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Natural Childbirth - The Daddy Doula



Joined: 11/5/2008
Posts: 286
bugcandy
My wife and I will be having our second child at the end of May. The interesting part about having this baby is that I'll be performing the role of the "doula."

Yes...Daddy the Doula.

For those that don't know, a "doula" is a childbirth coach that specializes in helping the parents, in particular the mother, have a comfortable, natural childbirth with as little pain as possible. We're defining "Natural Childbirth" in this sense as...

No medicine.
No epidural.
No induction.
No C-Section.
No forceps.
No unnecessary medical intervention whatsoever.

It's old school. Let's go in and have the baby. Because of this birth plan, there is a chance that pain might be a factor during the birth...which is where the doula comes in.

To be clear - doulas are not midwives - they do not help deliver the baby, but more so help the mother through the transition and pain periods. Professional birthing support gurus if you will.

We had talked to our original doula (from our first child) about doing it again but she is unfortunately going to be out of town on a trip to Florida during our due date.

But that's okay we thought, we had a back-up.

So we approached our massage therapist (who has doula experience) but we found out she's going to be in Germany during our due date.

I thought there was a recession going on...what's up with doulas traveling the country/world??!

So we started looking outside our personal contacts for this role. We found a flyer about doula services provided by our local hospital, York Hospital, so we called there and left a message. And then another message. And another. No callback. About three days later, a person left a message for us stating that the hospital had discontinued their doula services because " nobody used that service...people get epidurals, etc. now." We left another message saying they might not want to hand out the flyer then.

Okay next, called our Ob/Gyn (Women's Health Care Group of York) and my wife talked to the phone receptionist who tersely replied, "What's a doula?!" Wow...are we that out of the mainstream when the Ob/Gyn office doesn't even know what a doula is?

That's when we decided to do it ourselves, i.e. Daddy will be the doula.

I won't lie...I'm excited, not scared, about being the doula for my wife. My role as "husband" in the birthing room is now 100 times more important as the doula-designate.

Some things I will need to do...
--Help my wife manage the pain naturally
--Keep distractions in the room to a minimum
--Be the advocate for my wife, i.e. ensure that unnecessary medical treatments during the birthing process are kept out of the picture unless it is an emergency
--Fully understand the birthing stages so I can best coach and help my wife through the process.
--Focus her to stay on top of the contractions...not let them control the mood.
--Emphasize a "no pain" experience through yoga and hypno-breathing, etc.

My wife has a few books ready for me to read. I'll be ready - Daddy Doula is here!

I do want to make one larger point about this little story...

The greatest thing about having a baby is that family does it their own way. We've had friends and family plan C-sections, do home births, undergo inductions, use an epidural, do natural childbirth with no doula, and more.

There is NO right answer to how to have a baby. My story is not a testimate that doulas are the right thing for everyone. Some people would hate having a third person in the room with them during the birth. For us - it works.

Because at the end of the day - it really doesn't matter how the baby is born, but that the child and mother are healthy and happy afterwards.

My short story is to simply state, publicly, that this cowboy-boot-wearing-musician is ready to step-up and help his wife through the birth plan by becoming the Daddy Doula. I will be ready!

Well...I better run and pick up a few books and start reading!
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Comment by bugcandy


Joined: 11/5/2008
Posts: 286
My wife and I will be having our second child at the end of May. The interesting part about having this baby is that I'll be performing the role of the "doula."

Yes...Daddy the Doula.

For those that don't know, a "doula" is a childbirth coach that specializes in helping the parents, in particular the mother, have a comfortable, natural childbirth with as little pain as possible. We're defining "Natural Childbirth" in this sense as...

No medicine.
No epidural.
No induction.
No C-Section.
No forceps.
No unnecessary medical intervention whatsoever.

It's old school. Let's go in and have the baby. Because of this birth plan, there is a chance that pain might be a factor during the birth...which is where the doula comes in.

To be clear - doulas are not midwives - they do not help deliver the baby, but more so help the mother through the transition and pain periods. Professional birthing support gurus if you will.

We had talked to our original doula (from our first child) about doing it again but she is unfortunately going to be out of town on a trip to Florida during our due date.

But that's okay we thought, we had a back-up.

So we approached our massage therapist (who has doula experience) but we found out she's going to be in Germany during our due date.

I thought there was a recession going on...what's up with doulas traveling the country/world??!

So we started looking outside our personal contacts for this role. We found a flyer about doula services provided by our local hospital, York Hospital, so we called there and left a message. And then another message. And another. No callback. About three days later, a person left a message for us stating that the hospital had discontinued their doula services because " nobody used that service...people get epidurals, etc. now." We left another message saying they might not want to hand out the flyer then.

Okay next, called our Ob/Gyn (Women's Health Care Group of York) and my wife talked to the phone receptionist who tersely replied, "What's a doula?!" Wow...are we that out of the mainstream when the Ob/Gyn office doesn't even know what a doula is?

That's when we decided to do it ourselves, i.e. Daddy will be the doula.

I won't lie...I'm excited, not scared, about being the doula for my wife. My role as "husband" in the birthing room is now 100 times more important as the doula-designate.

Some things I will need to do...
--Help my wife manage the pain naturally
--Keep distractions in the room to a minimum
--Be the advocate for my wife, i.e. ensure that unnecessary medical treatments during the birthing process are kept out of the picture unless it is an emergency
--Fully understand the birthing stages so I can best coach and help my wife through the process.
--Focus her to stay on top of the contractions...not let them control the mood.
--Emphasize a "no pain" experience through yoga and hypno-breathing, etc.

My wife has a few books ready for me to read. I'll be ready - Daddy Doula is here!

I do want to make one larger point about this little story...

The greatest thing about having a baby is that family does it their own way. We've had friends and family plan C-sections, do home births, undergo inductions, use an epidural, do natural childbirth with no doula, and more.

There is NO right answer to how to have a baby. My story is not a testimate that doulas are the right thing for everyone. Some people would hate having a third person in the room with them during the birth. For us - it works.

Because at the end of the day - it really doesn't matter how the baby is born, but that the child and mother are healthy and happy afterwards.

My short story is to simply state, publicly, that this cowboy-boot-wearing-musician is ready to step-up and help his wife through the birth plan by becoming the Daddy Doula. I will be ready!

Well...I better run and pick up a few books and start reading!
Posted: Saturday, April 11, 2009 11:28:07 PM
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Comment by nflemmens


Joined: 4/16/2009
Posts: 2
Well Eric,
Should you and the Mrs. happen to change your minds, I have a fantastic Doula that could be "at your service". She has been a doula for years and just finished nursing school to become a labor and delivery nurse--which is why she didn't advertise about her services--too busy w/ school recently.

If you change your minds and need a back-up I can give you her name. She is a personal friend and I believe, would give you a fantastic birth experience.

As for me, I didn't plan on a Doula. Or anything, for that matter. I completely left my 2nd child's birth up to chance. It's a good thing, because it completely defined who this child turned out to be!!

I had contractions the entire second trimester w/ Greta (who is now 5 years, almost 6 years old). I was sent home twice after being sent to labor hall and put on a monitor--told it was nothing but Braxton-Hicks contractions. That is pretty humiliating for a nurse.

The day I gave birth to Greta, though, I had had a morning OB-GYN appointment where my membranes were stripped after whining to my midwife. I was told to go home and rest. After a trip to Lowe's and Carman's Ice Cream w/ my mother and Brett I decided that it was best that I lie down. My mom took Brett home w/ her. Within the hour, I called Michael at work w/ the strangest sensation and said he better come home to pick me up. We arrived at the hospital @ 5:00pm. The wooden pole in the main lobby would never be the same after I got a hold of it. I grabbed that mother like the bitch that it was! After screaming for a wheel chair, I was on the maternity floor within 3 minutes! As a nurse, I had a birth plan--I demanded my epidural and IV with a nice shot of Stadol, figuring I had another hour, or so until my bundle of joy was delivered.

Well, the nurse checked me instead, informing me of being 6 cm and that I probably wouldn't get an epidural. I didn't panic, until Michael told me that my mother wasn't at the hospital w/ Brett, yet * she was to be w/ me that time* and the nurse blew my IV. AFter the second try (most don't get past the first try, ) the nurse got my IV and my Stadol. I told everyone in the delivery room how beautiful they were and where was the "f*$#ing anesthesiologist" so I could get my epidural. The nurse checked me again @ 5: 15pm. I was already 10 cm and not only couldn't get an epidural, but that no more pain medicine would be administered to me. WTF??!

I pushed a total of 10 minutes (which seemed like 10 hours) and gave birth to a healthy, screaming baby girl, who hasn't seemed to have stopped screaming since.

All of this means, that birth plans do change. Or do not. Or don't exist at all. The most important part is that what you expect what may not be what you expect at all. Just be in the moment and que sera sera.

Good Luck, Daddy Doula. Maybe a few songs will calm the maternal beast!
love,
nic
Posted: Monday, April 20, 2009 4:18:15 AM
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Comment by bugcandy


Joined: 11/5/2008
Posts: 286
Wow...after reading that...I might want to consider hiring a real doula!!
Posted: Tuesday, April 21, 2009 2:00:53 AM
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