I wanted to give you all some information on having a doula, especially if you’re planning a hospital birth. I think they are really important to have in any birth, but especially if you are going against the grain in a hospital setting (more on that Friday). Kim agreed to an interview for me.
Personally I’ve never used a doula, but we’ve only had home births. If we ever have to transport to a hospital, I do have one who has agreed to meet me there. She knows my wishes for labor and my newborn, and knows her way around both of our hospitals.
Have any of you used a doula? Have any of you wished that you had? Kim can answer any questions you might have in the comments section too.
Can you tell me a little bit about your birth experience and how you decided to become a doula?
What do you do, as a doula, that is different from what is offered in hospital-sponsored childbirth education classes, independent childbirth classes?
What are some important parental decisions that childbirth education classes often skim over?
-The one that comes to mind immediately for me is immunizations. There are definitely two schools of thought on this. When I was pregnant with my daughter, we were quite torn between them. We took our childbirth education through our hospital, and although they addressed the issue, it was mainly to reassure us that their immunizations were safe and they did not believe there was a link to autism. Nobody really told us why we should get our children vaccinated and certainly nobody suggested there may be reasons why not to vaccinate. We had to learn that on our own.
How do doulas help in a home birth setting?
Anything else you’d like to add?
-When it comes down to it, doulas are all about support. Women often believe that between their partner and, say, their mother they will have all the help they need. And that may be true, but labor can often be much different than you’d pictured. Sometimes when labor is long and drawn out, your support can get pretty exhausted. Part of a doula’s job is to relieve them. We make sure they eat, and we can often help to give you the continuous support you need while they get some rest. Also, there are times during labor when your mind may completely change. You may have chosen someone to help because you thought they’d be encouraging but now their presence feels more like a cheerleader at a sporting event than a birth. A doula allows you to focus on the task at hand, rather than family politics.