opinions or stories on labor doulas

Discussion in 'Pregnancy Help' started by twinkletwos, Mar 31, 2015.

  1. twinkletwos

    twinkletwos New Member

    Hi all. This is my first post (besides the roll call). I'm currently 21 weeks with di/di girls and my husband and I are discussing the pros and cons of contracting with a labor doula. I was hoping I could get people to share their stories with me as to why they went with a doula and what their experience was like before I decide for sure. My personal situation is the following:
    • live in the South, all family lives in the Midwest so absolutely no chance they will be able to get here in time for the birth as they all still work 
    • new to the area (less than a year when the twins are due) so not possible to ask for a close area friend to come act as support or advocate at birth as we don't have any
    • I was rushed to hospital several years ago from bleeding internally due to an ectopic pregnancy in fallopian tube 
    • husband's mother passed away from medical malpractice (hemorrhage) shortly after delivering him so it's likely the whole process is going to be traumatic for him regardless of how "easy" my delivery is
    I think my biggest hesitation is paying for a doula and then a situation arises in which she isn't able to be there (emergency c-section?) or isn't able to get there in time for the birth I guess. I'm currently staying at home and will continue to be home once the babies get here so we are on a tight budget as my husband is our sole breadwinner and (I don't really have to point this out on a twins forum) having twins the first time around with no prior baby gear to use is expensive! I think I'm just experiencing analysis paralysis. I would be grateful for any help!! Thanks everyone.  :)
  2. miss_bossy18

    miss_bossy18 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    We hired a doula because our original plan was to birth with midwives. When we found out we were having twins, we decided to switch to OB care and hire a doula as the cost of out-of-pocket midwifery seemed too much at the time (hindsight is that I should have paid whatever was necessary to keep my midwives but that's a story for another day).

    My doula was amazing! She kept me calm and helped me remember that I was in charge of my own body throughout my pregnancy (I had a very difficult, untrusting relationship with my OB), during labor she seemed to read my mind and provide those things I needed most (sips of water, cool cloth while pushing) but that I couldn't express, when my husband had to go with my girls to the NICU after their birth, she stayed with me so I wasn't alone, she helped me with breastfeeding resources after their birth and visited the girls while they were in the NICU, she took photos of the birth and wrote a timeline for a keepsake. I loved her so much I became a doula myself! :)

    A few thoughts:
    - even if your doula isn't able to attend the birth, her support, encouragement, and care during pregnancy is invaluable. Doulas are sometimes able to attend cesarean births - it depends on the hospital, your care provider, and most importantly the anesthetist. If they can't get in the OR with you, they can often meet you as soon as you're in recovery and help with initial breastfeeding. As for a fast labor, that may happen. A good doula will detail in her contract what happens in that situation, as well as what situations would result in a refund, or extra postpartum support hours, etc.
    - a doula isn't a luxury. They improve safety of mothers and babies, reduce the need for instrumental birth (forceps, vacuum, cesarean), reduce the need for pain medication, and improve mother's perceptions of their birth experiences. These effects are most pronounced when the doula is not an employee of the hospital and is not a friend or family member. You can read more on the science of it here: http://evidencebasedbirth.com/the-evidence-for-doulas/
    - there are lots of creative ways to help pay for a doula. Some insurance companies will cover the cost, you can add it to your registry, you can ask your doula if she'll accept a payment plan, or trade or barter for part of her fee. Google how to pay for a doula - there are tons of articles out there! :) And here's a good one on the breakdown of what goes into a doula's fee: http://www.jodithedoula.com/2012/08/19/whats-in-a-fee/

    Let me know if you have any other questions - I'd be happy to answer them.
  3. pretty girl

    pretty girl Well-Known Member

    Have you considered a student doula? I'm meeting with one tomorrow
  4. miss_bossy18

    miss_bossy18 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    A doula working towards her certification or just starting out does sometimes offer a reduced rate, but I would still encourage you to find a way to pay her, at least for her costs. Her work and time are valuable.
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