Natural Childbirth — Doulas

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Doulas on The Today Show 0

Doulas are a wonderful addition to the modern, medical birthing environment. They are proven to reduce a number of unnecessary interventions, including cesarean. They offer emotional support and in many instances, doulas will gently remind a woman who is being coerced into unnecessary procedures about her original intentions and birth plan. Doctors (and CNMs) hate this. The following clip is from the Today Show which aired on November 20, 2008 and in which mother and doula's opinions were downplayed while the obstetrician got the lion's share of the interview and the woman basically blamed doulas for less than favorable outcomes which is absolutely and utterly ridiculous. They (the cogs in the medical model) have no one to blame but themselves, their wallets and their watch for less than favorable outcomes.

Benefits of Using a Doula for Childbirth 0

During a prenatal visit with Ann and Roger, a first-time mom and dad, the pediatrician asked about their childbirth education experiences. Ann said the classes were like a lecture, and there was little time to get questions answered. "As we went through the meetings and learned about things that might happen, we began to feel really nervous. The educator said it was best for the baby if the mother received no medication, so she suggested natural childbirth. I'm willing to try going without pain medication, but Roger doesn't want to see me in pain. Could I ask your opinion about a doula for childbirth?" Dr Wagner followed the mother's question with her own: "That sounds like an interesting idea. Tell me what you know about doulas." Ann replied, "Not much. I've only heard the name. You know, we recently moved here." Dr Wagner responded, "Well, Roger, let me tell you something that I have found exciting. In the last year, four fathers have come for their baby's first visit and have told me how great it was to have a doula. It was the third baby for one of them. He couldn't wait to tell me what a rewarding experience it was for him and his wife compared with their earlier experiences. I thought that there must be one fabulous woman in our community working as a doula, but all the fathers had a different doula! The fathers said that the doula assured them that she would be with the couple through the whole labor and the first 2 hours after delivery and that the fathers could leave at any time if tired or hungry. The doulas showed the fathers what they could do to help the mother." Roger interrupted, "That sounds great, but Ann and I thought we could manage by ourselves. I'm not sure about having a stranger in the room with us." Dr Wagner replied, "These four men and their wives met with the birth doula in their homes 1 or 2 times in the month before labor began. As a result, they knew her and liked her and then were relieved to see her when they went to the hospital. Let me be frank with you. There is a lot that goes on in a modern maternity hospital that will be new to you. There are strange smells and sounds, nurses and physicians rushing about, a lot of unfamiliar hospital lingo. There is a nationwide nursing shortage, and due to managed care most hospitals have found it necessary to cut costs drastically. Therefore, each nurse has to care for more than 1 patient at the same time. Obstetric care in the United States has become more intensive. From what I have learned from my patients about their labor and delivery experiences, it seems to me that every laboring woman needs a doula. And I say that knowing that there are many more important reasons for having continuous doula support. I am going to do some research about the doula, and then I will get back to you with what I learn." Six weeks later when the parents brought their new daughter for her first office visit, Dr Wagner was surprised at the change in their confidence and enthusiasm. Ann said, "We can't thank you enough for finding a doula for us and telling us the good effect she would have. From the time of our first meeting with our doula, Maria, I stopped feeling so nervous. She told Roger and me she would meet us when we came to the hospital in labor and would be with us until 2 hours after delivery. Maria wanted to make sure that I had the baby skin to skin on my chest right after birth and let the baby self-attach to my breast. And she did stay the whole 9 hours of labor plus the 2 hours postpartum! Maria was so strong that I could really relax. I could never have gone through that labor without her. I mean it." Roger interrupted, "She was terrific! She stayed the whole time and showed me what to do to help Ann. I think she helped me even more than she did Ann." If you have decided against homebirth for some reason but still want to try to have a "natural" birth in a hospital then GET A DOULA. I just cant stress this enough. Just do it. They are proven to decrease dangerous and unnecessary interventions. You will find that a doula is much more supporting, like a friend, than your OB or midwife is and I have never heard of anyone regretting hiring a doula. (And plenty of women regret hiring their OB or midwife). Speaking from personal experience, my childbirth was a living nightmare but I believe it would have been nothing short of living hell if my doula had not been there for me. I am still very grateful for her presence. Obviously in the future I will only choose unassisted childbirth unless I have a medical reason to deliver in a hospital but for those of you that aren't sold on UC, then I repeat, GET A DOULA. Author: Martin T. Stein, MD About the author: For more information on a birth doula visit MotherMeDoulas.com Image Source: http://flickr.com/photos/thomashawk/11708783/