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Old 05-31-2011, 12:45 AM   #1
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Would anybody ever use a doula when they are planning a medicated birth?

I am thinking of doing my doula cert. I was just wondering about this today, if somebody knows beforehand they are definitely going to get an epidural and have a completely medicated hospital birth, would they still hire a doula? I only ever hear of doulas for when a woman is trying to achieve a natural birth, but I know that doulas are trained to deal with a variety of birth situations.

Also, is there ever a problem when a woman initially wants to go natural but then changes her mind during labor? I mean, how do you know as a doula when it is time to stop trying to assist somebody achieve natural when they have changed their mind... because i know many women get to a point when they say 'I can't do this'. How do you know when you should stop trying to tell them they can, and try to support their wish for pain relief?

Anybody who is a doula, please feel free to give me any stories, anecdotes or advice and let me know how you like the job!

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Old 05-31-2011, 12:51 AM   #2
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Re: Would anybody ever use a doula when they are planning a medicated birth?

Great question. I wanted a doula for my medicated hospital birth. I just wanted someone to help me, if I needed an advocate. My professor (of women's studies) actually introduced me to the idea and sad she wanted a doula for her next hospital birth. I actually wasn't sure whether I would get meds, but I'm not opposed to them. I wanted to wait until I was actually in labor, because I know things don't always go as planned.

Well...the doulas I met with wanted me to go with THEIR plans - no meds, all natural, etc. Even though it wasn't what I wanted. I figured I would end up fighting the doula more than my doctor, so why bother? If she wasn't going to be an advocate of MY choice for MY body, then why pay her to argue with me?

Eta: I'm just a mom, not a doula, but thought the insight might be helpful.

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Old 05-31-2011, 01:15 AM   #3
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Re: Would anybody ever use a doula when they are planning a medicated birth?

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Originally Posted by *Peanut* View Post
Great question. I wanted a doula for my medicated hospital birth. I just wanted someone to help me, if I needed an advocate. My professor (of women's studies) actually introduced me to the idea and sad she wanted a doula for her next hospital birth. I actually wasn't sure whether I would get meds, but I'm not opposed to them. I wanted to wait until I was actually in labor, because I know things don't always go as planned.

Well...the doulas I met with wanted me to go with THEIR plans - no meds, all natural, etc. Even though it wasn't what I wanted. I figured I would end up fighting the doula more than my doctor, so why bother? If she wasn't going to be an advocate of MY choice for MY body, then why pay her to argue with me?

Eta: I'm just a mom, not a doula, but thought the insight might be helpful.
No, that's really helpful, thanks!

I am all for informed choices, and I believe that mothers should weigh up the risks vs benefits for whatever birth they choose, and then not be made to feel bad about those decisions!

I was in this situation a couple of months ago... I assisted a friend during labor with her second baby. Her first was an induced with epidural (also preemie so it was a more complicated situation), but this time since she wasn't induced she knew beforehand she wanted to at least try natural, since she might be able to handle the pain better this time. In the end, she did get a natural birth and probably only because i was there early on telling her she could do it. However at some point during labor she became pretty hysterical, and afterwards she said had she known how bad it was going to be, she would have never tried to go natural. Of course by the time she was in serious pain it was far too late for an epidural anyway, but she did say she wished she had just gotten it earlier. I am still not sure how to feel about this, I am pro-natural and I did whatever I could to try help her achieve that, since those were her expressed wishes beforehand. However, I wouldn't want somebody to feel like they had a terrible labor and birth! I think overall she was still proud of herself for doing it, but at the same time she says she would never do it again. So I still wonder if I was a little too pushy early on, only because i was trying to be encouraging. She also said she didn't want to 'let me down', but seriously it should NOT have been about my wishes or ideals!
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Old 05-31-2011, 01:23 AM   #4
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Re: Would anybody ever use a doula when they are planning a medicated birth?

interesting question! I'm not a doula, but this time I will have one present. She is my friend and she has attended 9 births as a "doula" and is thinking about getting her actual certification. This birth will be her first non hospital birth, so I know she has attended hospital births and I think she even had two that ended up being medicated. She is totally all for whatever I need and I want, she is even going to have a sit down with my husband so she knows what HE needs and wants from her, I think that is what it is really about. A doula in the literal translation means woman servant, and that is what she is trying to achieve. I don't see why someone wouldn't hire a doula for a medicated birth, but I also think that everyone involved should be making informed decisions. I let them induce me with my second and it has had horrible side effects for both me and baby that are still present a year later, I wish I had been more informed about my decision as I may have just opted to be monitored at the hospital instead of induced early.
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Old 05-31-2011, 01:35 AM   #5
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Re: Would anybody ever use a doula when they are planning a medicated birth?

Don't beat yourself up (even though I know you will)!

Well, what if she had gotten an epidural and it caused her major nerve damage and pain for the rest of her life? Would that be your fault because you didn't encourage her enough? No one knows how things will go and which plan of action will be better in all cases. I'm not a psychic, are you? we can only make a guess as to how things will go. Even doctors can only guess. You did your best. I'm sorry it turned out the way it did.

My teacher wanted a doula because during her first hospital birth, she as pushing and pushing and the baby wasn't coming out. The doctor said, "either you push that baby out in 10 min, or I'm taking it out." well, that scared the crap out of her and she pushed as hard as she could. She was in stir ups, and since she pushed down so hard on the metal stir ups, she severed a nerve in her leg!

She couldn't walk or drive or move her leg below the knee for 2 months!! She said she was upset about the stir ups, and that they were for the doctors convenience, not hers. She said she wished she had a doula there to support her and be her advocate, and maybe she wouldn't have had the experience she did.

My obgyn was great. however, I'm really afraid of giving birth here (if I got pregnant again) and would consider a doula in the future, even for hospital medicated birth. My sis was treated so poorly, was yelled at by the nurses, wasn't given her meds on time (because they were "only" pain meds and you don't NEED them... Even though she was prescribed them and the rx said every 4 hours, they gave it to her every 8 or so). I don't want that to happen to me. I don't want to be recovering and in pain and then have to argue with the "gate keeper" who has a power trip. KWIM? Also, doulas know more than me, so if a nurse tells me that I don't know what I'm talking about, she can't say that to my doula. .

Omg - my sister argued with one nurse and that was the nurse that wit held her meds. THEN she put my sister's son's baby clothes in a supply drawer behind a bunch of trash! my sister tore that room apart looking for his outfit and almost cried when she found it behind trash in a drawer.

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No, that's really helpful, thanks!

I am all for informed choices, and I believe that mothers should weigh up the risks vs benefits for whatever birth they choose, and then not be made to feel bad about those decisions!

I was in this situation a couple of months ago... I assisted a friend during labor with her second baby. Her first was an induced with epidural (also preemie so it was a more complicated situation), but this time since she wasn't induced she knew beforehand she wanted to at least try natural, since she might be able to handle the pain better this time. In the end, she did get a natural birth and probably only because i was there early on telling her she could do it. However at some point during labor she became pretty hysterical, and afterwards she said had she known how bad it was going to be, she would have never tried to go natural. Of course by the time she was in serious pain it was far too late for an epidural anyway, but she did say she wished she had just gotten it earlier. I am still not sure how to feel about this, I am pro-natural and I did whatever I could to try help her achieve that, since those were her expressed wishes beforehand. However, I wouldn't want somebody to feel like they had a terrible labor and birth! I think overall she was still proud of herself for doing it, but at the same time she says she would never do it again. So I still wonder if I was a little too pushy early on, only because i was trying to be encouraging. She also said she didn't want to 'let me down', but seriously it should NOT have been about my wishes or ideals!
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Old 05-31-2011, 02:31 AM   #6
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Re: Would anybody ever use a doula when they are planning a medicated birth?

It's ok, seriously our friendship is completely intact and part of the reason she had me there was because she knew I had done it, and she knew I would support her trying to do it naturally, so she expected that I would be a little more pushy in that direction. Although I would have been completely supportive of whatever she chose, she also kind of wanted somebody who would help her to do it naturally, so she is fine with it. She also knows that when it did get really bad it was too late anyway, and even her obstetrician said that afterwards. Also she said some things she was happier about, like a quicker recovery afterwards and no catheter, being able to get up right away etc. So all in all, it's not completely bad! She did want to do it naturally and felt like it was an experience she wanted to go through, but after all was said and done for her the pain wasn't worth it!
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Old 05-31-2011, 02:32 AM   #7
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Re: Would anybody ever use a doula when they are planning a medicated birth?

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Last edited by jeebee; 05-31-2011 at 02:34 AM.
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Old 05-31-2011, 02:39 AM   #8
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Re: Would anybody ever use a doula when they are planning a medicated birth?

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Originally Posted by MeCo7707 View Post
interesting question! I'm not a doula, but this time I will have one present. She is my friend and she has attended 9 births as a "doula" and is thinking about getting her actual certification. This birth will be her first non hospital birth, so I know she has attended hospital births and I think she even had two that ended up being medicated. She is totally all for whatever I need and I want, she is even going to have a sit down with my husband so she knows what HE needs and wants from her, I think that is what it is really about. A doula in the literal translation means woman servant, and that is what she is trying to achieve. I don't see why someone wouldn't hire a doula for a medicated birth, but I also think that everyone involved should be making informed decisions. I let them induce me with my second and it has had horrible side effects for both me and baby that are still present a year later, I wish I had been more informed about my decision as I may have just opted to be monitored at the hospital instead of induced early.
Thanks for your insight. Yeah I think for me if I do end up doing this that will be part of my philosophy, really to help educate women about the pros and cons of everything that could or will happen during the birth, I know that for my first I wasn't exactly prepared for everything, although things went great because I had a good midwife, so I got lucky there. Looking back though there are some things I wish I could have done differently, but I really wasn't informed about all the risks of things, and I guess things turned out fine regardless, but I now realise it could have not been as good as it was!
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Old 05-31-2011, 02:48 AM   #9
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The woman who did my doula training was a huge advocate for doulas in hospital and medicated births. Many times when a woman gets an epidural, everyone goes from physically very close to her, to farther away. It leads to an isolated feeling. Mothers also have a harder time interacting with their labor, and doulas can give women suggestions for interacting with labor with an epidural.

Personally for me, being a doula is about the satisfaction of the parents. It's about informed choices and consent. My beliefs, wants, opinions etc don't matter. I want for the parents and mother what they want for themselves, a doulas job is to help that happen, whatever it may be.

Peanut- you can interview me anytime to be your doula!
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Old 05-31-2011, 02:51 AM   #10
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Re: Would anybody ever use a doula when they are planning a medicated birth?

Quote:
Originally Posted by EricaLynn View Post
The woman who did my doula training was a huge advocate for doulas in hospital and medicated births. Many times when a woman gets an epidural, everyone goes from physically very close to her, to farther away. It leads to an isolated feeling. Mothers also have a harder time interacting with their labor, and doulas can give women suggestions for interacting with labor with an epidural.

Personally for me, being a doula is about the satisfaction of the parents. It's about informed choices and consent. My beliefs, wants, opinions etc don't matter. I want for the parents and mother what they want for themselves, a doulas job is to help that happen, whatever it may be.

Peanut- you can interview me anytime to be your doula!
I never thought of using a midwife, but often thought about using a doula.

Eta: before an epidural is when you want to be far away from me.

Last edited by *Peanut*; 05-31-2011 at 02:52 AM.
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