V.S. asks from Dallas, TX on July 14, 2009
Do I Need a Doula If I Have a Midwife?
I'm pregnant with my first child and due at the end of Octobor. I'm working with two great midwives through the Women's Health Alliance at Baylor in Dallas - Cecily Floyd and Jane Singer. My question is whether or not I need a doula along with a midwife. I was told they'll (one of the midwives) be there the entire labor and delivery, and my husband will be helping to coach me as well, so would a doula just make for too many people in the room? I've heard great things about the help they can offer but just wondering if it's worth the cost. The cost of the doula comes out to 2/3 of what our cost is with insurance for of all my midwife appointments and labor and delivery (given I am able to deliver naturally and there are no needed interventions). I know I can't put a price on a good labor and delivery experience, but I will be staying home after the birth and we're trying to save as much as possible for a new one-income lifestyle. If anyone has any input or experience, I'd love to hear it - those with midwife deliveries with and without the help of a doula. Thanks so much!
E.K. answers from Dallas on July 14, 2009
Jane delivered my third in April 2008 and, while I've never used a doula, I'm fairly certain that Jane offered to do everything a doula would. I had a very short labor and prefer to be left alone when in pain, but it was still comforting to know that Jane had offered to help (massage, cool wash cloths, etc) and that she was there if I needed her. A lot of my friends go to Jane as well and have only good things to say about her and as far as I know none of them have used a doula. Another friend spoke very highly of Cecily too after seeing her for a checkup, although I don't know anyone that's had a baby delivered by Cecily yet (she's been there since May as I'm sure you know!).
Especially if your husband will be involved, it seems like you'd be fine without a doula. Other than personal preference, my guess is that doulas are most helpful when the dad and doctor/midwife aren't willing/able to be labor coaches. Well, and the fact that the dad might be a little more emotional than a doula :) I suppose some of it depends on your husband's personality too.
Good luck and congratulations!
M.L. answers from Provo on July 15, 2009
I just want to say DITTO to everything Jennifer T said.
K.J. answers from Dallas on July 15, 2009
Why don't you let me post your info on the Dallas DOula Network and see if there is a low cost/no cost doula who is needing a certification birth. We hit it off so well when we met I don't think I even mentioned that. You can interview them and I'll bet find one that you like. I think that a doula is helpful even with a midwife. Midwives are great (they delivered mine as you know) but nothing beats having someone whose top priority really is just you.
J.T. answers from Dallas on July 15, 2009
I gave birth at a birth center with a midwife and didn't feel the need for a doula and will give birth at the same place any day now. But, since you're giving birth at a hospital, it may be in your best interest to get a doula. I did not have the opportunity for any intervention, ie. constant fetal monitoring (which can lead to increased interventions cause they get all bent out of shape if the baby's heart rate changes at all), IV's, nurses coming in asking if I want an epidural, etc. A doula can be your advocate to stop nurses from coming in, stop the use of pitocin (which is ironically not FDA approved to increase dilation), will make sure the baby is with you at all times or whatever your birth plan may be. The midwife is there to help you through the delivery (although I think an OB has to catch the baby in a hospital) and your husband is there for support as well, that should be their only jobs. The doula will be your voice when your in a very vulnerable position. If you were not in a hospital then I would say that there would be no need, but with other friends of mine that did/didn't would definitely prefer to have one in a hospital setting. Hope this helps.