When we started this pregnancy I never questioned whether I wanted a doula at my birth, it was just a given. I’ve read the statistics about reduction in c-sections and requests for pain medication etc. Add the fact that Joel was so nervous about my childbirth that he actually asked if I’d be mad if he waited in the waiting room like they did in the 1950′s (Obviously my answer was hell yes I’d be mad!). It just seemed like a no-brainer.
When I realized how expensive they can be I was a little discouraged but I found out the practice we’re going to has doulas on staff at a much lower rate than hiring a private doula. Win!
Except now I’m having second thoughts.
While the practice doula is significantly less than a private one it’s still a good amount of money for us. So, I’m going to try and sum up why I’m having doubts and hopefully you all can tell me if there’s some big thing I’m overlooking that will make it worth the money.
1. We won’t get to have a personal relationship with the doula. There are three that rotate on call so we get who we get. We’ve met one and she was really nice but I’m worried we’ll end up with someone we’ve never met and end up clashing personality wise somehow.
2. A big benefit I keep hearing is that a doula comes to your house and helps gauge when you should actually go into the hospital so you’re not “on the clock” sooner than you have to be. The doulas from the practice don’t do that. They get called to come in once we’re in the hospital and confirmed in active labor. If I’m not very dilated they won’t come even if the hospital decides to keep me there.
3. No home post partum visits. I’m not too concerned about this but it’s a benefit I keep hearing about so I thought I’d list it.
4. Only halfway through the Bradley Method classes Joel is feeling pretty confident about being my primary coach.
5. My mom will be there as a secondary coach. She is an RN. She also has had 6 natural births, 5 of which were at home. She has been a coach for six of my two sisters’ kids. I have watched her interact with the nurses at some of those births and she is very good at understanding exactly what is being recommended and explaining to my sisters why it is necessary or not.
6. I trust the doctor and midwives of the practice. They have an extremely low c-section rate and are huge advocates of natural childbirth. I trust that they will not recommend anything out of convenience or because they “want to get to their golf game.” If they feel I need an intervention I trust they will explain the reasons and that it will be in the best interest of me and the baby. I don’t foresee us needing a doula to advocate for us.
Given all those reasons I’m not sure what purpose a doula would serve that isn’t being served by Joel and my mom as coaches. Wouldn’t a doula just be redundant? Or am I missing something big here? I will spend the money if I can find a really good reason because I want my birth to go as smoothly as possible. At this point though I’m feeling like the support network I have set up is sufficient and adding a doula would be doing nothing more than adding an additional expense.
Am I wrong?