Anyone Have a Doula?

Updated on February 01, 2008
M.L. asks from Cincinnati, OH
17 answers

anyone have a doula?
how was your experience?
if you didn't have a doula, do you wish you had, or think you will have one next time?

just curious:)

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So What Happened?

my first was a scheduled c-section for a birth defect (hydrocephalus) that made vaginal birth too difficult for the baby, plus he was breech.
my second birth, i tried to VBAC but my plans were railroaded by my nurse midwife, and her back up dr. and i ended up with an unnecessary c-section when they told me that i could VBAC if i wanted, i wish i had a doula to encourage me, but she couldn't have done anything about the dr/midwife...
my third i was switched to a VERY supportive DR. and hired a Doula (i actually had 2 doulas) and i had a beautiful non-medicated hospital birth.
I am currently a doula, and i posted the question because i am curious to know what others opinions/ experiences are. thanks for all of the replys! if i do have a 4th baby i would definatly hire a doula again, and i would also plan a homebirth! :)

Featured Answers

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T.E.

answers from Columbus on

I looooved my doula. She was the only person that really understood what I was going through. The midwives and doctors were in and out - but she stayed with me (documenting my progress) and my husband throughout everything. In my second stage of labor, she could tell that I was 'holding the baby in' and not letting her progress down. She could tell I was afraid of how it felt and was a bit scared. She knew exactly what positions could help and she coached me through it. But, that's what I wanted - someone who could give me lots of options and that's exactly what she did. Her name is Rasa and she is with CHOICE - ###-###-####. I would use her again and again.

T.

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A.T.

answers from Cleveland on

no, I did not have a doula for any of my 4 children.. I wish SO MUCH I had. My sister is a doula and I was able to attend a birth with her at her finest. If all doulas put as much heart in to what they're doing as my sister did I very highly recommend everyone to have one.

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L.D.

answers from Cincinnati on

I used Jamison Bornemann ###-###-####) and was very pleased with her. She'll meet with you as often as you want to during pregnancy to ensure that you feel comfortable with her and that she fully understands your hopes for your birth experience. When I went into labor, she beat me to the hospital, which turned out to be really good b/c my daughter was born only 25 minutes after we got to the hospital and my OB was stuck in traffic. Some would call that a stressful situation, but with the way Jamison managed everything, the word "stressful" is the last word I would use to describe my unmedicated delivery. Our family is now complete, but I told my husband afterwards that I almost want another baby just so we can work with Jamison again. Good luck to you.

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L.F.

answers from Canton on

We had a doula for our third-and last-birth. I would do it all over again with her and wished I would of had her for the other ones! I got to deliver without meds and the help of my husband, sister and her. The best birth!!! I had an epidural with the other two and did not want that again!! I found her online birth and beyond . org and they came down to Canton but are mostly up north-Cleveland/Akron. Do it!! It was money well spent!

N.V.

answers from Columbus on

I had a doula with our first child, and had a very good delivery experience. She did a great job of attempting to alleviate discomfort and support me (though my husband was the biggest support and I couldn't imagine a delivery w/o him!)
Our 2nd child we had with a midwife, in the hospital, and that was the best experience! It was an awesome, unmedicated birth, and went quickly b/c she was able to do things that a Dr. would never try. I'd do it that way again in a heartbeat -- I'd rather 3 deliveries than another pregnancy LOL.

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S.K.

answers from Cincinnati on

We had a doula (for both births) even though I had a trained Bradley-dad husband! We didn't have any other family present, so it was definitely nice to have both of them there. They both played different roles and were both very busy the entire time. Plus, even though my husband could offer the "comforter" role, it was nice to have someone very, very educated in the childbirth/medical aspects that could be our advocate if the docs or nurses started to recommend something that we didn't want to go through with.

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A.P.

answers from Cleveland on

I used a postpartum doula to help with the first few weeks at home. Her name is Mary Bader and she was awesome! I found her online at www.DONA.org and then check her references. She was highly recommended.

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K.I.

answers from Cincinnati on

M.,

I had a doula for both of my deliveries, which were both natural, unmedicated. I highly recommend it for EVERYONE! I found the first through www.dona.com and she was busy becoming a nurse practitioner when I was pregnant with my second baby. The woman she recommended was just as wonderful. If I were to have another, I would definitely contact a doula as soon as I knew I was pregnant.

Best wishes,
K.

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M.W.

answers from Cleveland on

Dear M.,

I have been a Pro. Nanny for over 10 years! When I found out I was pregnant my husband let me hire a doula because we did not want to cause any family problems with who can and cannot come to the birth of our daughter. Our daughter (which is my first child)was born on July 8, 2007... I had a beautiful unmedicated birth!! The Birth of my Daughter was a Dream Come True and it would of never happened if I didn't hire my Doula!! She was Wonderful and I could not of done it with her, my husband, and Midwife. Having a Doula.... I feel is the best childbirthing experience... because she knows how to help you stay on Track to your task at hand!! It's WONDERFUL knowing that there is another Women in the room that knows what you are going through and is there to HELP....you will NEVER be alone as your husband steps out for a coffee break and the nurses and doctors come and go!! I would encourage any women who wants to experience a wonderful birth of their son/daughter to hire a doula! I was able to breastfeed my daughter within the hour:) She is now 6 months old and is a Mommy's Girl!! We have a very special bond and I pray that it will grow into a beauitful friendship when she gets older!! Congrats to you on #3!!

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P.R.

answers from Louisville on

M.,
My dauther had a doula with both of her children. I was there during one of the births and totally wish I had had a doula at the birth of my children (4). Both of my dauthers-in-law also had a doula at the birth of their children. I would have it no other way if I had to make a choice. If you have any questions you could contact my dauther-in-law at her e-mail: [email protected]____.com

P. R.

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J.B.

answers from Columbus on

I did not have a doula the first time around. I asked a friend to help my husband in sticking to the birth wishes. She ended up not showing up AT ALL, and my husband sat in the corner and let the nurses push me around. And he promised he wouldn't do such a thing.

If we had another I would demand that a doula was there. The nurses never tought me how to breast feed, immediately put her on formula, and took her away after I only held her for a few seconds. Now she is almost 4 and we still haven't bonded. So YES GET A DOULA!!!

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T.K.

answers from Columbus on

If you are looking for doulas in Central Ohio, you can check out www.birthworkers.com. They have a listing for all kinds of birth professionals.

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D.R.

answers from Louisville on

Actually, I am a certified doula. I did not have one or know what one was with my first birth which lead me to looking for another doctor that could remember what I requested. Then I heard about doulas! We had one with our second delivery and I loved it! My husband is fantastic with me, but there is something about having another women there to smile at you when you think there is just no way to go on! My third birth was a homebirth and I didn't have a doula because she couldn't make it in time. (My labor was only 1 1/2 hours long). If you want to learn more about doulas, you can visit www.birthcarenetwork.com or come to a FREE event they put on every year called BIRTH IN THE BLUEGRASS, it's opportunity to meet birth professionals and vendors from Louisville and Southern Indiana! Learn about childbirth options. Learn about positive birth experiences! You can meet lots of doulas there and pick there brain!

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M.R.

answers from Cincinnati on

I did not have a doula and I was completely fine with that. I felt there was no need to pay someone to do a job that my husband, mother-in-law, and L&D/postpartum nurses would already be doing.

If I have another child, I will not use a doula then either. I'm not opposed to it; it just seemed like an unnecessary expense in our case.

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D.T.

answers from Lexington on

Hi M.,
I'm fairly biased towards a doula, especially since I am a certified doula through DONA and a childbirth educator. :) Statistically, here are the numbers for women who choose a doula:

~ Cesarean section rate is reduced by 50%.
~ Length of labor is reduced by 25% (an average of 2 hours shorter).
~ Pitocin use is reduced by 40%.
~ Use of forceps in delivery is reduced by 40%.
~ Epidural requests are reduced by 60%.
~ Use of other narcotics for pain relief is reduced by 30%.

A doula offers continuous labor support from the time you call her in labor until after the birth, something that L/D nurses simply cannot offer becuase of staffing issues. Even if you have a completely supportive coach/husband/partner, a doula can be an advocate for you and a source of comfort just in her presence. I've attended some births where the husband was the perfect coach and I felt that I was not needed, but afterwards he was the one that said just being there "in case" gave them great confidence. A doula will do whatever is needed, whether that be to offer emotional and/or physical support and comfort, or offer information in case different situations come up.
Be sure to choose your doula carefully! Since birth is such a personal and amazing experience, it's important to find someone compatible with your personality. Thankfully, we have lots of wonderful options in our area.
I wish you the best and congratulations on your previous VBAC.

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M.S.

answers from Cincinnati on

Hi, My name is M. S and I had a doula with my second baby. It was wonderful and I would definately do it again if I were to have another baby. She came to my home and helped me labor there until we went to the hospital. Then she came with us there and stayed with me until I had the baby. We used the birthing ball and sometimes even water to help make the labor more manageable. I was amazed at the techniques she knew to help my labor progress and to help manage the pain. She was also a great advocate for me when I was in too much pain to express what I needed or wanted. It was wonderful having her there by my side as a coach and source of calm for the entire 22 hour labor! My husband just can't understand. He was supportive, but just didn't know what to do. I would highly recommend a doula to anyone about to have a baby, but especially if you'd like a natural childbirth.
M. S

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L.U.

answers from Cleveland on

I had a doula for the birth of my second child. I did not have one for the birth of my first child -- she was a month early and I had not found a doula yet. She would have come in handy for my first child's birth. For both children the births were natural, unmedicated, and amazing, and in the hospital. The doula I had with my second child was wonderful. She was an RN and that really helped us in getting the birth we wanted. So many times the hospital staff wants you to bend to their wishes and with my doula's support in writing up the birth plan, advocating for us, and communicating with us, the second birth was much more relaxing and less stressful (for my husband, especially). Our doula was also a certified lactation consultant and it was great to have another resource for breastfeeding. I had a difficult time nursing my first baby, but the second one was a natural and it was great to have additional help if I needed it.

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