Doulas? Yes or no?

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-20-2011
Doulas? Yes or no?
Thu, 01-20-2011 - 1:12pm

I replied to Roll Call post, but since that is a bit old I figured I would post my questions here, too, in case it wasn't seen. I only just rejoined iVillage today after almost 4 years away, and I haven't had much time to go look through posts to see what's been posted out there (and there is a new format to the posts that I am unfamiliar with).

First, about me. I am pregnant with my second child, due mid-April. My first pregnancy was a result of 2.5 years of TTC, with fertility treatments galore, ending with a successful IVF. Near the end of the pregnancy, a check-up ultrasound concerned the doctors, because they thought maybe the sutures in the skull were starting to fuse early. So the convinced me to be induced a week early (I REALLY wish I had stuck to my gut-feeling on that one), which I didn't really want to do, because I wanted things to be as natural as possible. I was induced in the morning, already at 2cm, and didn't take too long to get to 6cm, but then sat there for hours and hours. I was starting to lose energy and having spasms with each contraction, and back pain. They convinced me to have an epidural sometime late evening and I was too worn out to think clearly and want to object. I progressed after that point, but then my son's heart rate went up, and stayed up. After an hour of that, they tried to have me push, but then opted for a c-section...again, I was too tired and worn out and they made it seem like my only option. So I ended up with an induction, epidural, and c-section...completely destroying my strong wish to have a natural labor. I always wonder what would have happened if they had let me go into labor naturally, waiting another week or two.

Anyway, this time around, I again want things to be as natural as possible and have opted for VBAC. But obviously I am worried about how this esperience will turn out. It's a different OB practice and hospital, that do VBACs, but they mentioned that I would have to be monitored and so wouldn't have as much freedom as I was hoping...I wouldn't be able to roam the halls, get in the shower, etc. The one OB even made it sound like I might have to stick to the bed itself, if the monitor didn't stay in right, so sitting on a birthing ball might not even be an option. This all worries me, as I know that employing those methods of natural pain-management can delay the desire to want an epidural, and not having them available

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-28-2005
Fri, 01-21-2011 - 12:14pm

I never heard of a Doula until after I was done having babies. I hear they are wonderful though! I have a friend who is a Doula and working on getting her Midwife license. I would have her by my side in a heartbeat!

I hope some of the others will chime in and let you know about their experiences though.

Community Leader
Registered: 07-23-2004
Fri, 01-21-2011 - 10:20pm
Welcome back to ivillage! I'm sorry about your first birth experience. A doula can definitely help you communicate with your ob when you're in labor. There are many doulas who charge based on a sliding fee. When doulas are becoming certified, they have to attend a certain amount of births, and usually, these doulas charge nothing or very little, as they are not yet certified. As for having your dh, sister, mother, etc. aid you in labor, I highly recommend Bradley classes. They are designed to help your dh know how to best help you while you're in labor. Another thought is that while the hospital may say they only allow a set number of people at a time, usually they will abide by the ob's wishes. So if your ob is fine with more people, he can write it in your paperwork. Usually, the hospitals abide by this.
I planned to use a doula, but the hospitals near me decided to charge drs for "allowing" their patients to vbac. So, I decided to go with a m/w. It was a great decision for me. But had I not had a m/w, I would have definitely had a doula.
GL. Let us know whether you decide to get a doula and if so, how your search goes.


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-12-2004
Mon, 01-24-2011 - 8:51pm


I had my first VBAC with no doula, and the second with a doula.