Question for L&D Nurses re: Doulas

  1. My husband and I are expecting our first child this March. Our goal is to have a safe birth and a healthy baby. Ideally, I want to go drug free and vaginal.

    We are thinking of hiring a Doula, but I wanted to get Nurses' opinions regarding this.

    I am wondering if some Nurses feel resentful of Doula's being present to help with Labor. As if the Nurse feels like it may be a "contest" between themself and the Doula, if that makes sense.

    We really don't want to upset anyone at the hospital, and I don't want my L&D Nurse to be upset if we have a Doula.

    Any opinions are appreicated!
    Last edit by RegularGirl on Nov 6, '06
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  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   htrn
    I personally think doulas make my life so much easier when a patient is in labor. Doulas have been proven to reduce the need/use of medication and epidurals, their patients are more informed and educated, and doulas know what is normal and what isn't. If I step out of the room and there is a huge drop in the FHR, sometimes the patient doesn't notice or doesn't put on the call light - the doula will.

    That being said, choose your doula carefully. Find someone you feel comfortable with, that you feel like you can trust. Ask her about her philosophy of child birth. How will she feel/react if you decide you do want something for pain? How will she respond if it is felt you need a c-section? Does she already have a relationship with a hospital or medical practice that you can or would use?

    I hope that you have a healthy pregnancy and an uncomplicated delivery.

    Good luck.
  4. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I say DO IT! If the doula is a true professional, she will have no problem working with the staff in relative synergy. A good doula knows her limits. Also be sure you do discuss the fact you are hiring a doula to care for you and would prefer they not offer drugs at all unless you ask for them. A SIMPLE birth plan is not a bad idea; they have plenty of shells out there (one at parentsplace.com, I think) that you can write and have ready. Just please, please, PLEASE remember to be flexible in the whole labor experience.

    I personally never see a doula as competition, so much as a key team player with your wellbeing in mind, just like me. The only time I would resent the presence of a doula is if/when she overstepped. (and I have sadly, had this happen once or twice). One example is if there were an emergency requiring nursing or medical intervention, I would not appreciate her fighting over this or trying to interfere. I respect the patient's desire to have the birth experience she desires, but I would appreciate the doula respecting the fact I have a job to do, as well, and let me do it.

    By the same token, the staff need to respect your doula and the job she has to do. That is why I say, let them know ahead of time you plan to have a doula present and would appreciate their support in this. It's always good to have someone on "your side" to advocate for you, and doulas are very good at this. They are also educated to minister to the needs of the birthing family, as well as laboring mama. They can do amazing things and give you attentive care sometimes staff nurses don't have the time or training to do.

    Anyhow enough from me......truly.... I wish you a joyful and safe passage into motherhood. Take care.
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Nov 6, '06
  5. by   SmilingBluEyes
    www.dona.org

    great site for information regarding doulas and referrals as well.
  6. by   IslandtrainedRN
    Doulas are trained to be able to work in partnership with labouring women and hospital staff. I think if a doula is a part of the birth experience you want, go for it! I would LOVE to have a chace to work with a doula.
  7. by   MuddaMia
    I am a nursing student who will (lets all pray here) graduate in May and go into L &D. I am also a mom of 4 preemies. My first pregnancy was a twins and I was on bedrest for 7 months. The one and only time I attempted to go to a lamaze class I went into preterm labor. I was facing a childbirth w/ twins, other pre-existing risk factors, and no childbirth education. My OB/GYN nurse suggested a doula. I was not so sure--as I thought this sounded too "new-age-y" for me, but decided I would give it a try.

    She was amazing! When things got scary--she picked up the slack from my shell-shocked husband and kept me focused and reassured. I dont think I could have ever gone natural and stayed as calm as I did without her. I hugged my doula after the birth before I even hugged my husband. I really think you should go for it!

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