Interviews with people about doulas, birth and babies - 3. Mother of a one year old
Do you know what a doula is?
My understanding of a doula was somebody who assists the mother during births and acts as an advocate to her wishes.
Would you hire a doula if you had another child?
I would consider it if I had the right doula but if I'm honest I feel that my husband having been through it once will be much better placed to help me and understand when things are not going as they should. First time round he was a novice and left things to the midwife. This time I think he would speak up if he felt he or I wasn't happy with the situation.
Would you hire a doula for your first birth/s if you now could do?
I wouldn't have had a doula at my first birth as I was slightly jaded tbh with my experience of doulas to that point. Our nct instructor was a doula and I didn't like the fact that some of the information she was giving out was bias in favour of her personal beliefs and ignored the other side of it. To give an example she was telling the ladies that there was no reason why you should be induced after 2 weeks. The reason why they do this is because statistically your risk of stillbirth doubles and continues to rise after. Fair enough say if you don't want it then you don't have to but I really disagreed with her failing to mention this piece of information to give a balanced arguement. Same with her approach to tearing. Every medical professional I know on a personal basis agrees that the reason why you have an episiotomy is because if they think you are going to tear anyway it gives them control over it leading to less bruising and more importantly minimal risk of incontinence due to an uncontrolled 3 degree tear as well as a better chance of minimal scarring. As sister in law to somebody who had an uncontrolled tear which lead to massive pain and scarring afterwords I really consider myself lucky as my incision is barely noticeable and healed really cleanly. Again personal beliefs aside I think it's really important that both sides are addressed. All in all this really gave me the opinion that doulas were only interested in cantering for women who wished to have the natural dream birth. Don't get me wrong, I would have loved to have that sort of birth but I am also realistic in that everybody with children I spoke to basically said take it as it comes as if you ponder too much on what you want and you don't get it you can feel like you have failed. I took that to heart and really was prepared for all out comes. I'm rambling I know, it sort of opened Pandoras box though about how worried that doula made me feel as I felt like she was ignoring information and selecting only what supported her personal view of childbirth. For somebody in a position like an nct instructor I felt this was inappropriate. I never take anyone at their word and research for myself and nct was more about the networking but what about the people who came expecting unbias info. 🤷🏻♀ I digress. My apologies. You probably didnt expect a rant!!!
If you think it would have, how do you think a doula would have made a difference?
It's difficult to say. I had a conversation with my mum saying that if I could do it over I would have had her at the birth as she would have been able to know what was normal and what wasn't and supported both me and Ben. I would imagine that the right doula would also have been able to do this for us. Like I said though, I think I would have needed a doula who didn't view medical intervention as the devil's work. I understand that my body was made to do it and if I had needed it to then it would have but in my case it was to much too fast, perhaps with more support I could have overcome that, however I don't like the feeling of pressure or expectation that seems to come with a natural birth as portrayed by the nct instructor I had and I would actively resist anybody who I felt was trying to talk me out or into something. Call me contrary!!
Hope that helps, I'm sorry if I come across as negative but I hope you find it useful. 😬
Thank you so much for your excellent honesty and explanations of your experience and feelings - hugely appreciated!