Doulas? and introduction

Specialties Ob/Gyn



I'm Tiffany, I'm 20 years old, I'm American, and I live in London, Ontario (anyone else live near?). Ideally I would like to be a L&D nurse, but in my current situation I cannot apply for nursing school for at least a year (immigration stuff).

Because I can't even apply for school yet, I decided to try and jumpstart my "education" by becoming a birth doula. In May I completed the DONA approved birth doula training, and I currently have 5 clients. I am providing my services for free. I've attended one birth already...

I'll cut to the point now! :) What is the general opinion of Doulas by L&D nurses?? And, do you have any advice for me? (other than to not get in your way! :D )

I'm working very hard at being a KNOWLEDGEABLE doula, and I find reading this board very helpful!! Just suggestions and stuff for positioning! It's wonderful.. anyhow, I'm also learning medical terminology on my own, I figured it will help me prepare for school. Do you think that's a good idea or should I just wait for the classes? I am very ambitious about this, but I'm also afraid I won't be able to handle university :(

Thanks for reading!! Any advice is appreciated! :kiss


20,964 Posts

Specializes in Specializes in L/D, newborn, GYN, LTC, Dialysis.

Ok I do NOT speak for the PUBLIC or nurses in general, but as an L and D nurse, I LOVE DOULA participation in the whole process. You are helpful, kind and often a big relief to overworked nurses who are so bogged down w/paperwork that we don't always have sufficient time to be at the bedside like we want to be. I see HUGE familial satisfaction when the doula is employed and I have found doulas respectful and thoughtful when it comes to meeting the needs of the laboring family and a great communicator w/staff when it is needed, too.....

Keep on doing what you are...and if you later decide to be a nurse, your training will stick with you and you will be MUCH the better for it! Good luck!


829 Posts

Ditto what blue eyes said. I've only had one doula I took issue with, and this was a dingbat telling a primip that it was okay to push at 7cms. It wasn't my patient, though, so that info was 2ndhand.

Usually, if it's busy and/or the pt. is waaaaay needy, a doula is a HUGE relief. Plus, on the technical/clinical side of the matter, they usually create for better outcomes.

Plus the pt. and family feel 'loved,' which is so important to a laboring mom.

D.O.N.A. is a good organization, and they are good about proper teaching, keeping nutcases/scary people out of the organization, from what I hear.


940 Posts

hi, i love doulas we have a couple of them that come here they are great.learn all you can do what ever you can to comfort the patient. but be sure not to belittle or cast doubt onto the medical personel present. Had one doula at another hospital, who was very pushy and insiting i not intervene. pt was having decels, baby looked baby, she was telling pt to get up walk so more, wanted her of the monitor and was encouraging her to refuse the iv therapy. any one that knows me knows i love birth plans and natural births, but i will not stand idlely by and watch a baby go bad.

i convinced pt the get iv and stay on monitor for a while, after she was hydrated and baby looked good for a while we got back to birth plan of limited monitoring and let her walk.

all i can say is keep up the ggod work and work with the staff not against them , most of us are pretty good and only have the patients best interest in mind,:)


77 Posts

I just have a couple of suggestions...

I think Doula's have been very helpful to my laboring mom's, but I find it almost offensive when I am asking the patient questions, and the Doula feels the need to answer for my patient. I am very careful to talk between contractions, and I have even (politely) told the Doula to please let the patient answer the questions, but for some reason she felt it was ok to tell me my patient's pain level, what position felt better, whatever. UGH.

I also do not like it when I give my patient advice for the well-being of the baby, and the minute I walk out of the room, the Doula tells her the opposite of what I just said.

So I think overall Doula's can be very helpful to the laboring mom's, but I don't think they should be overstepping their bounds and giving medical advice or speaking for the patient! JMO...LB

at your cervix

203 Posts

Specializes in OB, Post Partum, Home Health.

I fully agree with everything that has been said. I think that for some reason there is the idea that the doctors and nurses are out to cause harm to babies and that any intervention is very bad. I once had a doula (it was the very first birth she had ever seen) who was nothing but a hindrence. To begin with, she slept in the chair the whole time to pt was in labor and woke up in time for the delivery. The baby had a tight nuchal cord (cord around the neck) and had very bad bradycardia for approx the last 5 min, we used forceps to facilitate a faster delivery because of the bradycardia, the baby required some mild resusitation (bag and mask and stimulation). We placed the baby on the warmer immediately after delivery to resusitate, the doula came over and tried to take the baby from the nurses and said that if the baby did not breastfeed right away it would have brain damage!!! (GET REAL, IF THE BABY DOESN'T BREATHE IT WILL HAVE BRAIN DAMAGE). So just remember to keep things in perspective, we really are on the same team, it's just that sometimes the game doesn't always go as planned and sometimes the plan needs to be altered to fit the health needs of the baby and the mom.


108 Posts

Okay, that doula needs some EDUCATION -- no, just some COMMON SENSE! I am 20 years old and just my common sense tells me that is it ridiculous to think if a baby does not breastfeed right away it will get brain damage? :rolleyes: It is sad this woman can call herself a doula, and I suppose that's where I believe people shouldn't be able to walk around and say they are a doula if they haven't had any sort of training. Just like any person cannot walk around and claim they are a nurse..!

But, depending on the certifying organization, doulas are NOT to give ANY medical advice or suggestion.

About the interventions, we are taught that if there is no medical need (harm to mother or baby if not done) for an intervention (like oxytocin induction or ARM) that we should remind the parents of the Pro's and Con's, not dissuade them from accepting the intervention, but just making sure they understand they really don't NEED to have this done..

A lot of the time a patient doesn't know they can say no to a procedure like ARM.

Anyways, it's people like that doula you had an experience with that will give us a bad name and make us disliked among medical staff! :( But then again, I guess it is the same with nurses.. if you have a bad nurse experience you might come to the same conclusion.

Sorry if this post is mumble-jumble, it's 2am! :eek:

This topic is now closed to further replies.

By using the site, you agree with our Policies. X