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Thread: Birth support

  1. #1

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    Default Birth support

    I have been reading a lot about your support person and am becoming a little bit concerned that it seems necessary to have a birth attendant with you. I have always thought it would just be myself and my husband..but now I feel like I am misinformed about needing to have someone else there who is on "our side" (ie is not the rostered doctor or midwife). I am going to a private hospital and am really happy with my doctor and I know my husband will be supportive...isnt that all I need?! What does everyone else think?
    I may be 20 weeks but it's a lot to think about!!


  2. #2

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    It's not compulsary! All I want with me is a midwife or 2, but I know I'll have to let DH be there as well; I would hate to pay someone to see me in that state!

  3. #3

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    It's not compulsory at all. However more and more women are using them these days to advocate their choices for birth (especially in such a high intervention period), if their partner wants extra support or doesn't want to be hands on and for lots of other reasons, check out the Birth Support page for more info. What state are you in? Choices for Childbirth runs in Melbourne and has a session on Supporting Your Partner (for men) and also some info on Birth Attendants.

    Many women I support come to me with not long to go in their pregnancy when they start to think about crunch time and realise they want more support.
    Last edited by BellyBelly; July 11th, 2006 at 08:33 PM.
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children
    Author of Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know
    Follow me in 2015 as I go Around The World + Kids!
    Forever grateful to my incredible Mod Team and many wonderful members who have been so supportive since 2003.

  4. #4

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    Just thought I would add something from the Cochrane Library:

    The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2006 Issue 2
    Copyright 2006 The Cochrane Collaboration. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

    Continuous support for women during childbirth
    Hodnett ED, Gates S, Hofmeyr G J, Sakala C

    Plain language summary

    Continuous labour support reduces a woman's likelihood of having pain medication, increases her satisfaction and chances for 'spontaneous' birth, and has no known risks
    Supportive care during labour may involve emotional support, information, and comfort measures. Such care may enhance normal labour processes and thus reduce the need for obstetric intervention. Women who received continuous labour support were less likely to use pain medications and were more likely to be satisfied and to give birth 'spontaneously' (with neither caesarean nor vacuum nor forceps). In general, labour support was more effective when it was provided by women who were not part of the hospital staff.
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children
    Author of Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know
    Follow me in 2015 as I go Around The World + Kids!
    Forever grateful to my incredible Mod Team and many wonderful members who have been so supportive since 2003.

  5. #5

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    My DH was all I needed He knew exactly how I wanted things, and we had discussed pain relief etc together, and he was my spokesman with the midwife if I was too busy breathing through contractions!

    If you're happy with who you already plan to have around you, then that's probably all you need Definitely get DH educated on everything tho so he understands and knows exactly what you'll be going through, and also so that you'll trust that he's going to do what you need him to do when it comes to the crunch.

    All the best for the rest of your pregnancy

  6. #6

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    I had only DH when I had No # 1 and he was great, but not the best support person. With #2 I was induced and had a very close girlfriend as well as DH. I personally found the early stages of my second labour to be far more enjoyable as the atmosphere in the room was happy and relaxed. I actually relied more on her through the whole delivery than my DH. She also took photos for us of Cooper actually being born.

    I think it is very dependent on you and your DH. It is a very important time in your life and it is entirely different for everyone. Most couples I know have just DH and are really happy with that. I chose to have someone else there for me as a bit of distraction, I had full confidence in my OB, so I was not concerned about what I wanted as he was fully aware that I did not want an epidural etc.

    Goodluck with your bubba!

  7. #7

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    I had just DP there with me in my labour, and he just wasn't able to support me in the way that I needed, so next time I am definately going to have someone else with me too.
    However if you think your DH is capable of doing a really good job at being supportive of you, then maybe that is all you will need!
    All the best!

  8. #8

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    I hope to have a birth support person this time around & have 2 lined up if they are in the area, one is around one week and another a week past that. I just want back up with people around me who know my wishes & know how to help me meet those wishes. DH is coming to hypnobirthing classes with me and also going to meet with the birth support people before hand to be totally involved as well.

  9. #9

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    I definitely would only recommend having DH. for my first I had DP and my friend and I wish I didn't have her there. This time I had DH and the lovely midwife. I would not have wanted any one extra there at all, I think it's a very very personal time and I know my husband would have probably felt a bit cheated if I had another person there, professional or not.
    Sometimes I think people get a bit precious and want a whole audience, I much prefer the privacy. Each to their own of course! But when bub is born,the midwife slipped out immediately and let us have some time to ourselves. It was lovely xo
    I just want to add, that for me personally (not saying for anyone else) I am the one doing the work and no matter who is there, it is still me. What I find in labour is I dont like people touching me or talking too much (alot of people like to go "inside" themselves ) and I would have found anyone else there quite claustrophobic! But it's up to each person, i just wanted to give you another perspective. x
    Last edited by Mumma2three; July 12th, 2006 at 08:00 AM.

  10. #10

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    Sadly sometimes having a friend there who is untrained and / or unexperienced can create an experience you didn't hope for. One mum said that her friend looked at her as if she might die with the contractions, and others realise they do feel shy or anxious with them there. Some just have no idea what to do and simply 'observe'. A Birth Attendant / Doula is trained (I trained for 9 months in my course, some are less) in the art of support - so he doesn't just have a childbirth class, but she learns all there is to know about support in birth.

    I always suggest to anyone who is unsure to have a meeting with a Birth Attendant or Doula, no strings attached, to see what they are like, what they can offer and if it is for them. No-one can recommend something without having had both - and I mean a trained birth attendant not just any old person! It's a huge difference and you will find those who have had one don't go back to having no birth support. I'm sure the several women I have supported on BellyBelly would tell you the same.

    It's like everything in birth and for baby - give yourself some accurate information, read about it from reliable sources before making a decision. You may think you might like privacy now, but it really appeals to you that a birth attendant can offer:

    For the birth
    Reduction in length of labour (by an average of 98 minutes)
    The use of analgesia reduced by 35%
    Epidural use decreased
    Reduction in oxytocin augmentation (drip to speed up / stregnthen labour) by 71%
    Reduction in use of forceps by 57%
    Caesarean births reduced by 51%
    Plus heaps more

    Things like this are really important to some people and when they know they are up against the system, this is really appealing. On the other hand, there are those who it isn't so important to, and thats okay.
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children
    Author of Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know
    Follow me in 2015 as I go Around The World + Kids!
    Forever grateful to my incredible Mod Team and many wonderful members who have been so supportive since 2003.

  11. #11

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    I agree with Jillian, I think most people that choose to have a 3rd party do so for the extra support they offer. I personally did not want a stranger with me, so I chose who I asked very carefully, being sure that I would be 100% comfortable with her when faced with any situation. One of my main goals was to get up immediately and have a shower. My support person was the one that helped me with my shower so hubby could focus on bubba.

    As my first labour went a bit pear shaped, I went into shock and I was unable to remember alot of what happened towards the end, and I actually have issues with this. When I asked my DH to fill in the gaps he was not able to tell me anything. That was the other reason I wanted a 3rd party there- I have since discussed what happened during my labour with her and she has been able to give me another viewpoint of what happened - All good too!
    Last edited by DoulaRelle; July 12th, 2006 at 09:55 AM.

  12. #12

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    I had both my DH and my Mum with me at my 2 births, and although I loved having them both there they didn't really focus on what I needed if that makes sense. When your in labour and the midwife says she will be back in 5 and takes 45 then that can be a bit of a stressful time, especially if you are waiting on pain relief or something.

    At my next birth I am hoping to do it all naturally (1st 2 were induced) and once again I will have both my mum and my husband there, but will also have a very lovely doula. One that i know I can rely on to go chase the midwife if need be, and look out for the vital signs that I may not be doing as well as I would like. Just the little things that my husband and mother really have no idea about LOL.

    There is definitely no need to have support other than your husband if you dont want it. It is a very individual and personal thing.

    Love

  13. #13

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    I went public, thus had a series of midwives on their normal rotations/rosters. I think during my 14hr labour I had 3 different ones; but I especially loved my last midwife Jacinta, who was there for the last 3 hours or so and actually delivered Madeline. By my side the whole time were my DH and my sister. My DH was the quiet/supportative person telling me how proud of me he was and showering me with love. My sister was the more vocal support, screaming/shouting for me when I couldn't and a very bubbly spirit to have around. For me, it was the perfect balance. My sister has been through birth so I knew she could provide for me little things without me asking; that my DH might not know what to suggest.

    I think the whole thing is very personal and individual. It depends on the mother-to-be; their wishes for their labour & birth and the people around them. I know many men who just can't (not necessarily through choice) be what their DP/DW's want them to be during labour even with training and education. On the other hand, some men are fantastic in this situation once empowered with a bit of education; and can be great advocates for their partner to ensure their wishes are met and not overriden.

    It's really all about what YOU are comfortable with. If you don't want a dozen people in there; don't have them because I personally know what the impact of having a person in the room that you didn't want there can do to your labour. Whether you want 1 or 10 people in there; negotiate with your hospital and make sure it's what you want. If you do decide you want an outside person for birth support; this site is a fantastic opportunity to link you up with doulas and birth support like Kelly so you can have the kind of birth you dream of.

  14. #14

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    Jillian, don't get me wrong, I don't think everyone wants an audience. Was actually referring to my particular "friend" who was in on my DD's birth. She is who I had in mind. And other people do like to be the centre of the world, but I did not mean everyone.
    I guess im quite different to most, because to be totally honest, i'd be happy if it were just me and a midwife. Like Beck, I had an awesome midwife and would've been totally happy with just her (sorry DH, no offence)!!! xox

  15. #15

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    I think though many women and men (but not all of course) can have a romantacised idea of what it's going to be like, and then they end up disappointed that it's not what they expected (again, not saying all of you). Birth centres have a higher likelyhood that you will get the midwife for a majority of your labour (in my experience actually being there, it's still quite low) but if you are going private, your Ob will only be there to catch your baby, to perform interventions or if there are complications - sometimes they miss the birth or are on holidays, so they aren't going to be there for you in terms of nurturing support. A midwife who works in a hospital has other women to attend to, shifts to adhere to and also isn't able to 'handhold' through contractions and wipe your brow etc. She needs to take observations, do paperwork and attend to other women - often two midwives will assist during a birth and then after it's all over, obviously they have to get back to everyone else in labour who has been waiting.

    So it's alot of stuff left up to partners, and as someone mentioned, they can take it in their stride and become a great advocator and understand your wants and needs, but also there are some men who find the whole process daunting and nerve-racking (of course they do, they have only been allowed in the birth room for a few decades let alone support a woman - its not their usual domain and they haven't been exposed to it), and usually do not understand the options being given to them and do not know what to do. No-one can replace your partner, no-one can replace the bond and love you have with him. This is not the job of the birth attendant. But as one midwife confided in me, the way birth in maternity hospitals is going, if you want support and continuous contact with someone, you are going to have to buy your own.

    Its amazing how many midwives have told me that couples have turned up to things like inductions and not had any idea how it's being done or been put through processes that they have no idea about. The pre-natal education is lacking and in desperate need of help too.
    Last edited by BellyBelly; July 12th, 2006 at 01:45 PM.
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children
    Author of Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know
    Follow me in 2015 as I go Around The World + Kids!
    Forever grateful to my incredible Mod Team and many wonderful members who have been so supportive since 2003.

  16. #16

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    For my first 2 i had just hubby ( my mum came in towards the end)and the necessary staff, i have to say my hubby was an awesome support!!!! So therefore i can trust him to be that great support again!!!! So awesome that the midwives were astounded!!!!!

    In saying that, this may be my last child and i have decided to allow my extended family in to see the birth if they wish and be my supports, aswell as hubby.
    Personally i think there is nothing wrong with having the people you love to be apart of this special moment, i do not think that any woman i know has done it to be the lady of the moment, lets face it, it is not a pretty sight!!!!

    Taralee it really is up to you! Maybe aswell as having hubby there have mum aswell, or a good friend as Relle mentioned that you know that she will be there for you!

  17. #17

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    Having birthed with and without an audience I think I'd prefer a doula any day! Yes each to their own, but I think until you've tried it its really hard to say. If you had have asked me a few years ago if I'd have had a doula I probably would have been against the idea. I would have thought it would have imposed on private space, and a very intimate time. However knowing what I know now, I know that it actually makes the experience more beautiful and allows more intimacy rather than less.

    *hugs*
    Cailin

  18. #18

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    For me there was no question that my mum would be there along with DH. Mum is a nurse and midwife, so I can rely on her to give me the support I need and also to advocate for me. DH is also a wonderful support but not in the same way as my mum and I don't think I would want to do it with just DH, I need that extra support, particularly from a woman and one has given birth before, but also one I know has my best interests at heart. Also, being a midwife, mum doesn't get overly emotional at the sight of me in pain - she knows how and why it is happening.

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