Friday, December 18, 2009

I need advice!

I don't have time to do a long post on this but I am having a lot of trouble finding a doula.

Right now I'm talking to a brand new doula and I'm worried that she's the only person I will find with availability.

She has never given birth herself and has only attended one labor during her doula training... but has read EVERY BOOK! (note the thick sarcasm at the end there)

We got disconnected last night and we never got to her fee or anything. I imagine she will ask ~$300.

The whole point of getting a doula for me was to have someone there that knew what they were doing, and had experience, and could provide reassurance. I worry that hiring her will be not helpful, or a waste, or maybe even annoying. The labor process is scary to me, I was hoping this would help to take some of the fear out of it.

But it may come down to her or nothing! Is it better to have a potentially useless doula over nothing?

And I'm really down a creek without a paddle here. I have no female relatives or friends that I would want or trust to fill this role for me. I feel really alone.

Anyone got an opinion? What would you do?


Celia said...

Hmmm. Well, if you are in a hospital then you need her for reassurance and to keep the hospital from doing stuff you don't want. Like an epiesotomy however you spell it.

If you feel comfortable with her, and think she can fill that roll, then good. If not, save the 300.

Do you think she would help or hinder you? it is not like a home birth where she would NEED to be very experienced. You are gonna have to go with your gut feeling.

Amanda said...

I have the advantage here of Dr. McSoothy, who is a former birth center dr and doesn't do unnecessary intervention like episiotomies. And the hospital is really small town and good with alternative birthing thanks to all the Amish and Mennonites around. But I do want to labor in home for as long as possible and that's where I need a good doula.

I think I have a few more leads to check out now... but a lot of the local doulas are pregnant or have young children and that's part of the problem.

Sophie A. said...

This is tough. I say go for what makes you feel the most comfortable, but I'm not sure if that helps :/. When I think of a doula, I think of someone who's had a few kids herself so she can relate to the pain, but at the same time, it'd be nice to have a female around you can that, I say maybe meet her in person and see how she is. If you all click and you feel comfortable, go with that.

Good luck! :)

missing_one said...

I think the most important thing for a doula is to be there for support. To hold your legs up as you push, to rub your back during contractions, to encourage you when you want to die. To tell you, "you can do it", when you've given up. If you think she can do these things, I don't think it matters she's never done it before. You need a friend who is a voice of calm and reason and who will be your advocate to get things done if the nurses/doctor aren't listening to you, someone to put cold compresses on your forehead, or give you ice chips to crunch on.

I think having someone there is much better than having no one there. Especially someone you can trust seeing all your nether regions and whatnot.

Hillary said...

I obviously have no real idea, but if I were you I would probably continue to call around for a few more days to see if you can find somebody with more experience. If not - maybe she would help like pp described. Good luck!!

Michelle said...

I would say if you are not 100% comfortable with her, than to risk it without one.
I must have really lucked out because the nurses I had when I was in labor were awesome. They were very supportive and stuck around because I didn't have good support with just my mom and husband. I also had a midwife and she stayed in the room a lot too....
Maybe talk to the dr next appt about your concerns and see what the nursing staff is like as well. A good support systems is definitely important though and I hope you're able to find a good situation for you!

Momma Z said...

Have you tried Dona? Here's the website. My doula had been to 12-13 births before mine but I didn't find her very helpful, it might have been because I was screaming. My son was early and we didn't have the meeting about what to do during labor. Good luck

Anonymous said...

Keep looking for a bit. I thought I had no options when the one doula I had managed to find in town was a bit hedgy about being available at Christmas time (she never ended up getting back to me).

Then I happened to find out that two nurses at my new doctor's office work as doulas, and the one I went with is great. She's had 5 kids of her own, used to work in labor and delivery and has worked with my OB for 8 years now. She charges $500, and I think it's money very well spent. I also have no female relatives or friends close by, and I wanted support for both me and S.

Doulas don't seem to advertise their services very well, so I think it's tricky to find them. Mine doesn't have a website, nor is she listed on DONA, and I just happened to luck out finding her.

Could you call around to different OB offices or midwives to get some names? Or maybe call the hospital you will deliver at and ask a nurse there if they know of any experienced doulas that have helped patients there.

Worst case, if you can't find anyone else, I would go with the inexperienced one, as long as she doesn't annoy the crap out of you. I agree that some support is better than none.