Post # 1
So DH and I have decided to jump on the bandwagon and hire a doula to help us through labor. We are planning a natural birth (if possible) but at one of the swankiest hospitals in the city with a doctor. So it’s really a middle of the road approach we are taking.
Anyway, the things I am looking for are (1) labor support/knowledge during the actual event (plus whatever that lower back massage thing is that they do); (2) 1-2 pre-labor meetings to discuss questions/strategies and get to know each other; (3) someone to call when I freak out about things (my doctor’s office is NOT good for this unfortunately) and (4) maybe one post-partum visit.
Have any of you ladies hired doulas? Worth it? Good stories? Bad stories? And, perhaps most importantly, any suggestions of questions to ask when talking to these women?
*I’ve added a poll because I like polls, and I suspect that I’m not alone – but if you have thoughts please share below*
Post # 3
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
I think hiring a doula is a great idea! I will be the first to tell you I want an epidural when I give birth but I still think having a doula is an important part of the labor process because she is there to support you before, during, and after labor. They tend to have better outcomes regarding moms who want a natural birth. Plus, they can advocate for you in the event the doctor is trying to suggest a procedure like an epesiotomy when you may just need a little more time in labor. Even better many offer post partum services like assistance with breastfeeding and new mom support.
Doulas remind me of the wise women of tribes. Usually they are older women who have already had children and assist with birthing the next generation. They are there to calm your fears and remind you that you are designed to go through labor and delivery.
Post # 4
I’m seriously considering hiring a doula since I’d like to try for a natural birth. I’m interested to hear responses from bees who had one! 🙂
Post # 5
I don’t think I will unless my insurance has a provision for it (I might have to switch insurance half way through :/ and I think my new insurance might). I do think it sounds like a good idea. I am ging to take Bradley classes with DH, so I am hoping he can be trained to help me through it (I *hope*/ plan to go natural as well, but we will be at the best hospital/ birthing center in town with an OB).
Post # 6
I was going to hire a doula. We met with one, but didn’t like her contact ($600, non-refundable fee, which covered a prenatal and postnatal visit and being present at the delivery; but if she couldn’t make it to the delivery, there was NO REFUND!) We never got around to interviewing any other doulas.
My labor went so quick, I think I would have been disappointed I paid for a doula if I had one.
My DH did a great job of “coaching” from what we learned in our Bradley classes.
Post # 7
I think it is a great idea! My mom was as labor & delievery nurse for a long time or I’d be hiring one too. I think that epecially with first time moms and dads, it’s great to have an advocate in the room and during the process.
Post # 8
We took Bradley and were trying to to have a natural water birth. Unfortunately my labor stalled and after 48 hours we decided on an epidural. In hindsight we wish we would’ve had a doula because we feel like she could’ve helped get my labor out of stalling.
I would take a Bradley Class. It educates the husband to be the helper and if you feel like you still need more support, get a doula. Go to bradleybirth.com and you can find instructors near you. Most are run by doulas and you can either hire her or she can recommend someone to you. (if you in atlanta look for anette culp.. she’s great!)
Post # 9
- Wedding: September 2011 - Clark Gardens
We just hired a doula for when our baby is due (which is next month!). Her services include all of the things you mentioned, plus she does newborn photography as soon as the baby arrives 🙂
Post # 10
If you skim my birth story, YES I wish I’d have a doula now looking back. I kind of feel like most people don’t need one, I thought I was one of them, but I really could have used an advocate to get my horrible nurses out of my face, a comforting presence when I was at my most vulnerable/afraid.
Post # 11
Thanks for all the thoughts/advice so far ladies!! Keep ’em coming. I didn’t know anything about doulas until my friends had their baby last year and they gushed about how wonderful their experience was.
My mom’s labors with my and my brother were both super short (3 and 4 hours respectively), but even if that ends up being the case with me, I just think I will be calmer knowing that I have an advocate for natural birth around. Plus one of the BIG important pieces of this for me, is being able to call up and ask stupid questions and just having someone who spends more than 10 minutes with me (I love my doc but docs are BUSY).
And in the off chance that labor is long, well, I think I will be grateful for the doula (but DH possibly more so).
Post # 12
- Wedding: January 2012 - Wynn Las Vegas/Bouchon Bistro
We hired a doula. Ours is pretty darn expensive, but we wanted someone with a great reputation and a lot of experience. Our midwife group highly recommended her — saying that we couldn’t have chosen anyone better! She does unlimited phone/email contact, 2 prenatal visits, labor assistance at home and in the hospital, breastfeeding support, and a postnatal visit. She takes photos of the birth and gives us the card afterwards. She also sent us a birthing ball and a relaxation/hypnosis cd.
If our doula cannot make it to our birth (emergency, illness, etc) she has four back-ups, all of whom are equally awesome
Post # 13
If I do get pregnant once we start TTC I would have a Doula. I didn’t know much about them but had one on my dragon boat team a few years ago. I had been talking about a pregnant friends worries and she gave me some tips to tell my friend.
We got talking and she told me all sorts of wonderful things about hormones and chemicals and how to encourage labour just through interaction with DH etc. and everything she said made so much sense. She was just so calming and lovely that I promised myself if I ever got pregnant I would hire her or one of her colleagues.
She also has a pool of doulas that can cover if they can’t make it to the birth and they try to meet you prior so you aren’t dealing a stranger at the most important time.
Post # 14
There is no option for me on your poll:(
I am already a mom and did not hire a doula. I had no pain meds with #1 with Pitocin, and epidural at 10 cm with #2, and am pregnant with #3. I don’t think for me personally they are neccesary.
Post # 15
We are in the process of hiring a doula (first meeting is scheduled for next week).
I am really hoping to get into one of the midwifery practices in my area, but I am on the waiting list for all of them, despite having called the day of my BFP when I was only 3w6d pregnant! So I am hiring a doula knowing that I may have to be under an OB’s care instead of that of a midwife and, in that situation, I absolutely want labour support and an advocate. And if I do end up getting in with the midwives, then they are absolutely supportive of working witha doula.
Post # 16
I didn’t hire one but I will definitely do it the next time around!
Our DD was born in an NHS hospital in England and the midwives sit in your room the whole time and basically act as a doula. I loved the experience. 🙂 I had the same midwife for my entire active labor.
Our next baby will be born in the US and I will be hiring a doula to act in that capacity. 🙂