What do you think of doulas?

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    As the title says... what do you think of doulas? Do you have any experience with doulas present @ a birth? Thanks in advance for sharing

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  2. 5 Comments...

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    Obviously, from my user name, I was (am?) a doula before I became an RN. Every nurse I worked with as a doula was happy to have me there because I approached them in a non threatening way,( brought them doughnuts even, and took a lot of the burden from them in managing the laboring mother's pain. I always viewed my role as supporter and advocate, only educating my clients, not making decisions for them. I tried to stay out of the way of the medical team and never had any conflicts. There was one doc who didn't like me much because I advocated for my client but the nurses where always supportive. I suppose if you get someone in there who has her own agenda there could be problems but I would assume that is a rare instance. As a NICU nurse I don't get to work with doulas but I'm sure someday I'll return to my first love of L&D!!!
    calypte likes this.
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    Just to clarify my question... I've been poking around on the forums for more posts about doulas and nurses involved in the same birth, and I guess what I'm most interested in is your opinion on if/how a doula can fit in to a hospital birthing environment, and what experiences you've had to lead you to those opinions

    dancingdoula i'm curious what it was the doc didn't like about your advocating for your client? was it in the sense that they didn't like ANYONE advocating or??
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    I think they are a very valuable resource for both birthing families and nurses, IF we all know our roles and respect them and communicate clearly.

    Today, nurses are busier than ever, taking care of more than one labor patient and charting out the wazoo. Labor support is critical. Doulas are wonderful for this, and this is what they specialize in. I am happy to see a good doula part of the labor team particularly when a patient desires to undergo natural, unmedicated labor. All for them!
    mamafeliz, tmulder, and Elvish like this.
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    I think Doulas are a critical member of the birth team, especially when women are striving for an unmedicated birth. Studies are plentiful demonstrating that the CONSTANT presence of a female labor support decreases need for pain meds, intervention, and ultimately results in lower c/s rates. Even if we are staffed 1:1 in active labor, we as L & D nurses have many tasks taking our eyes and hands off of our patients. A Doula provides needed consistency.

    One of our L & D nurses developed what was initially a volunteer doula program for our most vulnerable laboring women who would otherwise never be able to afford a doula: teen Moms, women laboring alone, incarcerated moms, migrant non-English speaking moms. Women needing a certain number of births for their doula certification were happy to make themselves available. It was a win-win. The program was so successful, and the data compiled so convincing that doula support increases patient satisfaction and decreases labor and birth complications, it is now entirely grant supported. Patients who are state insured or uninsured are eligible for doula support, and the doulas are paid for their service per birth. We now include doula support in our discussion of choices of how women want to labor.
    kalley and Elvish like this.
  7. 0
    Quote from mamafeliz
    I think Doulas are a critical member of the birth team, especially when women are striving for an unmedicated birth. Studies are plentiful demonstrating that the CONSTANT presence of a female labor support decreases need for pain meds, intervention, and ultimately results in lower c/s rates. Even if we are staffed 1:1 in active labor, we as L & D nurses have many tasks taking our eyes and hands off of our patients. A Doula provides needed consistency.

    One of our L & D nurses developed what was initially a volunteer doula program for our most vulnerable laboring women who would otherwise never be able to afford a doula: teen Moms, women laboring alone, incarcerated moms, migrant non-English speaking moms. Women needing a certain number of births for their doula certification were happy to make themselves available. It was a win-win. The program was so successful, and the data compiled so convincing that doula support increases patient satisfaction and decreases labor and birth complications, it is now entirely grant supported. Patients who are state insured or uninsured are eligible for doula support, and the doulas are paid for their service per birth. We now include doula support in our discussion of choices of how women want to labor.
    This is awesome. I have thought about this a lot lately. Two weeks ago I started in the L&D department as a Tech. I am a pre-nursing student and have dreams of CNM. Before starting my job I had considered getting certified as a doula. I would love to still do it, but am unable to figure out how to approach my supervisor about volunteering. I am glad to know that it can be done.


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