Friday, June 10, 2011

Thinking Ahead- Do I want to hire a Doula?

It's still crazy to think I'm almost half way through this pregnancy. I say crazy, because I know just how fast arrival time can sneak up on you after 2 full term pregnancies! Sure, the last couple weeks might drag but all in all, it really goes by so quickly.

There are a few things I've been mulling over regarding how we might want to proceed come The Big Day. One thing is a trying to determine if we'd like to hire a Doula. ERGOparent Magazine had a nice little post on Inviting a Doula to Your Birth that got me to think about all of this. Don't you just love the internet? I've never had a doula present before. We have been blessed to have our sister in law (an L&D nurse) with us for our previous births. And while I love her to death and we have the same end goal, we still have different ideas in how best to get there!

My husband is on board with how we'd like things to go(under ideal circumstances, of course). But the poor man turns into a deer in headlights when push comes to shove. Pun intended. We tried using Hypnobabies with the last pregnancy and really loved it. It really helped us feel more connected to the pregnancy rather than it just being me alone. It also helped us fall asleep every night in record time! In fact, we will begin going through the program a second time very soon using the Home Study course. However, again, everything we practiced for our son's birth flew out the window when he panicked. Poor guy!(Poor me) He needs almost as much support as I do!

There were also a couple of things that I believe may have gone differently had we a champion of sorts there to speak for us when I was otherwise occupied and my husband stunned speechless. For things like, demanding a wireless fetal monitor so I could walk- along with an IV thingy on wheels. Or at the end, being flipped on my back when I explicitly had noted I did NOT want to birth on my back. Just to have someone there able to keep their head about them for things like that would be really nice. That's where a Doula would hopefully come in. A Doula's purpose isn't to take over the role of the birth partner, but rather to help give a little direction when they don't know what to do to help.

Thinking about giving birth a 3rd time does in some ways scare me. It shouldn't. But it does. I know it's really important to get on top of those fears immediately so as to be better prepared and relaxed at the end. Giving birth is such an interesting mental process. If I can just get myself to a place where I feel safe and relaxed(as one can be while pushing 7+lbs out) then I know all will be well. Having someone experienced, on my same 'birth page' so to speak, would definitely aide that process.

So, I'm mulling. I do that a lot. I'm a muller. A very slow decision maker. But really this one is a no-brainer to me. The only hard part is figuring out which Doula to choose! (Oddly enough, despite our midwife shortage, we have an abundance of Doulas in our area. Go figure.)  I'll be considering how many births they have attended, what their philosophies are, their birth experiences, cost, etc.

And then I'll have to decide. Will let you know how that goes! I'm actually really excited about this. Whew for some rays of sunshine!

If you'd like to learn more about Doulas, please visit DONA International.


Jen said...

We used a midwife so we decided that a doula wasn't required based on the fact that 2 midwives and 1 midwife student would be present. But if we had not used a midwife then I would have hired a doula in a heartbeat!

Good luck with your decision.

Karlily said...

After my first birth with only a midwife and my husband (getting to 6 cm dilated only to end up at the hospital) I have decided for my next birth (whenever that so happens) I am giving myself the well deserved gift of a doula. I have never heard of anyone who had a bad experience with one. Also, through doing my neonatal ICU course, I have come across she has some amazing advice that I'm almost looking forward to using next time around.

cpcable said...

I always highly recommend a doula. We birthed at home with two midwives, one of whom is also a doula, and we had a really amazing experience. I think a doula is especially helpful for hospital births for all of the reasons that you mentioned. Good luck in your decision making and I hope the rest of your pregnancy goes well! :)

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