(click link to read the entire interview on birthzang.co.uk)
I got asked today whether I support women who already have a birth partner, usually their life partner, and yes I do. I think being a doula supporting almost 100 births, I must have done maybe five where there wasn’t also a birth partner present.
These were special because my birth doula role merged somewhat with the birth partner role and it was just me and the birthing woman, journeying towards welcoming her baby and just us in the birth room (with a midwife also).
But most of the time, my role as a doula is ‘space-holder’. I hold space for the couple.
That means I create space for people to explore their thoughts, feelings, options around birth and then when we get to the birth I hold that space allowing them to do their thing – the birthing woman in her birthing power birthing her baby or babies, and the birth partner doing their vital partnering thing of being totally present in each moment with her, usually in absolute awe of her strength and perseverance. I support ‘them’ to have a positive birth experience.”
Click link above to read this great interview with doula Lisa Ramsey on what a doula “does”…
I spent all of my 30 hours of early labor at home, and most of my six hours of active labor there as well. I continued to delay calling my doula, not knowing how much longer I would be laboring, and certain that I needed that “tool” in my tool belt to realize my goal of an unmedicated, birth center birth. My doula met us at the birth center, and two and a half hours later my daughter was born in the water and placed on my chest.
Now, I won’t break it down for you (though my husband might) what it cost us per hour to have doula support for my final 2.5 hours, but what I will tell you:
It was worth every single penny.
(click link above to read article)
Doulas, a Growing Force in Maternity Culture, Seek Greater Acceptance
(click to read this interesting article in the New York Times online)
PC: Michael Appleton for the NY Times
“There is a popular misconception that a doula, someone who provides professional labor support, is only useful for women who are planning an unmedicated or natural childbirth. As a long time doula, I can tell you that nothing is further from the truth.” (click link to read on pregnancy.about.com)
#4 Get a Damn Doula
Have you ever cut your hair yourself? It might turn out okay, but then you get it done at the salon with the hypnotizing head massage and the mysterious, magical products and the blow-out-you-can-never-replicate and you realize, yeah, that was better with professionals. That’s kind of what doulas are to birth. (click link to read a great post on improvingbirth.org)
Do You Doula?
Leza Besemann first heard of doulas—women whose job is to provide continuous emotional support during labor, but who are not medical nurses—at a natural childbirthing class in the early 2000s, when she was 30 and preparing to have her first baby. “As soon as my husband and I heard about the role of doulas, we knew it was something we wanted to do,” Besemann said. She has since given birth to four children with the help of a doula, whom she says is “like a member of the family.” (click to read on The Daily Beast website)
The numbers of inductions of labor using artificial means like Pitocin and other medications has gone up dramatically in the last few years. A hospital in my area says that 90 of the women have their labors induced. Since science shows us that inducing labor can increase the numbers of complications in the labor and with the baby, you might be surprised to note that many of the inductions are not for medical reasons, but rather reasons of convenience, practitioner or mother, known as social induction.
One of the things that women tell me is that they are lead to believe that induction is completely safe and relatively easy, after all, Pitocin is just another form of the body’s own oxytocin, right? (click to read…good info!)