s going on – so you and partner can make a decision WITH the doctors/midwives. My mother was a L&D nurse for years and has acted as our defacto doula, but I would totally consider hiring one to help support me and my husband through our first pregnancy and delivery. But, yes, you have to find the right one with the right approach/philospophy. 

Post # 14
Member
152 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

Not trying to threadjack, but just curious to the Ontario bees – how did you find your doula or midwives? Did you need a referral from you OB or just choose one on your own? And are you paying for their services on top of your regular healthcare or are they your primary provider?

Sorry for the questions, we are just starting TTC and I am clueless!

Post # 15
Member
3113 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2016 - Surfer\'s Beach, Grand Cayman

LeBonbon :  You don’t need a referral for a midwife, you just find a midwifery and contact them, it’s covered by OHIP and they work as your primary provider, unless you end up with complications in which they will refer you to an OB or high risk OB but continue to see you for support as well. Doulas are not covered, you have to pay out of pocket.

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