Any One Had a Doula During Labor and Delivery?

Updated on October 26, 2011
T.C. asks from Albuquerque, NM
21 answers

I am now almost 13 weeks pregnant and would like to take the natural approach to labor and delivery as I did with my daughter. There is a local doula service group in my area and I have looked into it not only with my first pregnancy but this one as well. My questions is this, being that doula services here cost $600 I want to make sure it is worth it. Has any one opted for a doula and what was their experiences with it?

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So What Happened?

Thank you so much for all the great responses about doulas. I have def. decided to go ahead with a douls and even spoke with my midwife about the advantages. She strongly encouraged me to get one if I can afford it. I have taken the advice from one of the responses and my husband and I will be attending the Student Doula tea this eveving. Student doulas are a very affordable route to take and more in our price range. I also want to mention that a few recommended going through Presbyterian doula service but unfortunantly they are no longer doing doula services as of right now. Thank you so much for everyones responses I really appreciate all the help.

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K.E.

answers from Phoenix on

Yes - do it! My experience with the doula was very positive. My husband had originally been against the idea but he is now a huge supporter of doulas :)

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M.J.

answers from Tucson on

I did not have a Doula for either of my children. I had my Mother, Husband and SIL in the room with me and they were a great team. If I had not had the experiences I had before I gave birth I would have wanted a Doula. Because of my experiences I cant wait to get started on my training to become a Doula.

I was there for the birth of my brothers 1st child at 17 about to turn 18. Then my sisters first at 18 1/2. My nephew when I was 21, my other nephew when I was 24.

I had my 2 children at ages 25 and 27. Then I helped a single friend of mine with the birth of her first. All these have been such wonderful moments in my life and I see the value of having someone there to advocate for you when your husband is in shock, crying, not able to be there. I had my birth plan and my team carried it out with me. Being a Doula I can use my experiences to make someone elses birth just as enjoyable.

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T.N.

answers from Phoenix on

I'm actually T.'s sister (she told me to use her account to respond) I used a doula with the delivery of my 8 month old son, and both my husband and I agree, IT IS THE ONLY WAY TO GO! I intended to have natural childbirth, my goal was to labor at home in whatever way I felt most comfortable (which wound up being in a "pillow nest" in my bed, then in a tub full of warm water, then back in bed for the duration with gentle massaging from my doula and husband). I wasn't going to say that I wouldn't have medical intervention just in case I really felt that I needed it, but it was my strong intention to avoid it. I was able to discuss all of these things with my doula beforehand at our 2 meetings prior to my labor so we would be on the same page. I highly recommend interviewing a few doulas first and making sure they will have several meetings before and a follow up after. That was so beneficial for us to have that extra time to develop our perfect birthing plan and then assess the outcome afterword.

My husband was a bit skeptical of the cost at first (I live in AZ and ours cost $750), but after having the relaxing and reassuring presence of an experienced doula, he tells everyone we talk to about the childbirth experience that it's a MUST. It's cute to see my husband so excited about something that was so important to me, too. He says it made his job so much easier, she took care of everything and directed him so he could just be there for me and assist her. He felt so much more calm and capable with her there. It was also wonderful to have an advocate at the hospital to make sure our birth plan was respected.

From my perspective, I loved having her to help read my body as I labored to encourage me into positions that would be more comfortable. I owe my "perfect" birth story to lots of blessings, and having her to help. She stood up to the nurses for me when they were trying to put IV's in me and tell me that I had to lay on my back until the Dr. got there. My doula helped me out of the bed, into a hot shower and told me (and the nurses) that I could labor however I felt most comfortable. By the time I got to the hospital, I was in LOTS of pain and barely could speak (9 cm). I doubt I would have had the presence of mind or ability to voice my concerns and desires like she did for me. I didn't have any medical interventions (except for external fetal monitoring). No IV's, no pain meds (just pain management through breath, massage, and warm water), no episiotomy (perinial massage instead), in short, the "perfect" labor. Even though I have insurance, I save approx $1000 due to having her, so I made $300 having a doula! I know this response is long, but I LOVED her. Her name is Jessica Wilde for anyone in AZ looking for someone fabulous. She knows her stuff. Email me if you have more questions. [email protected]____.com

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L.W.

answers from Phoenix on

Hi T.,
I tried for a VBAC with my second child, born on Feb. 26th. I was in labor for 28 hours but ended up with a c-section. I have to tell you, my doula was awesome. I am so glad I had her before, during and after my daughter was born. If you are interested, her name is Kimberly and her number is ###-###-####. She is also a massage therapist and includes a massage in her fee. Another wonderful thing is that she writes your birth story out and prints it for you to save. Such a wonderful memory to have!

L.
www.laurawinslowphotography.com

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R.O.

answers from Tucson on

I just had baby #1 in early February and had planned to deliver without pain meds so we hired a Doula and were thrilled while working with her. As it turned out, however, I was a week overdue and had to be induced so ended up with an epidural. It was still great having the doula there with us but I wsn't able to use her to help get me through the pain. Since this is your 2nd baby, I would recommend it if A) you plan to go without meds or B) your hubby isn't the best helper in the delivery room! Good luck and congrats!

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D.J.

answers from Phoenix on

Dear T.,

Whatever the price is, it's WORTH IT!! Doulas make natural birth so much easier for families.

If price is really an issue, there are tons of new doulas out there who are looking to do births for free or for really reduced prices. You can register on the Arizona Birth Network Yahoo! group and then ask for names, and I'm sure you'll get quite a few. Here's one who is currently doing births for free:

http://psalm139-doula-ministry.webs.com/

You can also look at the sidebar on my blog, and there is a large listing of area doulas. You can check them out or contact them to find out if they know of reduced-price or free student doulas.

http://birthingathome.blogspot.com/

For professional doulas, I love all of the following: Rose Day, Nikkie Ausdemere, Michelle Hottya, Sally Stevens and Selena Nelson. You can see all of them and more here:

http://www.azdoulas.com/trainededucatorsanddoulas.html

Blessings!!

p.s. Oh yes, and don't forget that "meet the doula night" that Nurturing Hearts Birth Services is hosting... Here's the information for it:

Host:
Nurturing Hearts Birth services
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Time:
6:00pm - 8:00pm
Location:
Paradise Bakery at Dana Park
Street:
Val Vista and Baseline
City/Town:
Mesa, AZ

Phone:
###-###-####
Email:
[email protected]____.com

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R.N.

answers from Albuquerque on

I had a doula when I had my son. The reason we got a doula was to have an extra support person the delivery room. My husband is terrible around blood, needles anything medical. And we were both terrified he would pass out and I needed a support person, so that's why we got a doula. We didn't really search them out. Presbyterian has a great doula program that we did. Our doula ended up being fantastic. She was super supportive with my husband too, made sure he rested (I was in labor over night). She had great natural pain relieving techniques too, that really helped. I ended up not using any pain killers during delivery.
If we have a second child, we'll definatly get another doula. I thought it was well worth the money.

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C.M.

answers from Phoenix on

We took childbirth classes from a doula, but she did not assist for my delivery, but we loved her. Her name is Nikki Ausdemore ###-###-####.

http://www.azdoulas.com/ is a great resource (Nikki is listed on the doula page). Good luck with your natural birth. Remember the secret is not that childbirth is painful, it is that women are strong enough to do it.

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T.R.

answers from Albuquerque on

I had a doula, and I LOVED HER!!! if we have another i am definately going to have a doula again. My experience was phenominal!! She helped me through each contraction, she played soothing music and lit lavender candles (i was able to choose the scent i wanted, or they will based on the mood...lavender is calming) and she was prepared for any birthing method i might need to help with the labor. She was there from beginning to end. She was also a great help to my husband because he was very nervous and wasn't sure what to do to help me. I would HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend a doula!! Congrats on your new baby!! You are truly blessed!

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S.M.

answers from Albuquerque on

T.,
I had a wonderful doula, Jessica Ortiz y Pino. I have recommended her to others who will not deliver without her. AND she is very reasonably priced. My husband and I could not imagine our delivery experience without her. AND she provides you a narrative of your child's birth as part of her service!
Best of luck and CONGRATULATIONS!
S.

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A.E.

answers from Phoenix on

Hi T.!

I hired a doula for the birth of my most recent child (April 14th) and I was so happy with her. Her name is Kimberly Flake and she was great! I had a home water birth and Kimberly was wonderful. She also incorporates hypnobirthing into her fee, has books and cd's to lend if you would like and is always there for any questions you might have.
I also wanted to tell you about something my midwife just informed me about. There is something called Meet the Doula Night coming up next month. It is perfect for someone that is looking to hire a doula and wanting to interview several at a time. Here is the info in case you are interested:
Nurturing Hearts Birth services
Time:6:00PM Thursday, July 2nd
Location:Paradise Bakery at Dana Park

Good luck and congrats!
Autumn

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A.

answers from Albuquerque on

If you are planning a hospital birth, a doula is a definite asset to help you get the natural birth you desire. First, if the cost is a factor, there is a student doula program here in Abq. The doulas are students and not certified, but it it something to consider:
http://www.inspiredabq.com
They are having a meet the student doulas tea tonight, but you are pretty early on, so waiting would be fine. If you do want an experienced doula, THEY have their teas the second Saturday of each month in the same place.

Here is a discussion post you might be interested in as you make your decision:
http://www.bodymindandspiritabq.com/sf-forum/?forum=13&am...

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S.S.

answers from Phoenix on

I had a doula with the birth of my son and it was such a wonderful experience that I became a doula and childbirth educator. Please let me know if I can help :) www.infantandmother.com

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C.G.

answers from Detroit on

I never could have made through my births without doulas! They made all the difference. Hire one! It doesn't matter how much it costs. I eventually asked myself, "How much money is avoiding a C-Section worth to me?" I decided it was worth the money. I figured that having a doula and midwife were my best protective factors against an unnecessary cesarean. (That said, of course a necessary cesarean is another thing.) We dithered in my first pregnancy, but hired a doula at the very last minute. It was so amazing that I'm a doula myself now.

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A.D.

answers from Phoenix on

I dont understand the purpose of a doula. Isnt your husband supposed to be the one there helping, making you feel better and cheering you on?

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T.W.

answers from Phoenix on

Tiffany,

Good morning and congratulations on your pregnancy! I am a doula here in Phoenix and have been for several years. I am currently not taking clients because of a medical situation I need to get under control. However, I will tell you that I have worked with several women, some paid up to $600 and about half of my clients were volunteer. When I complete my time with the women we spend time talking about the experience as a whole. The good, bad, funny, awesome, etc. I have never had a client tell me that they felt like my time with them was not worth the money. The important thing is to make sure that whoever you hire, you and your husband connect with. It is the familiarity and ease of the relationship that will make it a successful experience for you. If you have not contacted them, I would suggest contacting ADOBE Doulas. They have level doulas like I am that charge $600, but they also have doulas with less experience who charge about $300. It depends on what you want from your doula. I would be happy to talk with you throughout this pregnancy via email so that you can get some of the direction and advice you need, but nothing will replace that feeling of security and freedom to labor that a qualified doula will bring to both you and your husband.

I pray for the best with your pregnancy and your plans for this delivery. Have a blessed day and if you would like to contact me you can reach me at [email protected]____.com

T.

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C.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

I would definitely recommend it! We decided fairly late in the pregnancy to hire Patricia Grube for doula services. From our first meeting with her, we knew she was going to be super helpful in our plan for natural birth. We ended up in the hospital and making choices that varied a little from our original goals, but she was there every step of the way helping us understand our options and guiding us in our decisions. Without her massage and relaxation techniques, it would have been a very different (difficult) experience. We're very grateful!

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E.K.

answers from Flagstaff on

I had a Doula during the birth of my only daughter, River. It cost about $700 (in Portland, OR), and was totally worth it. I had a very long labor, and she took care of me during the last day so my husband could rest. Massaged my neck, fed me ice chips, had aromatherapy for the nausea. During the early stages, she worked on the pressure points to help induce labor, and helped me walk around. I definitely recommend having a Doula if you are going for a hospital birth. That being said....
Having had a pretty positive Hospital birth for the first time around, but realizing how lucky I was to have a doctor who really supported my birth plan, I have come to really want a homebirth with midwives for my next birth. Especially since we no longer live in Portland. I don't trust the hospitals here to support a natural birth. There is a wonderful Midwife group in Flagstaff, as well as a few local midwives in Cornville and Prescott.
My friend just had her baby at home in her large bathtub a few months ago, and it was amazing. Being in her own environment really helped her to relax and focus. Being able to do what she needed to do during labor, whether that was be in the bathtub, on the bed, or by herself, helped her to have the best birth possible. Her midwives were incredibly competent and experienced. I learned a lot about the homebirth vs hospital birth after I had my daughter, and the information is astounding.

Anyways, not that you asked about homebirth's, but if you want as natural as possible, I would recommend hiring a midwife instead of a Doula.
If you are going with the hospital, definitely hire the Doula. She'll help enforce your birth plan and translate what the doctors say into options that you can work with.

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J.T.

answers from Sioux Falls on

I'm all for the doula...and a midwife is fine as well....but if you are having your baby at home, please be certain to discuss the situations that would move you on to a hospital setting/birthing center. Things like a retained placenta with rapid bleeding or multiple irreducible nuchal cords found at at delivery of the head, etc....can throw things into a tail spin and require some quick thinking and extra emergency resources. Have a great delivery!

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B.C.

answers from Phoenix on

I had a wonderful doula who is also a certified prenatal massage therapist and cranial/sacral therapist. You get a little extra for your $600 with her!! She was SO worth it. Even my husband after my delivery told her that she was worth every penny and was really glad she was there (he hates to spend money so that was a very big deal).

I specifically wanted a cranial sacral therapist for my baby after the delivery. It turns out I needed her because my son had to be pulled (very hard) by the head with a suction cup thing. Later, he had some nursing/latch issues that were corrected with the cranial work. She could explain more to you. I'm also a massage therapist so all of this was just as important to me as having her amazing support.

Her name is Ginny Bolman and her number is ###-###-#### or ###-###-####. If you hire her, tell her B. said hello and that Grant just turned one!
Best of Luck,
Get a doula!
B.

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E.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

Patricia Grube! Nominated for the Best Doula of the Year and the Most Inspiring Doula!! Love her approach to birth. Really empowering to women!
She assists many women in homebirth and hospital birth, but above all she guides women into natural birth even if they had c-section before. Check her website: www.serenitybirth.com.
Love,
E.

Updated

Patricia Grube! Nominated for the Best Doula of the Year and the Most Inspiring Doula!! Love her approach to birth. Really empowering to women!
She assists many women in homebirth and hospital birth, but above all she guides women into natural birth even if they had c-section before. Check her website: www.serenitybirth.com.
Love,
E.

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