About my logo... I choose five butterflies to represent my five kiddos. They are growing up so fast, some already leaving home and starting new lives and families. Funny how we work so hard to raise them to be independent, and to leave home, then we hate it when we do! They, along with my hubby, have been so supportive of my doula work, and they too share in the joy of my role in birth. My Labor of Love in helping couples through their Labor of Love is often possible because they are home also performing many chores as Labors of Love. Blessings to you and your new butterfly!
My husband/friend/mom will be with me, do I still need a doula?
It is so great that you have someone there for you during this time! I'm sure they feel the same excitement and anxiety as you do! And that is exactly why you DO still need a doula!
When you are uncomfortable, your loved ones will feel like they have to "do" something to take away your pain. A doula can guide them through assisting you with pain management techniques and comfort measures. A doula can also give them a much needed break and give them the confidence that someone will be there while they get a bite to eat or update family members in the waiting room. I've heard many dads say "as soon as I saw her hurting, I forgot everything I'd learned!" The ones who had a doula present were able to stay involved, the ones who didn't, felt frustrated and like they missed out on things because of fear and anxiety.
"... I wasn't sure about having a doula for our third, but as it turns out,
it felt like a much more intimate bond with my wife. Our doula really
worked on bringing us together and helping me tend to my wife
when I was feeling helpless."(B.B.grateful dad)
Here is a great article with more information about the use of a doula and still having the support of your loved ones.
I want a VBAC, can a doula help?
It is important that you first choose an OB who is supportive of your desire. Then be sure you are a good candidate for a safe VBAC. The number one rule for a successful VBAC is patience! Laboring at home as long as possible is very helpful. I've had a VBAC myself, as well as attended several VBAC births. If this is your desire, please discuss it with your Dr. then give me a call! If you're having a difficult time finding a VBAC supportive OB, let me know, I may know some in your area.
I've decided I don't want any pain medication, how will a doula help me safely accomplish this?
If you have decided on a non medicated birth, you will benefit from uninterrupted care from someone who is skilled and confident in their knowledge of labor and delivery. They can help you pace your energy and manage your pain by suggesting different techniques and positions and offering you a variety of support. Nurses cannot stay with you for any length of time, and dads often times feel anxious about their wife's discomfort. A doula will be able to keep you focused on your goals.
I plan on having an epidural, do I still need a doula?
First, read my page of notes from moms. One had 3 attempts at an epidural and all 3 failed. Not only did she not get the medicine, but she had to endure the painful attempts. There have been cases when only one side becomes numb.
Even if you plan on medical pain management, things may not always turn out. I personally experienced a labor that progressed so quickly there was no time for any pain medication. (turns out it wasn't so bad, but the fear was unbelievable and my well meaning husband just kept begging the nurse to "give her something, even a sugar pill to calm her down"... it's funny now but at the time, a calm doula for the both of us would have been great!)
In the rush of things, nurses aren't able to focus on talking through things with you, and dad may be worried or confused. A doula on the other hand, knows whats going on, can explain things to you, calm you and help you manage your pain. She is there to give you uninterrupted support and it's the unexpected times like these that it becomes most important.
If I took a childbirth preparation class, will I still need a doula?
Even If you have attended a childbirth preparation class, and I urge you to do so, when things get intense and move quickly, often times all those tips are forgotten! Labor is an unpredictable experience! It is impossible to be prepared and remember your lessons for every situation.
A doula is experienced and confident. She can guide you in making decisions when options are being offered and she can keep you and dad calm if things begin to move quickly.
One of the most important skills in pain management is to stay ahead of the pain. If a mom is distracted by the flurry of activity she may loose focus and suddenly tune into the pain. A doula can actually keep mom focused and still aware of what's going on around her.
Even in the classes I teach, so much is covered, and there are so many unexpected variables in labor, it's impossible for you to be totally prepared. Once active labor kicks in, a doula is as much a help for dad as mom!
Can a doula tell me how dilated I am or make decisions for me?
As a doula I not perform any exams or give medical treatment or advice. I can suggest topics for you to research and tell you what some of your choices are, and once you have made an informed decision, I will support you and guide you through making those decisions a reality during your labor and birth. Doulas have a fantastic "bag of tricks" and there are non-invasive ways to approximate things like what stage of labor you're in, and even your approximate dilation, and I can guide you on when it might be time to go to the hospital.
May I speak to some of your former clients?
Absolutely! Contact me for information! I will try to connect you with someone who had a similar circumstance to yours.
If you still have questions, feel free tocontact me at no
obligation, I'd love to help you further understand the role
of a doula and how you can benefit from one!