Anyone Used a Doula?

A friend of mine is a Doula and I’m thinking of hiring her for the birth of my twins, although I don’t know what she charges. But given potentially stressful family dynamics & the fact that Hubby & I have never been through this before, it seems like a good idea. This friend is definitely someone who can advocate on my behalf and work with Hubby to help him help me.

Anyone tried it?

Not yet, but I’m starting to look for one. See this thread for some useful info.

It sounds like a doula would be even more useful during a twin birth, actually - I’m sure that everything is twice as stressful.

My wife and I used a doula for the birth of our son, and I would absolutely recomend it. We took three months of Bradley classes in preparation for a drug-free birth. I was mentally prepared for a 14-hour marathon, but our son was born in just under three hours, with only 20 minutes of pushing. Even being as well-prepared as we were, the presense of an experienced advocate was invaluable. We paid $300 for her services.

Anything that makes a pregnancy non-standard (twins, vaginal birth after cesarian, more than two weeks after due date) means that the hospital will be a bit more anxious to intervene to protect what they deem to be the best interests of the babies. You, however, may not agree. Some policies are negotiable, some aren’t. A good doula will know.

Take some time to educate yourself on what you’re in for. Learn the hopsitals policies on when they want to intervene, and when they’ll leave you alone. Most hospitals offer free classes that will tell you all about this. As a couple, have a game-plan for how you’re going to cope, and practice using those techniques beforehand. Then, share all of this with your doula. I can’t imagine our birth without our doula there.

Oh, and exercise exercise exercise. My wife was swimming everyday, right up to the day our son was born. And, it’s not part of your OP, but I’d recommend Bradley classes, if for no other reason than the emphasis on fitness and nutrition.

CrankyAsAnOldMan did…

Thanks for the responses & for the links - I should’ve thought to do a search. Not sure how I missed that other thread.

ricepad lives! He lives! plants a huuuuuuge kiss on him, with more tongue than most Dopers thought they’d ever see outta Cranky

And yes, we did. Cost us $500. I thought it was well worth it. It was good to have someone who could support me as I walked around the ward, suggest position changes, figure out what I probably needed when I didn’t even know. Sure, nurses could do that, but they had other patients to see to and they went on and off shift. And supposedly my husband could do all that but birth classes aren’t the same preparation that attending dozens of other births is.

Incidentally, although doulas are supposed to reduce your chances of needing a c-section, mine helped the doctors realize I needed one and it was the right thing to do. My doctor was out of town, and I was having a strange, long labor and my cervix had stalled at 8 cm. I kept seeing different OBs and residents. My doula was the only experienced person who had been with me the whole time, and when the latest OB gave my chart a cursory review and said “let’s give it a few more hours” (this on late Saturday, after I’d been in labor since Thursday) my doula gently pointed out that it would be hard for me to push after all that time without food or rest. As a rule, doulas try to stay the hell out of the way of the medical personnel, but someone needed to say it!

Hold on a minute there, Cranky, or you’re gonna need another doula in a few months!

Where in the hell did you get all that tongue???

We had a midwife for our son (our second). Wish we’d had a doula for the first. We switched OB/GYNs after our first child, when they kept making my wife wait to push (she wasn’t quite ten cms dialated, according to the attending nurse). Turns out that they just couldn’t find our OB. After 23 hours they finally got an intern around and told her to push and our beautiful girl was out in 5 minutes. Doc finally showed a couple of hours later. Asshole. Midwife experience was much better, still in the hospital, no involved although lots of staff came around to watch since the boy was born “in the call”, which apparently is quite rare these days.