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Thread: Have you used a Doula or Birth Attendant?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, Australia
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    Default Have you used a Doula or Birth Attendant?

    I want to know who out there have used or are using Birth Attendants / Doulas and what you think! Would you have one again? How did you find it?

    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.

  2. #2

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    Apparently in about 7 months I will be a qualified midwife - yikes!
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    Yes I had a Birth Attendant! and she was fantastic!!!!

    I believe in them so much now that I have actually trained to become one!!!!!

  3. #3

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    Does it count if they were only there for 5 minutes Relle?
    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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    Yes it counts hun, cause I think she earnt most of her money in the 2 weeks before hand! lol She was my sanity!!!!!

  5. #5
    bush.babe Guest

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    Hi all, I'm new to this site but wanted to let you know what a god send my Doula, Julie Bell, was to me. After a traumatic, medical induced labor with my second child, I was determined not to go through that again and started looking for answers. I came across Julie by chance and her support was well worth the cost as she had all the answers to every question I could throw at her, she was able to show me that birth can be a positive and empowering experience. As a result I had a the birth I thought was only possible in fairy tales. I would recommended hiring a Doula to anyone who is having a baby. Hope this isn't too long. Forums are a new thing for me also.

  6. #6

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    I have a question... sorry if i'm butting in :P
    I am interested in having a doula for my 1st birth... do they end up being the "voice" for you instead of your DH? So if i chose not to have one, does that mean i would need to advise DH what i would like before we go in so he knows strongly how i feel about things? I just feel that he might see me in so much pain etc and try and talk me into getting drugs etc if thats not what i want at all... whereas my doula, well she would say to DH "no, remember Renee does not want this at all no matter what happens" for eg... does that make sense? I mean, DH would support me 100% but i think he would also find it hard if i'm in alot of pain etc he might just want to help me out and forget about what i really wanted in the first place... KWIM?

  7. #7

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    Ren, they are definitely an advocate for your choices and wishes. They dont override anything and keep communication flowing. Definitely helps to have someone not under influence from the hospital and also not closely emotionally attached if you know what I mean - hard to look at things at face value when you are in labour or stressed. It's like an insurance policy on your birth plan
    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.

  8. #8

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    Feb 2007
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    I'm with Relle - I loved my doula so much I trained with her to become one myself!

    My first birth was a standard medicalised hospital birth complete with epidural, syntocinon drip, continuous EFM, chin on chest pushing with no urge, forceps, episiotomy, PPH and blood transfusion to cap it all off.

    It took me a long time to come to terms with just how out of control it all became and I felt a lot of guilt over accepting the epidural as I know that that started the whole cascade.

    I came to realise that what was missing was support. I felt like a failure because I didn't birth without drugs - but I know that I could have if I had the right support around me. (The midwife that was assigned to me that day was pro-drugs and encouraged me to have the epidural).

    I had a blissful waterbirth in a birth centre 2nd time round.

    When No 3 was on the way we had moved out of the city and the only option was the local hospital labour ward. No waterbirths allowed. The only homebirth midwife in the area was booked out. I was given my doula's number by a friend and I immediately felt my anxiety lift. I knew that I would have someone in my corner. My DH was glad to be rid of the pressure and could instead be there for me and enjoy witnessing our baby's birth.

    I was so inspired I wanted to help other women enjoy their births as much as I did and I am now a total birth junkie.

    C

  9. #9

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    Thanks Kelly I'll definitely look into it and talk to DF about it once we fall pregnant...
    I think it's a great thing to have as an option for sure, i never even knew they existed until i came across BB, I don't think i would have found out about it anywhere else, thanks Kelly
    Lindz - re: keeping your legs shut tight until the midwife comes on duty hehe you crack me up!

  10. #10

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    Thanks Bush.babe, it was an absolute pleasure. You birth was a beaut. I loved how the midwife said, "You did f*** awesome"! Definitely the definitive quote for your birth! Nice to see you here at Bellybelly, it's a great resource for support, company and all issues to do with parenthood.
    That is a beautiful little baby girl you have there!

    PC I hope you get your lovely midwife next time!

  11. #11

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    Perth
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    I was lucky to find a doula when I was seven and a half months pregnant. I'd contacted Australian Doulas here in Perth but they were all busy or pregnant themselves, however they gave me a few names to contact. We felt comfortable with the one we picked straight away. She was great and stayed with us from about 6pm (at our home then to the hospital at 8pm) to around 6am (bub born at 4.45am). Her support for me and DH was wonderful and allowed DH to have a nap in the early hours! I think three different midwives attended throughout too. And yes I'd use her again.

  12. #12

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    I had a birth attendant, I had one planned but baby didn't comply with dates... so I had a back up jic. She is a trained midwife, but I asked her to be there as my friend & support. DH & I talked afterwards & there would be no way we would ever attempt birth again without a doula for support.

  13. #13

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    Jan 2005
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    Funky Town, Vic
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    Smile

    Boy oh boy oh boy - having a doula was the best decision I ever made!

    I have fast labours and I really only have about an hour or so before it roars up behind me like a freight train. My DP was hopeless in the support department, but looking back I see that he was frightened and overwhelmed too. It ended up being short but pretty traumatic as the hospital was short staffed, no one notified my dr (who was totally in support of my wishes), and they were more concerned about another patient. Actually I was lucky they manged to catch DS on the way out.
    DP felt very guilty, I was angry at him, oh it was awful and whats worse it didn't need to be that way.

    After much stress (remember this Kel?) and with lots of help and support from Kelly, I found a student doula. She was just lovely - me met once before (I left it a bit late). We talked how I wanted to birth Elizabeth, she took the time to 'get my drift' (that wasn't too hard - preaching to the converted!), and understand our family dynamic.
    Elizabeth came 3 weeks early and Diane got to the birth centre same time as us. She followed my lead - she helped me unpack, settled DP, got my music on, spoke to the midwife about my birth plan, arranged the pool to be filled - all while I laboured on with DP close by.

    She massaged my back and quickly changed tactic if it didn't work, then showed DP how to do it. They were a little team!

    When it was time to get into the pool, Julie and the midwife Denise just sat in the bathroom and let DP pace. They talked quietly but I was aware of them both watching me, noting my breathing and sounds. I was never told to push, or move etc only encouraged to do what I needed to do. They trusted in my knowledged and observed my behaviour. A perfect waterbirth for me!

    When I came out of the shower I found my jammies laid out and all my lotions too. Diane took heaps of photos thank goodness(I left my camera behind!). She dissappeared when all the family came in and reappeared when they all left with a cup of tea and we went over and over how great it all was and giggled like a couple of schoolgirls on a sleepover.

    I would not have had this experience, nor felt as comfortable and safe as I did. I can't stress enough that a Doula or Birth Attendant DOES NOT take over, get in the way or have other people to take care of. I don't see how there could ever be a bad Doula experience. As far as I can tell, these women are in it for ALL the right reasons - it's certainly not money. You can't pay 'em enough.....

  14. #14

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    I had a trainee doula at my second birth (homebirth) and she was just great, she arrived before my mw, I was already in pushing stage, and she was lovely, even though she was freaking out a bit, she managed to calm my dh down, and she took such good care of my 2 year old. Totally recommend a doula to anyone.

    O and my doula has just had a baby, 3rd child, first homebirth, i think she was so blown away by attending a hb, she decided it was the way to go!

  15. #15

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    Awwww thanks Lulu, yes I do remember I was just so glad there was someone we could find to support you. There are so many misconceptions of Doulas but it's only now starting to grow in popularity in a big way, so there are going to be these questions.

    Cyathea, yep I saw a homebirth and I was hooked. I am really blessed to do the work I do, I get exposed to things I would otherwise think is too scary, and once you see how beautiful, gentle and nurturing it is, you want one I can't wait - when my two are at school I will be ready for #3.
    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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    My doula was FANTASTIC... I couldn't have done it without her... even though I ended up with a "emergency" c/s after not going into labour...

    I'd recommend her anyday... might have to book her for another birth in December 2010/January 2011....

  17. #17

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    Nov 2007
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    QLD
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    I am just amazed that i never knew giving birth could b as i have seen described here on this forum.I had never heard of doulas until recently either.
    I have definitely felt scared at times in the last 2 weeks since learning of my pregnancy because i kept remembering the horrendous pain & stress i was in last time .Reading experiences & info on this forum has already given me new hope & new ideas that this time i can birth my baby the way it should b.

  18. #18

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    Artemis my heart goes out to you darl. I hope you find one of the many awesome doulas or independent midwives in Queensland who are doing a great job up there - let us know if you need any help locating one. Interview a few to find one you really click with. One who thnks YOU ROCK!

    The information we really need to give birth with confidence is not readily available in the mainstream system. Our maternity system is there like a safety net to ensure that the majority of the population get at least minimal care to make sure not too many babies or mothers actually drop dead. We can be thankful for that. But in terms of personalized, humanized continuity of care that women really need during the time around and during birth, in order to have an optimum, life-enhancing experience, that's not a given in many institutions. The information that will equip you with skills, knowledge and confidence is not readily available either. You have to go trawling for it, like a very stubborn ol' prospector on the gold fields. Once you find a 'vein', it will lead to more and more treasures and you get to thinking, "How did I not find out about this BEFORE???" (and then you can pass it on to others). Bellybelly is a good start, check out Bellybelly articles too. Google is a great freind too! The UK homebirth website and Ronnie Falcao's Midwife Archives have great info. Even for those who are not interested in the homebirth option, I find that the homebirth websites have excellent info on natural birth generally that apply just as well to birth centre and hospital birth.

    Blessings for your journey of discovery, Artemis! It's so much more fun with company, so I hope you are able to find like-minded souls & support around you. There's an org called 'Birth Talk' in Brisbane, they have a session called, "Moving on from a Challenging Birth", they might be worth giving a call to, here's their website:

    Birthtalk: support, education celebration of birth
    Last edited by Julie Doula; December 1st, 2007 at 08:27 AM.

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