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Using a Doula for Second Birth After "Going It Alone" the First Time

I am currently pregnant with our second child and looking to make this one a different experience from the first time. While I was able to deliver "all-natural" with our first, I came away from the experience feeling that I had still missed out on something. It seemed rushed, overly monitored and impersonal. The "on-call" doctor at the hospital showed up in the last five minutes, delivered the baby, stitched me up and said good-bye. I am planning to use a mid-wife this time but am wondering if I would benefit from having a doula as well. Has anyone had a similar experience or worked with midwives or doulas after having a more traditional doctor? I would love to hear your stories!


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Thank you all for the wonderful advice and support. I started seeing a midwife at the Eugene Midwife Birth Center and will most likely be delivering there. I REALLY considered having a homebirth, but it made my husband uncomfortable and my family thought I was insane. I plan to keep it on the table for the future. My family can think what they want! Ha. I think I may look into post-partum doulas or other help (as suggested) since we have no family near and no non-working friends. Thanks again for all your wonderful well wishes.

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I sincerely recomend a Doula. I met one and found out after I had my daughter what they do and I wish I had employed her. I didn't even know Doula's existed when I was pregnant.

I never had a doula at my births, but two midwives I absolutely love. Just that in itself is personal, rewarding, fulfilling. I had both my boys at home too. That is really special to me because I love being home. It is the happiest place for me I hope you have a wonderful, fulfilling birth!

I went this way from the beginning because my mom had some horrible hospital experiences and switched to a midwife for 4 out of 7 of us kids.

I used a Doula with my first child. I was a single mother at the time and I wanted more out of the experience. I loved her. It definately made it a very special time. She wrote, record, the birth from start to finish. I have a written transcript of my son's birth that I will charish forever. You will definately have a much positive expereince.

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Hi, A.. I actually had a doula for the birth of both of my children. I hestitated with the second as my having been through it once made me feel like I may not "need" it. But I would not ever go back and change one thing. I absolutely loved my doula and the way she enhance my birth experiences, which were both natural, mostly at home (until 7 and 9 centemeters dialated, then to the hospital). She did much more than just be there for the birth. I talked with her every week, sometimes 3 times a week, the month before their arrivals. She was a mental, emotional and physical support that my husband appreciated, too. I fully recommend having a doula. I hired Debra Sheldon wtih Eastside Doula Care (eastsidedoulacare.com). Good luck!!!

1 mom found this helpful

I had a doula for my first birth, but was in Chicago in a hospital with a midwife. I think everyone in the hospital should have a doula. Mine got a different nurse since the one we had was very annoying. I am pregnant now with my second and plan to have a homebirth so I can guarantee a labor without drugs. I haven't decided yet about a doula but am considering it.

I only have one child but wanted to tell you that I had all the above at the same time: a traditional doctor, and a doula who was also trained as a midwife. I delivered in the hospital and had a fantastic experience and the one thing that I remember throughout was the doula's voice coaching me in a gentle and very supportive way, more than the presence of my mother and my husband!! I think that it was because of having her support that I was able to carry out my wish for a natural birth. The doctor wanted to induce my birth because she was concerned about fetal distress and we compromised because she knew that I did not want to use artificial means. She broke my waters and I don't think I saw her until the moment of delivery and stitching me up. I can't express how grateful I was to have the doula throughout my pregnancy, delivery and she even went and found me some dinner afterwards. She even recorded the whole process for me on paper. So, I am a big fan of doulas. Mine was recommended to me by several friends but I know there are websites for information. I liked the fact that mine was also trained as a midwife.

I highly recommend a mid-wife. I had a mid-wife for both of my births and they were both wonderful experiences. With my second I used Hypnobirthing and WOW, what a difference in pain level. I was totally relaxed and I worked with my labor. I didn't have a Doula, but chose the hypnobirthing as an alternative. The hypnotherapist was willing to be my Doula, as she has for many Moms, but I felt in control enough to not need that. If you are in the Portland area, check out, www.hypnobirthingnorthwest.com. Sharon is wonderful and the class was one of the best things I have ever done for myself (and my son had an awesome, peaceful birth too).

Congratulations on the birth of your next baby! I hope everything goes as well as you would like it to! I didn't have time to read everyone else's reponse but I would just like to say really quickly...
regardless of where you give birth and with whom... make sure you choose/pick a caregiver that you feel that you can trust. The place of the birth isn't so important as the trust issue of those who are attending you. Your baby will come out wherever you feel most safe. Figure out where that place is and with WHOM you feel safest and have that place and those people at your birth. If you feel you would like ot have a doula, interview as many as possible and try to choose based on your comfort level and your level of trust. A good doula will help bring you and your husband closer together and will not usurp your husband's role. A good doula will make him even forget that she was even there! :]
Good luck with your birth and I hope it's as beautiful as you desire!

With love,
Childbirth Educator, Doula

My first birth I had a c-section. If I wanted to have a vaginal birth after c-section (VBAC), I could only deliver at certain hospitals. Because of this, I thought that I could only have a doctor. I hired a Doula. She was great but the doctor was never there. They missed that part of my placenta was attached so I ended up loosing half of my blood volume, needed 4 units of blood and had a dnc. My third birth was the best. I had another natuaral childbirth but this time with a midwife. With the midwife that I had I did not need a doula. The midwife was with me as much as I needed. She was nuturing and strong at the same time. I would recommend a midwife to everyone!

I had a midwife with both of my first two boyz. I will have the same one with the third. I love her . . . but having a doula was THE MOST AMAZING THING!!! What a difference!! I can't even explain it. She was so comforting. And my second birth process was so different from my first. Had she not been there, I don't think I would have made it. I probably would have begged for a c-section. My second was HOURS upon HOURS, 12 LONG hours, longer than my first. I never dialated past 8. She kept calming me, and rubbing me. She made it go by so much faster. I never was able to go to the tub with my first, she got me in there and rubbed my hands. I didn't have candle scents or soothing music. She had all of those with her! I was busy counting breaths, she taught me to moan through the pain. Such a difference, so much more natural! No one massaged my hands or feet, until she did. My second was so much easier with her being there for ME, she was not there for the experience or the baby. She was there for me and only me. That may sound greedy, but it made the whole experience so wonderful through all the pain and trials. While my hubs and Mom were worried about me and the baby and the delivery, she could just focus on me!! Which meant that I could focus on the baby!

I am sorry that your first birth left you with a bad "taste". First off I promise that from a switch to an MD to a midwife you will notice an incrediable differance!The care is always more personal and you feel like there is a relationship/kinship with you midwife. Are you going to a hospital midwife or birthcenter? Personally I prefer birthcenter midwives, the enviroment is more intimate and there is less "red-tape".
As far as a doula goes, it nevers hurts to have a doula no matter what type of birth you plan. They are 100% there for you and your family. I didn't use one for my first but I had a dear friend who stepped up to the plate, she was amazing. We took Bradley with hopes that my hubby would be my primary but it ended up being too much for him. Next time we will probably have a doula.

Best of luck,

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