Quote from rpbear
We have a doula group that is on call for our hospital, I think they are great. I alos agree witht the other poster that your job is different than ours. We try as hard as we can to stay within the birht plan, but sometimes it is medically impossible.
I guess that I'm very different that other doulas. I'm totally understanding of the nurse's job. My mom was a nurse for many years and before I got into the doula aspect, I had a degree in speech language pathology (well, still do).
We are there for NON-medical comfort, something that the nurses can't do because a) they don't have time or b) SOME won't. I understand that job and since we are working as a team to help the mom, I won't interfere with the nurses. I've already come away from some doula meetings disgusted by some comment, a doula who was "bragging" that she didn't pass on a request for pain meds... I was angry. This was the mom's birth, NOT the doula's birth.
That's another way I differ from most doulas: I don't offer my opinions regarding pain meds. I support any way the mother choses to go.. pain meds, no pain meds, or wait 'n see. I don't go into every birth with the preconceived notion that she won't have meds, or with my own agenda in mind (i.e. - she's stated that she wants meds, but when she's in labor I'll do everything in my power to be sure she doesn't get them or I've failed as a doula - there are some who do this). Since I've been in the medical field and seen a lot of hospital births, I do know that when things in birth go wrong, they REALLY go wrong, and FAST... there's no time to argue a point on a birth plan when a life is potentially at risk.
That's another way I differ: birth plans. I remind my clients that they can chart out their wishes in the birth plan, but keep in mind that they might not go according to plan. Be flexible. And the saying that "the longer and more complex the birth plan, the greater the chance of the birth ending in a c/s" - I've found that to be more true than not.
I know that I'm not the perfect doula, but I just wanted to clear up a few misconceptions about doulas. There are several that play wannabe midwife/RN, do more harm than good and then the rest of us who aren't really that way, who understand the medical profession have a lot of "clean up" to do. We are there to help the patient, and in some ways, to help the nursing staff by answering/helping the patient - therefore diminishing the amount of call lights to the desk. In our hospital where I work as a volunteer, we are taught how to undo the monitors so the pt can go to the bathroom, walk around, etc. and then hook them up to the monitor again. We have been trained by the RN to do this, not doing this ourselves.
We would really like to be seen as a help to the nurses, not a hindrance, not competing for the job, etc. I know my place, however, there apparently are some who do not.
I know this is long, but I wanted to type out some of my feelings. FWIW, I'm not totally accepted in our doula group because I have an extensive medical background, and I don't buy into the "you really haven't given birth until you've given birth w/o an epidural", etc. And this is even moreso since I've told them that I'm going into nursing. You all should have heard the silence after I told them I was going into nursing.
Now, I just hope that I'm accepted by the nurses after I graduate when they hear that I have a doula background. :chuckle