NOT to Doula

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It started with my initial “Doula Dilemma“, then I took that advice I got from there and Twitter and wrote again: “To Doula or Not to Doula.” Then I wrote my decision on my Real Mom TV Blog. Here’s an excerpt:

I’ve thought a lot about this and it’s hard to admit this publicly amongst so many people who’ve been pushing me to hire a doula as labor support, but as the title of this post suggests, I’ve decided not to hire a doula.

I’ve been back and forth with the doula thing and weighing the pluses and minuses for me. I made a list of the positives and negatives of hiring a doula, and while the list of positives was longer when it came to services a doula can provide… I’ve read the benefits over and over (and doulas themselves will always tell you the MANY benefits). But when I compared it to what mattered MOST to me: Feeling like my husband and I are experiencing it and making decisions together, experiencing this special milestone alone (Ok, so when you’re pushing you’re not alone but there are hours of down time between nurse visits and whatnot) and feeling a since of accomplishment that WE did it… It outweighed many of the reasons I wanted to hire a doula…

I wrote my doula decision a couple of days ago and that’s the first part of my explaining my decision. You can read the rest here on my Real Mom TV Blog. Penny for your thoughts.

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  1. I totally agree with wanting the birth to be special between you and your husband. With Elijah it was just Dave with me and he was the most loving and supportive I have seen him in the 6 years we’ve been together. He told me after it gave him a new respect and love for me seeing me bring life into the world. I felt the same way about him too! Through the contractions, even the most painful ones before my epi, I was crying , breathing and even snotting all over him, but he didn’t let go, he just told me how much he loved me, he encouraged me, and held me tight. He let me squeeze him in a hug for support as they inserted the epi. I had a complication with my heart during labor and even though they had to ask him to step back i could hear him in the background re-assuring me. Once they stabilize me and I came back to, he was there holding my hand and rubbing my hair. We had a short time then of quiet before I started pushing. He talked a little about how good I was doing and how he was proud of me and how scared he was and how our lives were getting ready to change forever. I will never forget that moment and am so grateful we had that experience together alone. When it came time for the pushing he held my leg, breathed with me, coached me, and made me feel so confident. Once our son was born he cut the cord and was able to hold him while they finished up with me. It was an amazing experience and it bonded Dave and I like no other experience could. I never even considered a doula. I couldn’t imagine needing anyone else but my husband.

    🙂 You guys will be amazing! xoxox


  2. I’m glad you decide to “not doula”! If I ever were to become pregnant I would definitely feel the way you do…Like my husband and I should share that moment between the two of us. I’m sure when your day comes it is going to be filled with lots of unknown and things might not go according to plan but in the end you will have your loving husband by your side and what can be better than that?
    I think you made the right choice 🙂

    Hoping to Adopt again

  3. I can tell you that husbands make the BEST doulas. Well, mine did anyway. I can’t speak for some less well-married women I’ve met. I imagine they’d want to kill me for suggesting such a thing. LOL.

    But if your husband is the involved type who can handle witnessing the more difficult end of the baby-making process, you’ll probably be better off with just him. Really you’re the only person who can decide whether a doula is worth it to you. You sounded like you feel bad that you’ve decided against it. Don’t! It’s just not your thing!

  4. I got a doula the first time and pretty much wished I hadn’t bothered (saved the money). I briefly considered it this time, but opted not to. I have no regrets over going doula-free. I think doulas can be wonderful, but they are not essential (especially considering the expense).
    With that said, I do believe in what doulas do–I want to be a doula–I just think that not everybody needs one.

  5. Good for you for deciding what is right for YOU and YOUR FAMILY! No need to do something just because everyone else loves it :o)

    FWIW, my best friend is a L&D nurse, and has never, ever had anything positive to say about doula births. Not that all doulas are bad, by any means, but she saw a lot of them pushing their own agendas, arguing with sound medical advice, and guilt tripping mamas. I guess the ones she has encountered haven’t been what they are supposed to be – support for the mama…

  6. I think you made a great decision. You thought it over and did your research. I never had a doula, and I did just fine. My aunt was with us for my first birth, and for our other two, we were on our own. My husband was a wonderful support and an awesome coach. He fed me ice chips and words of encouragement. It wouldn’t have had it any other way.

  7. Hi Future Mama, I love you dearly and read your site daily, and I read your entire post but I must say I read it as a little insensitive. I’ve never had a doula or a c-section, but I do know that once at the hospital, doctors will say things like, “it’s best for your baby’s health if you…” and for me those sentences ended with “get an epidural,” and the like. So some women who have unnecessary c-sections do stand up for themselves, and very strongly. It just becomes a very complicated situation to argue with a doctor telling you what’s medically best and urgent, and applying pressure on you when your hormones are raging and ALL you want is to have the baby out and healthy. After you’ve labored for hours, you are ready to give birth. I had a natural vaginal birth and was pressured for an epidural and did not get one. The next birth, I had a few complications: baby was up-side-down and I was not progressing and I was pressured into an epidural, even though I hand withstood the pressure previously. Every situation is different, and the words you used hit a chord with me even though I never had a c-section.

  8. Hey Kevzjo! I couldn’t find a way to respond to you other than commenting here. I wasn’t meaning to offend anyone. I’m just saying I don’t think I need a doula to help make decisions for me. I understand labor can be hard and long and stressful, but if I make a decision (good or bad) I plan to stand by it, and I don’t feel like we need an extra person for that 🙂

  9. Don’t feel bad that it’s not your thing. Although some people do find having a doula is a help, others, such as myself, wouldn’t want one there. Not because I don’t think they do a good or important job but because I just don’t think it’s something for me specifically.

  10. Good for you for looking into and doing the research. In the end it’s something that you totally have to be comfortable with!!

    Stopping by from SITS… have a blessed day!

  11. Good for you, I find some people do it because they feel pressured into getting one from others that did it. You have to do what feels right to you and your husband. I’ll be having my 6th and last baby this summer and I have never had one ,I like the time alone with my husband when the nurses aren’t in there just to talk or whatever and he was always helpful and understanding and I never felt like I needed anyone else in there with us. I had all my babies drug free and natural and did it all on my own with my husband for support and I’m sure you guys will do just fine too !

  12. I agree – do whatever feels right for you and your husband. It sounds like you’ve spent a lot of time thinking about it and you should feel good about your decision. That being said, I’d never have made it through without my doula! She actually delivered my second baby (surprise home birth!!) and assisted on my planned home birth with my third. My husband is wonderful and supportive – but he’s not trained in positioning, massage or stuff like that. And in my first birth, in the hospital, the nurses has NO CLUE how to manage pain (other then to keep suggesting an epi). The experience was so awful I hired a doula the next time around! Good luck to you – I’m sure you’ll do fantastic!
    Love your blog, btw – found you on SITS!

  13. I think there’s a lot of pressure to do things this way or that way and, really, it should ALWAYS be about what you and your partner want. You’re doing an awesome job with doing your homework, and I’m sure you guys have made the right decision for you – and that’s all that really matters.

  14. Well, I’m glad you decided to not waste your money. Babies are expensive enough on once they get here. No need to incur needless expenses before they get here. I survived my labor and delivery just fine with the help of my mom and my ex.

    Not to mention, I enjoyed having my quietness and privacy during my down time. I could better relax and concentrate on myself and my baby. You guys will do just fine.

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