For today's post I collected an assortment of comments from moms who had doulas.
Amanda, second birth, first time with a doula: I knew I wanted a doula after my first birth did not go as planned As a labor nurse I thought I would be able to handle labor, especially with a very supportive husband. Boy was I wrong. I know I could of had the birth I wanted had I had a doula, so when I got pregnant with my second I had to have a doula! The loving care and support a doula provides is priceless! The encouragement and reassurance through out the whole pregnancy was so important to me and knowing that a knowledgable woman would be at my side to support me and my wishes for the labor I wanted was what my heart, soul and mind needed to have a completely natural birth! Ending my birthing journey with Kim Humble at my side was a perfect ending! I admire all doulas for their dedication and love of the birth process and for giving up time with their families and lives to help empower woman during their birth process.
Wendi, doulas with her second and third babies: Having a doula was the only difference between my first and second birth and wow what a difference it made! The counter pressure on my lower back during contractions was a godsend. It was so helpful physically but also emotionally to have someone there to focus on me. Avary and Evie, doula-assisted births. Avary: 1-03 with Erin Romrell in Clearwater, FL. Evie: 5-11 with Jarynna Chua, Chico, CA.
Jenny, birth with a doula after a loss: Like many people I didn't think I needed a doula. My husband is an excellent helper and I had never had problems with relaxation and delivery. However, after having a stillbirth my very good friend who is a doula gently offered advice that it may be helpful to have someone not as emotionally attached to the experience in the room to help us both. She was so very right about that. We were more anxious than we knew going into our birth experience post stillbirth. Our wonderful doula/friend/sister was there for the both of us to keep us calm and focused. My husband still did most of my support and coaching, but she was there to run interference with hospital staff and convey pertinent information in a calming way from our midwife. It also turned out to be a huge blessing in that our midwife had 5 women delivering at the same time so we had the extra attention we needed at a time when we were both immensely happy and in a bit of mourning that we didn't know we hadn't yet done.
Rebecca, first birth, doula support for birth, and postpartum depression: My doula helped me through post partum depression. She was invaluable during my birth but the support we got later was what kept me from cracking. We had her come in two nights to take the baby and let me sleep after 6 weeks of insomnia. It got me on the right path to recovery and I trusted her more than anyone else to take the baby at night while we slept.
Kari, first baby with a late decision to get a doula: The prenatal support given was invaluable. My doula helped me not only with the obvious stuff like practicing relaxation techniques and different positions, but with building confidence to have the birth I wanted. I went ten days past my "due" date but never questioned my decision to not be induced, as we had talk about the cascade of interventions that often follow. She helped me trust my body and backed me up when my gut instinct told me to switch providers at 37 weeks pregnant.
Our preparation allowed me to labor at home as long as possible, and then my doula advised when to head to the hospital. I'm grateful to have been fully in active labor when admitted, and didn't have any issues with stalling. I attribute this to how safe I felt. While in labor, my memories are mostly touch and hearing, and feeling cocooned by the women present - my doula, midwife, and midwife in training. Birth was a very female centered thing for me. My doula helped me stay centered when I hadn't even notice that my efforts and pushing were less controlled and therefore less productive. I'm happy to have had a non medicated hospital birth, and felt very empowered by the experience. I can't imagine childbirth without a doula! [Kari's doula was Avira Wenn in the Visalia Area.]
Katie, second baby though adoption, first time with a doula: We hired a doula for a pretty unique reason. My husband and I were adopting a baby, so we hired a doula for our son's birth mother. I had gone to her child birth classes with her, and was going to be with her during her labor (though I had never given birth myself). But I knew that once the baby arrived he would be my priority. I had an awful image of this amazing young woman who was giving me the most precious gift going home from the hospital with no one to check up on her, navigating a difficulty time alone. She had some specific desires for how she wished her birth to go, and we needed an advocate who would be there for her before, during and after her birth. One reason we chose an open adoption was because we feel strongly about a birth mother's rights. But we were also realistic; we wanted a baby badly. The emotions surrounding a birth and adoption can change the best laid plans, and it seemed a conflict of interest for me to be her advocate during that time. Our adoption facilitator suggested we hire a doula. I am so happy we did! Thank you, Stacie! I know initially the adoption element was a bit out of your comfort zone, but you were amazing!
♥ four young boys and a boy dog (offspring)