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Thread: Why dont women know about Doulas!!

  1. #19
    paradise lost Guest

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    Education is absolutely the key Kelly.

    I don't wish i'd had a doula but i do see that my then-DP and my friend fulfilled the role the doula would have (support, especially in early labour before the midwives were there, made such a difference to how i coped later on, as i'm sure you know). Even knowing you as little as i do through the website i would WELCOME you at my births, because i think you could really have a positive impact. But i do think midwives need to understand that just as their role has changed (in that they CAN do procedures etc.) this creates a space a doula can fill. And also though many women have older female friends who have given birth, not all of us have women around who would be supportive of the briths we want. The friends who were nearby (one of whom was with me for birth) had no children. There were also those who had had hard and brutal hospital births and didn't believe i could have a baby WITHOUT an epidural, and episiotomy and a set of forceps. My mother was dead already, but even she hadn't been i think she'd have been to worried about HER baby to support me having mine at home.

    In a society where birth is surrounded by fear and horror stories, midwives are over-stretched and constrained by regulation and Obs are scalpel-happy and terrified of litigation we NEED strong, knowledgeable women who can be with us for our births. Doulas have a very important role to play.

    Although you realise Kelly, if you'd been MY doula you'd have ended up catching DD since only 4 hours from birth did i think it was getting "a bit much" and maybe a midwife would have been helpful. With a doula there i'd have been even more laid back! Unless you'd run out and called her yourself i'd have hit transition and pushed DD out before i'd got to worrying about any of it.

    Bx


  2. #20

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    Feb 2006
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    Mlebourne
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    They hand out epidurals in the private system liked lollies!! Maybe that is the underlying attitude in the private hospitals to the doulas...and to be honest...to the student midwives....its almost as if...' why are you here when she will have an epidural anyway'???
    When I was induced with ds in 1998, I was in 'caesars palace' in Melbourne, and my obst was frustrated because he couldnt do an AROM because i was so terrified, I literally couldnt open my legs!! He ORDERED an epidural!! The reason they got one into me is because i had been pumped full of pethideine, I was only 24 and very niave, and I couldnt think straight. I truly beleive that if i had the support of a doula or student middy, as well as dh, that my birth outcome and total labour experience would have been completly different. Having someone with you who is not 'emotionally' attatched such as dh, to help you to make guided decisions when you are unable to make them yourself, is just paramount to a positive birth experience.

  3. #21
    paradise lost Guest

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    The problem is though, that it's women who don't know about doulas who need them the most. THOSE are the women who end up having their births stolen from them. The hospitals should have doulas working FOR and WITH them, so that women are properly supported.

    I guess it'll be a cold day in hell when THAT happens.....the devil will be skating past my window on his way to work....

    B

  4. #22

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    Mlebourne
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    Unfortunatly your a probably right Bec.....because that would be taking away an element of 'control' from the hospitals. Very sad

  5. #23

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    Warburton
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    Great suggestions, FionaS!

    Can't wait to see what Doulas Australia come up with - that's good news, Kelly.

    Continuity of care is a major factor associated with good outcomes and satisfaction for women in other countries. That's rarely on offer in Australia with our current system. It seems to me that most midwives would also prefer to have a continuity of care style of care which makes their job more fulfilling too.

    Until maternity reform makes this possible, doulas are filling in this gap in maternity services - providing relationship-based continuity of care.

    I can see how the need for doulas does carry an implication that the current system is not serving women's needs that well. (Well, it's not).

    But concern that we might offend the current system should not inhibit us from doing what we're really here for - serving the needs of birthing women & providing support for knowledgeable & (therefore) empowered birthing.

    Even if we had an ideal maternity service here, that was truly woman centered, with proper choices and continuity of care, I think doulas will always be part of the birthing scene. Women supporting women in birth has been around as long as time itself, whether we're Godsibs, midwives, doulas, we're With Woman and that is an art that never stops teaching you wisdom. No matter how birth is institutionalized, dehumanized or technologized, the spirit will always be yearning for the love, patience, respect, encouragement and imparting of confidence that is the work of true With Woman birth companions.

    I don't think that Doulas are a 'threat' to the territory of either Midwives or Obstetricians anymore than teacher's aids or reading specialists are a threat to teachers, of Chiropractors & Naturopaths are a threat to GPs. (Unfortunately some do think that way, more's the pity. I've had experience of that sort of defensiveness too).

    Ultimately, it's consumer's choice.

  6. #24

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    Mlebourne
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    As a student midwife, I have experienced two obst not wanting me to support 'their' patients though their labour and birth...one who become rather agressive about it. I find it hard to understand...I am certainly not there to 'steal their thunder'...I am there 'with woman'...not to keep the obst happy.

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